[Bards] Off on a tangent

Gerald of Leesville gerald.of.leesville at gmail.com
Thu Jun 12 20:25:31 PDT 2008

Well said, Paedric.  And a fine observation.
Gerald of Leesville
A minstrel of Stargate.


From: bards-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org
[mailto:bards-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org] On Behalf Of Pat Mullins
Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2008 7:18 PM
To: Ansteorran Bardic list
Subject: [Bards] Off on a tangent

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
the competition without documentation, but with no real expectation of
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
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

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