[Bards] On Bardic Documentation (it got long!)

Lady Simone simone at elfsea.net
Fri Jan 9 00:15:48 PST 2004

HL  Gerald no Offense taken. I like hearing other viewpoints outside of my
own. that is how we learn.

I did notice you referred to me as HL Simone. thankyou dear for that vote of
confidence, but I am only a lady.

Lady (Simone) Muirenn ingen Senáin uí Dúnlaing
2nd Rose of FalconRose Southern Keep, Ansteorra

> Before you read any further, please note that I do not mean to attack HL
> Simone in any way.  The subject we are discussing is one rife with passion
> from both sides (as she said somewhere in the pieces that didn't make it
> into this missive).  I would be unworthy of the discussion itself if I
> to imply that Simone, or anyone who expresses their opinions here, are
> wrong.  I'm sorry to add to an already long discussion with this leadoff,
> but I know that impassioned writing can sometimes lead to anger, and I
> do what I can to avert that if possible.  Now.  On with the show.
> This morning, HL Simone sed:
> > 2. It [documentation] adds a validity to our craft in the scope of those
> who over
> > the years
> > have questioned the historical accuracy of Bardcraft as a legitimate
> > artform.  It may not be as much of a debate as it has been in the past.
> The funny thing is, I have never heard the argument that Bardcraft is not
> "legitimate" art form.  What I hear is that, since A&S entries are
> to submit documentation for their displays, works under the "performing"
> arts should be required as well.
> > 3. The Nature of the society has been changing over the years to more
> > Authenticity in our actions as members in the society. as such
> > the Bard is a
> > highly visible part of that society. As such by our willingness to
> > documentation on the competition level we indirectly support and
> > show others
> > that it is OK to do documentation for other things.
> HL simone, while I respect your viewpoint on this, there are some problems
> have with the logic.  Perhaps its not even the logic, it's just MY
> on it.
> Is the nature of the SCA changing?  Probably.  The question is, should it?
> I like historic authenticity when I can get it, but I don't live for it.
> have recently started writing more of my own works, and that's turning
> fun.  As I learn more about period music, period pieces, etc., I will
> probably try my hand at producing more period pieces of work.
> But I live in a similar land where Eleanor Fairchild and others dwell; I
> prefer the performance, the challenge of producing the right reaction from
> the audience, and that still moment when they are caught up in the song or
> story, or the raucous moment when the punchline hits home.
> I can produce documentation now, since I know that it doesn't have to be a
> scholarly paper and that I'm not getting graded on how well I can format
> information.  I do it, mostly, because there are judges that require it.
> the competitions that I have been the sponsor of (Stargate Bard, Loch
> Soillier Bard) I gave extra marks for documentation, but judged mostly on
> performance.
> If I had my druthers, documentation would consist of a brief, yet somehow
> entertaining encapsulation of what I'm about to perform.  A word or two
> about style, instrument, or origin, and then off we go to the piece.  If
> there are any amusing anecdotes that might pique someone's interest, it
> should be included too.
> But I don't necessarily want to be a teacher, just as most people don't
> attend bardic circles to be taught about a particular writer or the
> difference between perfect voice vs. vibrato.  Most couldn't give a dram.
> But bardic in the SCA is changing as well.  There are still people who are
> quite happy to filk from "Bridge Over Troubled Water", and more power to
> them, especially if it's a good filk.  There are, however, a growing
> of people who are exposed to performers such as Robin of Gilwell, Cedrik
> Fidler, etc., who can perform a period piece and take a stock clerk from
> Best Buy and bring them back six hundred plus years with a well crafted
> presentation.  And because of this exposure, more people are interested in
> performing those type of pieces, or seeing them performed.  Those of us
> are performers see these pieces and wish to emulate them, and so we study.
> >
> >  Like it or not because we are performers and many of us are very
> > people to the populace.  Our actions and words carry weight.  We are
> > examples good or bad of what the society is, and what it can
> > become. We are
> > under the watchful eyes of our fans,old timers and newcomers alike. In
> > opinion this comes with a responsibility. by showing a willingness to do
> > Documentation we encourage the old-timers and newcomers, that
> > documentation
> > is OK not  a 3 headed monster to be avoided at all cost. So what is
> > documentation in the scope of things for Bardcraft.
> And that would be good, if we had more people pointing to places like the
> Laurelate's web site, which gives some good pointers for the "D" word.
> the most part, people just throw down, "Documentation is required ..." and
> leave it at that.  What documentation SHOULD be used for is a way to give
> proof that you know something about the piece that you're performing.
> it tends to be used for is to get people to do the research so that they
> know what they're performing.  In essence, it tends to perform the same
> function that term papers and other assignments given in school do;
> the student to learn about the subject through research.
> But if I disagree with the powers-that-be, that documentation should be
> lagniappe to a performer, not required, then how do I convey that?
> Currently I'm still providing documentation, trying to figure out how to
> what I want and still make the scholars happy, since most have given the
> opinion that verbal documentation is worthless in a competition.  But I
> reserve the right, as a bard, to ask for the validation of the need for
> documentation.  My art is, currently, valid in my mind, and I have few
> people who ask me to stop playing, singing, or telling stories because I
> not have a bibliography to the 13th century english dance called "English
> Dance".  The idea that documentation will lend validity to the art is ...
> well, a poor argument, in my mind.  But my mind isn't always the best
> for such arguments, and so we discuss.
> In my opinion (and we all have them, your mileage may vary, not available
> Topeka, KS because it just won't fly!), what we call "bard" is mostly
> singers and troubadors, story-tellers and poets.  A true bard would know
> histories, including those that went with their performance.  They would
> find a way to weave the information into their performance, so that the
> audience would be enlightened as WELL as entertained, and some might even
> remember the 30 second lesson.  They would create pieces of the history of
> our kingdom, our society, and the people therein.  They would, in effect,
> learn through the desire to learn, rather than the desire to make someone
> else happy so they could win a title.
> >
> > Competitions are were we will probably see the want and need for
> > documentation. not around the general camp fire, or entreating in the
> > various venues we may be call upon to perform are art.
> See above.
> So.  What's he trying to say?
> Our art is our art, and we do what we do.  I'm not against documentation,
> but I think that we should take a good hard look at the real reason for
> requiring documentation in performance arts.  In a title bard competition
> and I'm a judge, I'm looking for a person who can capture an audience, who
> can provide entertainment for their patrons at a moments notice.  I want
> them to be knowledgeable about the works they perform, but I want someone
> that will provide the patron with entertainment, will capture the hall at
> the patrons command, and who will do so with good will and good humor.  I
> don't need documentation for most of this.  Most people don't.
> If you've made it this far, I thank you for getting to the end of this.
> In service to the dream with a song in my heart, I am
> HL Gerald of Leesville
> Ravenskald of Ravensfort
> A bard of Stargate
> Kingdom Ansteorra
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