[Bards] Standards

Martha Schreffler mot at swbell.net
Mon Jan 7 11:35:49 PST 2008

My reaction to the question of standards was something along the lines of a shudder of aversion.  I'm not sure what it would accomplish unless it's for a competition and there are categories for beginner, intermediate, etc.  I know I've seen that in A&S where beginner is "never competed before", etc.  
  For just general purposes within the society,  I think there would have to be a very clear idea what it takes to be a bard of these levels and I think it would be very hard to qualify that based on discussions on this list in the past about what a bard even is.  I'd hate for the idea of standards to discourage anyone from living their dream.  Knights and dons take on students and it seems to me you'd have to have something similar in the bardic community so there is a regular system to evaluate if someone has moved to the next level. I'd hate for it to turn into a just another way to tell people "no".
  In answer to your second question about Eisteddfod, since we use it to pick the premier bard, are you thinking of levels of premier bard (multiple winners) or only letting bards of a certain achievement compete?  I don't see any harm in letting anyone compete who is interested. I'm guessing the more accomplished bard has the better chance of winning and don't think it hurts anything to have competitors.
  I remember reading about SCA history in preparation for a newcomer's class and being struck by how quickly a "pecking order" was put in place. I remember thinking human nature was a funny thing and how we seem to have this need for ranking ourselves.  I'm just not a big fan of the idea - Amata

John Hirling <jhirling at gmail.com> 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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