minstrel: Question

Muirgheal leslyann at voyager.snetnsa.com
Fri Apr 18 13:11:15 PDT 1997

>Besides, it goes against the fabric of a TRUE Bard to change something they
>pass on, as one of the roles of a Bard was to pass on oral tradition in a
>society that was basically illiterate.

>What about "bardic licence" can a bard make a song more "politically correct"
>for an audience?
>The last poster (Talen) comments that it is against the nature of a "TRUE
>BARD" to change something.  I would personally disagree, I think it is in the
>nature of a "TRUE BARD" to improve upon anything they do.  

This may depend somewhat on what period you're from.  There are certainly lots 
of known examples of stories which were quite drastically changed and 
elaborated on by period bards/minstrels/troubadores to suit the audience they 
were performing for. I think these 'known examples', however, tend to be from 
later period, when at least a large portion of the aristocracy was literate. 
It's much harder to be sure of how bards performed in more illiterate 
cultures. Where bards were relied on as the keepers of history, there was at 
least a goal that stories should be kept in their original forms.

If this generalization is accurate enough to draw conclusions from (and I'm 
not sure that it is), it would make sense for the SCA, as a literate culture, 
to follow the later custom of freely changing and adapting songs and stories 
as needed. Those with early period personas, however, may want to stick to 
performing the earliest known version, in keeping with a persona who would 
have valued its accuracy.


Name: Lesley Anne Baker
E-mail: leslyann at voyager.snetnsa.com
04/18/97     13:11:15

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