[Bards] A Question of Categories
lburgin at gt.rr.com
Tue Apr 25 19:51:43 PDT 2006
I really like your catagories and thought behind them. AmberLea
----- Original Message -----
From: "Scott Barrett" <barrett1 at cox.net>
To: <bards at ansteorra.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2006 9:12 PM
Subject: [Bards] A Question of Categories
> Well, I've thought about this and I had a few comments I wanted to
> What can I say, I care about you guys... I just (sniff) ...I love you
> guys, man!
> I have always been a firm believer in supporting any form of
> performance, no matter the style. I don't care what you do as a
> performer, we all suffer the same tension. We all offer a rather
> personal aspect of ourselves when we step up to entertain, enlighten or
> inspire. I'm not terribly interested in division, but classification
> has some possibilities that should be explored.
> The following is my mad, deranged personal opinion, mine alone.
> We can't expect a truly historic bard to appear among us. No one is
> capable of reciting over 100 poems from memory that I know of, but if
> you know someone like that, ask them if they have their group's entire
> generational history memorized and can recite both Kingdom and SCA law
> off the top of their head. We use the term bard as a blanket
> That being said, the SCA holds the arts of the old bardagh, filidh,
> scops and skalds in high regard. Those arts generally are listed as
> Master Ihon did, i.e., story, song and poem. I'd actually say that they
> are (dum, dum-dum!) Vocal Performers. Poets, storytellers, singers,
> reciters, riddlers and even the dear old herald fall into this class.
> They are singular creatures, operating alone and usually with a
> personal collection of works.
> The second group are poor, under-appreciated musicians, dancers and
> actors. These folks can perform alone with skill, but generally are
> accented by working in a troupe or band, or at least with a second.
> They are students of the technical aspects of entertainment, following
> notation, movements and scripts with rigid dedication. They practice
> together when they can and are always on the lookout for a venue. I'm
> hard pressed to come up with a term for these folks, though Court
> Performers seems the most accurate, as they usually have specific space
> needs and flourish like flowers in a spring rain when they have a large
> audience. This is not to say that the other types of performers don't
> appear in court, on the contrary, "Court" Performers would be those
> most in need of a court-like setting, or a feast.
> Finally, there's that rare and dear class of performer that once had
> the Motley Sash to represent them, but since that order has closed,
> they are now left to find their own niche. Luckily, most are quite
> adept at doing just that. These are the folks I consider Physical
> Performers (I know there is a lot of room for innuendo here, but if I
> can ignore it, you can, too). These are the jugglers, the acrobats, the
> magicians, the puppeteers, the fools. These folks have just as much
> talent in audience interaction and timing as the other two, but they
> have polished a collection of movements, expressions and postures that
> make them highly distinctive. They are a rare lot. They can usually
> operate alone like the VP's, but are perfectly entertaining as groups,
> like the CP's. They have their own singular acts and shticks like the
> VP's but they need exactness in much of their art, like the CP's.
> So there you have it, my take on classifications, IF and I repeat IF we
> were to give the idea of classification serious consideration. Two
> broad distinctions, singular or group, and categories, Vocal, Court and
> These would not be hard lines that must be followed on all occasions.
> Each could have their own competitions, like Eisteddfod for Vocal
> performers, Royal Courtier, His Majesties Fool, etc.
> If need be, all could be thrown together into the A&S melting pot and
> survive. I offer these lines of distinction not to divide us but to
> instead provide support and encouragement, as some of the above groups
> don't have as much as they could. It would make all feel welcome
> without feeling misunderstood or out of place, especially at an A&S
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