[Bards] Queen's College of Bards

Meggan Cividanes harperaria at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 27 14:18:08 PDT 2006

Greetings fellow bards,

What a myriad of insightful and thought provoking ideas I have recieved
to read through these past days! Having had some time to process and
consider them all, I do have my own thoughts on the College. Apologies
now if they seem a bit garbled, and their lateness in coming. I have
been working for the past few weeks at our local community theater on a
bardic performance of a more mundane sort (though the play is period in
setting and content!) 

I agree that the focus of any college or group devoted to bards be to
encourage other performers. Any group that encourages   them to
continue, and feel encouraged -but not 'forced'- to put effort into
improving what they do, is worth while. I also think that it should
encourage these within people who may never call themselves bards as
well, for that population of those who enjoy watching, and
participating, but do not consider themselves 'performers' or wish to
stand up in competitions, are bountiful in Ansteorra. 

I also agree that it would be difficult to give a limited definition of
'bard,' as certainly there is none within Ansteorra that would fully
encompass the broad variety of performers and entertainers that fall
into that category as it has been loosely defined. Nor, do I think,
'should' we try and define it too closely. Anyone who considers
themselves a 'bard'... IE, a performer of Ansteorra who wishes to be
defined as such, than I think they should be allowed. Beyond the usual
poets, story tellers, and singers, there are instrumentalists, actors,
orators, dancers, jugglers, etcetera, who certainly should not be
turned away. They are not 'excluded' from bardic competitions, rare
though they often are, and indeed I feel that all forms of
entertainment -educational or merely enjoyable- should be encouraged
'if' any member of the populace who does what they do out of a love for
performance and sharing what they do 'wishes' to be called such. 

I don't feel that things need to be necessarily more strictly regulated
as far as things like bardic circles go, though it would be nice if
people would take the little bit of effort to make sure that someone
was willing to host a circle at any event where their might be bards.
Gunnarsstead was, naturally, delightfully willing to host a bardic
circle when I asked if they would be willing to commit to hosting one
at Mooneschadowe Triumphe. Now a days, bards seem to be much more
polite to each other in  regards to making sure everyone gets to
perform, and no one is run over or left out. That courtesy should
definitely continue. And there's nothing wrong, in my mind, with the
different types of performers continuing to practice their forms, in
their own circles. Just because someone is a bard doesn't mean they
'have' to perform in a 'bardic circle' if, for example, they are
dancers. There are people who appreciate all different forms of
performance, and some who do not enjoy 'all' of them. There is nothing
wrong with this, it is simple fact. Thus our 'song/poem/story' style
bards tend to have their circles, dancers and drummers their haflas,
and everyone gets along. (I am aware that this is an oversimplification
of the situation to some extent, and does not include examples for
'all' the groups, but I feel it makes the point.) There is nothing
wrong with having a College that allows this type of difference, and
also allows that there are different ways in which performance and
practice are done. As, obviously, the college would not 'automatically'
include every performer of every style in Ansteorra. Just those who
wish to call themselves "Bard." 

I think a symbol of the Bardic College is a nice idea, but I also agree
that large baldrics and sashes are a bit much. Especially with the
number of other sashes and belt favors etc that already exist for
various other organized groups within the SCA. I also agree with those
who stated that it should not be 'required' to wear it at all times, or
even at all if someone truly doesn't want to. 

>>We can have a group of three people who agree on everything or a
group of dozens or hundreds of people who get along and support each
other without agreeing, in an imperfect but functioning college. ~
Robin of Gilwell<<

This seems a realistic definition. A group of people can still have a
feeling of inclusion and of being a group -or college- without all
agreeing on everything and always doing the same things. The common
purpose being put above individual preferences can, 

I have heard many good stories of the College of Bards at its high
point, and I think that it would be a worthy pursuit (whatever we end
up deciding to call it.) 

With joy in service,
Lillias MacGuffin
Current Title Bard of Northkeep 
Head of the Mooneschadowe Bardic Guild 

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