[Bards] Bardic and Performing Arts

Melody Soice melodysoice at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 11 09:06:15 PDT 2006

I usually just lurk here and on another bards' list but I've got to agree 
here.  I am continually amazed  by the way that so many in the SCA don't get 
what a huge part of medieval and Renaissance life bardcraft was.  Even in 
our little Canton's events where I usually have a good deal of input I'm 
struggling to keep bardcraft incorporated in our events.  That despite the 
overwelming success of our bardic 'command performances' at our last primary 

That said, I think I'll try to do my part with our little group and make 
however big a fuss it takes to be certain that we will have a great bardic 
venue at our upcoming event, King's College.  Since I'm doing the feast I 
should have a little bit of influance to put on the line.

Having gone that far I'll step even further out on a cliff and invite you to 
come and enjoy feast and bardic revalry at the close of this June's King's 
College.  Our feast hall is somewhat intimate and has AMAZING acoustics.  
Trust me, it will be well worth your journey to come and perform there.  
After performing there last year HL (soon to be an Ealdomere bardic 
Laural--YIPPEE!) Eleanor Fairchild gushed over the hall and claimed that it 
was one of the most enjoyable evenings she had performing--EVER!

Come and join us!

Melody McGregor
running off to browbeat her canton....

>From: "Gerald Norris" <jerryn at houston.rr.com>
>Reply-To: Ansteorran Bardic list <bards at ansteorra.org>
>To: "'Ansteorran Bardic list'" <bards at ansteorra.org>
>Subject: RE: [Bards] Re:Bardic and Performing Arts
>Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2006 07:48:06 -0500
>HL Finnacan,
>You do strike to the very heart of the matter.
>Your first point:	"I'm sick of competition in general. "
>	I second this.  Arguments I've heard FOR competitions come round to
>people who think that the bardic arts, in general, get short shrive 
>to the martial arts.  It is, in essence, bardic welfare.
>	And the competitions?  The "stage" is anywhere from being stuck in a
>room, seperated from the rest of the hall, so that the performers could be
>heard clearly, to being placed in the middle of some of the noisiest,
>sound-sucking venues second only to performing smack in the middle of Times
>Square in New York.  Competitions that encouraged period pieces and
>documentation but a good rousing drinking song can still win the day.
>Competitions judged by those who had passing interest (at best) in
>"Great!  Gerald hates competition!"
>No.  I just think that we're trying to compare apples to strawberries when
>we compare the performance community to our other communities (martial and
>A&S).  I find it interesting that those who serve (the Pelicans, et. Al), 
>not have "service competitions", and yet has a healthy population that does
>good works.  As for the seperation ... It's a fine idea, but I haven't the
>ability to offer the practice of it yet.  I propose that we leave
>competitions for area champions, and seek another method of encouraging our
>performing community.  One thought I'm working on is to encourage the
>provision of "background" entertainment during the times between fighting
>bouts, or to encourage our entertainers to work with the archery, 
>and other "peripheral" martial venues to provide entertainment in those
>As for your second point: "I want the landed nobles and the current royals
>(Their Majesties and Their Highnesses) to invite performers to entertain
>them in intimate settings, not in the middle of court."
>Again, you have my utter agreement.  I fear that our landed nobility, in
>trying to be kind to all, do not wish to put their bards "on the spot".  I
>can sympathize with this, as there are those performers who have to steel
>themselves just to perform in the dark of night at the edge of the fire.
>But Ansteorra has a large bardic community, from which many are given the
>courage to continue working on pieces, to practice their instruments of
>choice, be it flute or shawm or voice, so that when the time comes the
>performer can feel comfortable that the audience actually wants to hear
>So far, in my travels (limited as they are) I have seen only one barony 
>has taken up the gauntlet, as it were, and requests the bards present to
>sing; I speak of Loch Soillier.  Baron William and Baroness Narkissa (aka
>Katya) have enlivened many a feast with their version of "attack bardic", 
>which they call upon well-known bards to perform, then encourage those 
>to "rat out" those who have talent but are not as often in the limelight.
>While it tends to put performers on the spot, it is done in fun, and I have
>yet to see an instance in which the entertainment was not well received.
>However, the Loch tends to hold smaller events, so that such entertainment
>is more easily heard.  It might not work as well in, say, Steppes.  
>I think the spirit has merit.
>I am humbled in that, as a champion for bardic arts, I haven't been in the
>lead to get the Friday night bardic at the Troll started.  Mea Culpa!
>You also said "I wanna see the King (better yet, the Queen) at Gulf War 
>an Ansteorran 'Revel of Roses' or 'Minstrelfest', with formal invites to 
>other royals and performers of the various kingdoms for a grand night of
>entertainment. If we can't strive for the war point, we can at least honor
>and entertain those who can with one heck of a show every year."
>And all I can say to that is "Amen!".
>Master Ihon is prepared to encourage our performers in whatever manner, and
>this dialogue is of great service, in and of itself.  For too long have we,
>as bards, been silent on this forum, with the exception of the occasional
>bell-ringing.  I would also encourage discussion about bardic circles, the
>need to get to know your local brewers better, the push for live musicians
>for dance (of course, that means that we'd have to have musicians for the
>None of the above is meant to sound whiney or to complain.  As Finnacan, I
>have tried to speak plainly and to the point of things I've observed.  I
>know, for a fact, that just in this writing I'm encouraged to bring music
>and a stand to events in the future, so that I and other instrumentalists
>may play for the populace, learn new music, and make new friends.  Thank
>you, Finnacan, and thank you, Master Ihon (who still is an evil man for
>leaving me in the lurch to sing for their Majesties Trimaris after a
>particularly pleasing and filling meal, but I'm not bitter .... ;-).
>Damn!  Almost exactly an hour!
>In service to the dream with a song in my heart, I am,
>HL Gerald of Leesville
>A bard of Stargate
>Bards mailing list
>Bards at ansteorra.org

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