Why Drumming Kills a Bardic Circle

Baker, Mike mbaker at rapp.com
Fri Dec 13 09:17:00 PST 1996

> Why can't drumming and bardic circles happen together?
> Any comments on how to remedy this, or statements on never to try again?

A great deal can depend upon event size. If your event is large enough to 
support both a drum circle and a bardic circle, that can be one solution. 
Just separate the two far enough that the drums don't overpower the singers 
/ talespinners.

However, your plea is well stated: the two often-separated forms *can* 
co-exist, and do so nicely. It probably happens best when the guidelines for 
the circle are made clear up-front. Another critical component of consistent 
success for such "mixed" circles is to have a formal host / leader / 
moderator for the evening. Even if they do nothing more than greet & explain 
the format to those who arrive late, a small amount of structure or even a 
stated theme for the evening helps immensely.

A known time "limit" (try to keep it a broad enough guideline to allow for 
storytellers, singers, dancers, drummers, etc.) for each individual / group 
can be the most useful of the tools for keeping a circle a polite gathering 
to be enjoyed by all. Ten minutes should be considered about the max 
tolerance level for a performance in casual circles; communicating that to 
newcomers should be part of every hospitaller's spiel. Longer works, 
extended-length drum sessions / performance dances / saga fragments / major 
stories, should also be allowed a venue BUT "captive dinner theater" is to 
be avoided!

Many of the newly-arrived drummers in the SCA are still in need of 
directions to find the clue bus. As are some of the enthusiastic but 
less-skilled exhibitionistic "Middle Eastern" dancers AND "party crowd" 
singers ("Can we *ban* _The Moose Song_ for this event, Unca Kihe?"). By all 
means, take Gunnora's words on this matter and disseminate them widely!

(Hmm. Been speaking ex cathedra from my belly button about bardic matters 
again, so it is time to haul out the alternate .sig...)

Kihe Blackeagle (the Dreamsinger Bard)  s.k.a. Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri 
     currently residing in Barony of the Steppes, Kingdom of Ansteorra
Mike C. Baker                      mbaker at rapp.com
Any opinions expressed are obviously my own unless explicitly stated 

More information about the Ansteorra mailing list