[Bards] Standards

Cisco CIvidanes engtrktwo at gmail.com
Sun Jan 6 20:59:00 PST 2008

1. I do NOT agree with any the establishment of any NEW standard for 
bardic within the SCA. My reason's are completely a result of the 
social/political situation we face within an all volunteer organization. 
O bn principal alone, I would love to see a formalized process with 
ratings and ranks and so forth. However, I fully suspect that any such 
system would not only tear itself apart in record time, but its fallout 
would decimate bardic participation as we know it.

2. I DO believe we should make full use of existing standards of quality 
recognition. Example, I think that bard should be encouraged to more 
openly and more often state their list of bardic achievements (Thistles, 
for example, as well as past titles.)  This IS an imperfect fit, I 
agree, but it works within an existing system of awards and 
recognitions, meaning that as a cultural thing, it doesn't threaten to 
upend a lot of norms and traditions that have been established within 
the SCA.

And if your saying right now they you know people who SHOULD have awards 
for bardic don't---write another award recommendation!

Okay... right now your thinking "but this doesn't set any sort of 
Well, your right. Like i said, I would personally LOVE to see such a 
thing as a "warranted Bard", or the equivalent their to. But I believe 
that it would shred bardic in our all-volunteer system.

let me ask a counter question--what would standards accomplish?
Sure, on paper they would give aspiring bards something to strive for, 
and pragmatically it would give a way to potentially screen out the 
greenest of the green from some competitions.

But what about off paper? What about long time bards who don't want to 
follow that system (for whatever reason), or new bards who legitimately 
decide that the type of performing artist they want to be doesn't follow 
the standards decided upon.And then you have  the personalities who 
disagree with the establishment of standards at all, who probably won't 
have anything to do with it, but will still seek to perform in 
competitions and circles.

SO... You now have three groups of people who probably wont set out to 
meet your standards, wont display/claim any insignia related to the 
process, but yet are still excellent bards, and will likely be 
contenders in any competition.

Trust me, I WOULD honestly love to see a system like the one suggested, 
but since this game has a large and loose fitting consensuses element, I 
don't think any standard is going to survive the disapproval of the 
dissenting opinion, be they majority or minority. Its the catch 22 of 
the game we play, whether we like it or not.

BTW: I count myself as someone who  would NOT likely seek/accept/display 
any insignia or recognition of meeting any standards as a bard. I mean 
no disrespect to anyone with this statement, but as a man of principal, 
my foremost priority here is to preserve bardic in Ansteorra, an ends 
that I do not think a set of standards will serve.

I do wish to point out--again in the spirit of this being an imperfect 
fit for this topic--that some of us are missing the point and  an 
opportunity in many respects. First of all, I am actually sick and tired 
of people saying "the word bard means different things in different 
times in history". A) I got that. B) I dont really want to read a 10 
page e-mail detailing it either.

Has anyone compiled a SCA class about the different types of historical 
bardic? If so, when/where was it last taught?

Seriously, as much as I don't want to see standards, I WOULD be much 
more comfortable talking about them if the general level of knowledge 
across the kingdom about historical bardic roles was higher.

In other word, I would really get a kick out of seeing more A&S classes 
about historical bards and their jobs.

And I doubt that anyone could argue against THAT helping our situation 
across the board.

Okay...I hope I didn't wanter too much from the topic,  but I do feel 
strongly that the above items are relevant.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
SCA bard, herald, Historian (Uncertified in all three categories!)

John Hirling wrote:
> Greetings all
> I would like to have your feedback on two issues:
> 1.  Would you like to see 'standards' for bards?  For example, would 
> it be helpful if anyone who desired to call him or herself a bard 
> would immediately be considered a beginning bard; a bard who could 
> show a certain repertoire would be considered an intermediate bard; 
> and a bard who exhibited an  exceptional repertoire would be 
> considered an advanced bard.  if so,
> a) what criteria would you recommend for an intermediate bard; for an 
> advanced bard;
> b) should any criterion be qualitative or should they all be quantitative;
> c) what procedure would you suggest for determining a change in 
> standard for a bard?
> If you do not believe standards would be helpful, why not?
> 2) If you support the idea of standards, should a certain standard be 
> required to enter Eisteddfod?
> For purposes of this initial discussion, I'd appreciate it if you 
> respond to this email and not to another's opinion.  Also, while the 
> past can be informative, the present and the future are ours to 
> shape.  Let us look to that.
> Having said all that, of course, you will respond as you see fit :)
> Warmest regards,
> Ihon Vinson macFergus, OL
> Premier Bard of Ansteorra
> Deputy MoAS for Bardic & Performance
>  --
> " When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall 
> one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle." Edmund 
> Burke
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