[Bards] Some Thoughts on Documentation for Bardic Competition

Marlin Stout ldcharles at ev1.net
Mon Apr 22 10:15:01 PDT 2002

Brian Martin wrote:
> Greetings All,
> Having gotten back from Bordermarch this last weekend, I was contemplating
> the bardic competition and something occurred to me: Very few people
> supplied documentation for their pieces. I'm curious about what the people
> on this list think about documentation for competitions and whether or not
> it should be required. (Please note that I'm drawing a separation between
> competitions and bardic circles/fires.)

 Personally, I think that documenting the piece at the time of
performance is counter-productive. It can throw the performer off
his/her stride. Bardic competitions are often held under conditions
where documentation cannot be easily read. And lastly, if the judges
take the time to read the documentation before the performance the
performer must stand there and stew waiting for them to be ready for
him. If documentation is to be considered, I feel it should be gathered
by the judges long enough before the contest begins for the judges to
have time to peruse it.
 However, I also think that there is often too much weight given to the
piece, and not to the performance. After all, bardic is about being able
to entertain and 'move' the audience. I do think that a performer should
be judged on the piece he selected. If it's blatantly mundane, that's
bad. If it's just plain dull, that's bad. There are pieces I would never
perform in competition, because they're just not appropriate for that
sort of situation. A circle is one thing, a competition is another. But
I am a big believer in the idea that the quality of the performance
should take precedence, so long as the piece is entertaining and invokes
the 'feel' of the middle ages.
 Certainly some competitions, such as those to select our Kingdom bard
or Gulf War champions, should require documentation of some kind, but I
feel that it should be given to the judges before the competition.

Ld Charles,

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