[Bards] Bards Digest, Vol 26, Issue 14

Mea Passavanti mea.passavanti at gmail.com
Fri Jun 13 14:34:58 PDT 2008

 Paedric -

I can agree with some of your points. Having judged both, there are a couple
of differences that I would like to point out between bardic and A&S.

While I agree that there is a different emphasis on A&S (as far as docs...)
Please note that there are no "remaining examples" of HOW the performances
were done. It is much easier to compare a reproduction gown to the original
than it is to reproduce a song, and wonder whether or not it was performed
in a certain way. Bardic is driven more by oral tradition than

More importantly, remember that judges in bardic only have a very finite
amount of time in order to make commentary. Baridc is also rarely one piece
of work. By its nature it is subjective. I can also tell you that I have yet
to refuse to give commentary to anyone who asked for it. I have always
provided my contact information so that a performer can contact me at their

People are much more touchy about critiquing a performer than critiquing a
piece of artwork because it is much more personal. I'm not saying this is
right or wrong...it just is. A&S has come a ,long way... bardic is still on
training wheels when it comes to some aspects - but we are growing and
learning everyday.

As for the documentation that I requested for this fall event... You are
correct - that the points will work in a similar manner... however... the
documentation will weigh heavily as to what I look for and judge during the


> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2008 17:17:44 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Pat Mullins <paedrics at yahoo.com>
> Subject: [Bards] Off on a tangent
> To: Ansteorran Bardic list <bards at lists.ansteorra.org>
> Message-ID: <234753.31105.qm at web45001.mail.sp1.yahoo.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> As someone who has entered both static A&S and Bardic competitions, I have
> often wondered about the major differences in the way the two venues work.
> In a baronial A&S competition, documentation is usually required. You can
> enter
> the competition without documentation, but with no real expectation of
> winning.
> You enter to show your work, to get an assessment of its quality, and to
> get
> constructive criticism on how to improve.
> You get points for having documentation, and if your documentation is done
> right, it should gain you points in nearly every other category.
> You can see and learn from the documentation of all the other entrants, and
> gain an appreciation and understanding of the work of others.
> After the competition you come back to collect your piece and judging
> sheet, and often, a small pile of beads, trinkets, and baubles. In and of
> themselves, these items have little value. But they are tangible proof that
> your effort has been seen and appreciated.
> In a bardic competition, documentation is "requested" or "encouraged",
> seldom required.
> To borrow HL Mea's example, it is worth "1-3 points". Presumably this is
> one point for turning something in, and one or two points if it actually
> contains useful information.
> The information contained, from what I have seen, is not considered when
> awarding points in other categories.
> When a performance is done, everybody claps. If it were well done, the
> applause may be long and loud. If it were dreadful, everybody still claps.
> Out of politeness or relief that it ended. Applause is often the only
> recognition anybody in the competition gets, aside from the winner.
> It can be very difficult to get judging sheets, or even feedback, after the
> competition. On at least a few occasions, I have been told by bardic judges,
> "I don't give back judging sheets." I have never heard this from a static
> arts judge.
> Imagine somebody, I'll call him "Lord Fred", travels to an event, then
> comes home to tell his friend about it. The conversation might sound like
> this:
> friend: "So, how was the event?"
> Fred: "It was good. I entered the A&S and bardic competitions."
> friend: "How was the A&S competition?"
> Fred: "Well, I didn't win."
> friend: "But how did you do?"
> Fred: "I got a 27 out of 50. But the judges said if I change this and this
> in my       documentation, I could add a few more points. And if I do that
> and that differently next time, I could do even better."
> friend: "Who won?"
> Fred: "Lady Thusandsew. She entered the most amazing item. It was a perfect
> reproduction of a period piece, made using only period materials and
> methods. I learned a lot, just from reading her documentation."
> friend: "Did anybody like your entry?"
> Fred: "Yeah, lots of people. Look at all the stuff I got! It makes me feel
> appreciated."
> friend: "How was the bardic competition?"
> Fred: "I didn't win that either."
> friend: "How did you do?"
> Fred: "I did a period piece with documentation. I think I did pretty well.
> My pacing and diction were good. I remembered it all. People listened. Some
> cried in the right places."
> friend: "What did the judges think?"
> Fred: "All I know is they didn't think I was best."
> friend: "Who won?"
> Fred: "Lord Goodsinger. He sang really well."
> friend: "What did he sing?"
> Fred: "An Irish song about English oppression."
> friend: "Did he have documentation?"
> Fred: "I don't know."
> friend: "Did anybody like your entry?"
> Fred: "Everybody clapped."
> Thanks for listening to my answer, even if it wasn't to the question you
> asked,
> Paedric

Coastal regional Hospitaler
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