[Bards] On Bardic Documentation

david seguin dseguin at sbcglobal.net
Fri Jan 9 12:10:36 PST 2004

Guess just about everyone has an opinion on this one.  I've spent 10+ 
years in a boffer fantasy group, and I have to say that the most 
interesting times I've had is when I hear people do original things in a 
period style.  I have a few points on documentation.

1) I doubt that you'll get counted off for doing songs outside of your 
persona.  My persona is 12th century swedish, and I did a 12th century 
latin piece and got a 10 out of 10 on documentation.
2) They're not asking for much on documentation.  If I of all people can 
get a good score on documentation, they're not asking for a lot.
3) If you don't want to do bardic documentation then don't perform at 
the competitions that require them.  The only ones I've been at that did 
were ones like laurel's prize tourney and kingdom a&s.  Of course since 
these competitions are mainly run for laurels, the emphasis is going to 
be on scholarship.
4) I've performed for a wide range of audiences, but I have to say that 
the reaction I got from Master Godwyn of bjornsborg was the most 
touching.  At bjornsborg's yule event, I performed my 12th century latin 
christmas carol.  Godwyn told my wife that it reminded him of why he had 
gotten into the SCA.  It was then that I realized that there is an 
audience that truly appreciates this kind of stuff.  I feel its a bard's 
job to play to all audiences, especially some of those least played to.

Still documentation in general gives me fits.  I became a programmer 
because I reeked at doing papers.  So doing documentation is a bit of a 
challenge.  But I'm also obstinate and don't like admitting that I can't 
do something. 

Lastly, I can safely say that writing poetry in a period style can be 
very challenging.  Try draettkvaet, that can make your brain tie itself 
up in knots.


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