[Bards] What is a bard?

tim jennings tim at roseneath.ca
Thu Oct 26 08:52:29 PDT 2006

Hey Maggie

The focus of bardic performance in the SCA is a tradition of oral
performance and wordsmithing.

Bards in the SCA talk about the 'power of words'. The pieces we are most
associated with are inspirational or cautionary or moral, etc (funny or
serious as needed). 

But it is a tradition of empowering our voices. 

That 'music' is a part of this is very true. My lady wife (who is better
known to you than I am ) Eleanor/Truly is well known as a bard and
harper. She accompanies herself on the harp. But she talks about her
purely instrumental work as background music. Her voice is anything but

That said (and within my range of experience), while music alone is very
powerful, within an SCA context I find all purely musical work lacks the
kind of cultural resonance that the narrative imbues. There is always
(!!) room at bardic circles for musicians and for musical performances
but the venue is not the art.

To be a bard or to practice bardic arts you must use your voice and,
IMHO, to succeed at the art you must offer some insight into the

(The nice part is that 'insight' can be as simple as laughing at
ourselves about how we wear bunny fur bikinis or the perils of drink.)

My two cents


Tim Jennings, Managing Director
Roseneath Theatre
+1 519 787 2399

Message: 4
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2006 14:27:28 -0500
From: Genie Barrett <maggie.gene at justinanimator.com>
Subject: Re: [Bards] What is a bard?
To: Ansteorran Bardic list <bards at lists.ansteorra.org>
Message-ID: < at justinanimator.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed

At 01:41 PM 10/25/2006, you wrote:
>The definition that we came up with at the first KW Bardic College 
>event (in 2000) when asked 'what the heck is bardic arts?' was:
>"Bardic Arts is Song, Story or Poetics that is relevant to the culture 
>of the society" (note the small 's' in society;)

Song... Or should it be Music?

Why this choice of words?


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