Change ringing is the art of ringing a set of tuned bells in a series of mathematical patterns called "changes". It differs from many other forms of campanology (such as carillon ringing) in that no attempt is made to produce a conventional melody.
Today, change ringing can be found all over the world, performed in a variety of media; but it remains most popular in the context where, in the 17th century, it developed: English church towers. These typically contain a few large bells rigged to swing freely: a ring of bells. The considerable inertias involved mean that each bell usually requires its own ringer. Thus, contrasted with a carillon, in which a large number of bells are struck by hammers, all tied in to a central framework so that one carillonneur can control them all, a set of such bells is comparatively unwieldy— hence the emergence of permutations rather than melody as an organizing principle.
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