FW: [Bards] documentation

Haines, Paul PHA at allseas.com
Thu Jan 8 09:26:05 PST 2004

Greetings to the list,
I've been lurking and reading this thread on documentation and noticed that
it seems to be many experienced bards who are commenting.  I thought (as a
baby bard) that maybe a fresh opinion might be appreciated.

I've only participated in a handfull of bardic circles and two
championships.  I've always been intimidated by the idea of doing
documentation, because it seems few people are ever sure what is really
required for it.  I most recently competed in Stargate's Bardic
Championship, and offered up my first bardic documentation.  My only prior
experience with bardic documentation was from a class taught by Sir
Pendaran, and a couple examples of written documentation.  I was very
surprised in the end to receive the "best documentation" recognition.  All I
submitted was documentation for two pieces that were each between one and a
half and two pages.  Nothing fancy, just to the point of demonstrating that
I had an understanding of the material.  

That being said, I still have some mixed feelings on documentation and what
the difference is between a Bardic Championship and an A&S Championship.
Afterall, bardic *is* an art, so why is it not a part of the A&S community?
Obviously because it is such a large entity on it's own.  But it has also
been recommended to me to submit some of my original bardic work in A&S as
well.  So that lends me to think that A&S is to display a thing and prove
it's validity to period practice and Bardic is for the performance of a
thing and to entertain people with it.

On the other hand, a part of me recognizes that anyone is welcome to
participate and enjoy the bardic arts in circles, during feast, or when the
fancy strikes, but a bardic championship should, in addition to
demonstrating performing skill, and the ability to entertain, be able to
back up their skill and talent with the knowledge and history of their

Different bardic championships will require different things of the
participants.  I've seen documentation required, documentation recommended,
and no documentation asked for.  At present, it seems to be the outgoing
champion's choice.  I rather like that, as it helps to mix up the format a
bit.  If every bardic championship required the same thing, I think it would
get rather stale after a while.

We all have reasons for doing or not doing something, and that should be
fine.  I really don't think it necessary to criticize someones reasons
though, as they are personal.  Why didn't I compete for Kingdom Bard?  I
don't feel my skill level is up to that par yet.  Plain and simple.  When my
teacher tells me, "You should compete", I'll be more than happy to discuss
it with her and maybe I will.

In service and friendship,
Alden Drake

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