[Bards] Filking

Liz Wilson ewilson618 at tx.rr.com
Sun Apr 27 03:44:17 PDT 2008

I am new to the SCA and the Bards List but I love Bardic competitions and
performances.  I'd like to try it myself although I am a very average singer.
I probably could learn to tell stories.  I don't have much fear of public performance
and speaking because, although I am now a stay at home mom, in mundane life
I was an attorney for 15 years (and I'm still licensed).  If you can do appellate 
argument or argument in a courtroom when real money is at stake you can 
probably do Bardic (although not necessarily well!)

At any rate,one of my questions relates to Filking.  If I Filk a melody, is it supposed
to be a period melody with SCA related words/theme or a non period melody with
SCA related words/theme? Or a period melody on any theme?

If I'm performing at a Bardic competition and my persona is still being
developed, do I have to stay in persona?  For example, if I compete at
Springfaire, and my persona is 1315, can I do anything in period or am I
supposed to limit myself to what would have been heard in Scotland in 1315 (if
anyone even knows what would have been heard!)  Can I just be kind of a
generalized performer and do things in period from any time frame?
What happens if I do something that is out of period (but not obviously

Also I am very familiar with repetoire from Scarborough Faire because I've been
going for 20 plus years and I have a lot of recordings.  However these songs are
not always in period.  For example, the words to Scotland the Brave, while
lovely, were actually written in the 20th century, and yet this song is performed
at Scarby.  Is it appropriate to perform at a Bardic competition or not?

Any ideas on how I find out what is in period and what
isn't for the Scarby or any other repetoire,
and what WOULD be appropriate at a Bardic competition and what
wouldn't?  I have a nice piece I am trying to prepare for Springfaire but I
don't know how to find out if it is period, other than just trying to do some
searches on the Internet about it to see what I can find out.  

Any advice to a new Bard, who is taking herself way too
seriously, would be appreciated.

Christianna (hope they won't laugh at me)
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