[Bards] Thank you and a question on catagories

Alden Drake alden_drake at sbcglobal.net
Wed Apr 26 06:52:59 PDT 2006

Several people have posted on this now, but I'll throw in my two bits.

I consider a bard to be a vocal performer AND composer.  This includes poetry, prose, song, story,
dialogue, etc.  I think composition is an especially important element though.  Anyone can
memorize and perform something another person wrote given time (and maybe some singing ability). 
But to be a bard, I think one must create from nothing.  I wouldn't call someone a baker who made
nothing but pre-packaged cake mixes.

Instrumental music is also a performance art, but I don't consider it bardic.  In fact, you'll
note that we have a Deputy A&S Minister for Music and Dance.  Note, I in no way intend to slight
musicians here.  I fiddle with instruments, but I don't call myself a musician by any means.

There are many performance artforms, and I think categorizing them into vocal performance,
physical performance, and "court" performance (for lack of a better term) breaks them up well, but
I don't think categorizing performers is all that necessary.  

Also, consider our Kingdom level championships.  We have A&S, Bardic, and Dance Champions.  That's
a bit limited, but it is what our kingdom has enough support to merit.  If a musician wants to
play a piece on an instrument in a championship, or a juggler wants to compete, I don't think we
should exclude them because we put absolute definitions on what these fields are.  Put them in
where they best fit.  Most likely that would be Bardic.  As a bard, I have no issue competing
against an instrumental piece.  We can both miss notes, forget phrases, skip verses, have out of
tune instruments, etc.  Nor would I mind competing against a juggler.  We can both "drop the ball"
on occasion.  Most bards I know are open armed and supportive of all performers.

So what it comes down to I guess (for me) is that bardic is a performance art, but not all
performance artforms are bardic.

In service,
HL Alden Drake
A Bard
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