minstrel: bardic circles

mn13189 at WCUVAX1.WCU.EDU mn13189 at WCUVAX1.WCU.EDU
Wed Apr 23 10:21:49 PDT 1997

On Wed, 23 Apr 1997, Muirgheal wrote:

> Is this true?  Bardic circles are so basic, I've always thought of them as 
> ancient.  Hasn't mankind always gathered in informal groups to sing or recount 
> stories?  I would think it's only been in the last few decades, as technology 
> has started to overshadow this practice that it's fallen into disuse.  The 
> term "bardic circle" may be un-period, but surely the practice isn't.
> Muirgheal

I suggest a ceilidh as a period example of a bardic circle.  What the term
signifies today is a consert of Celtic (usually Scottish) music, with a
line-up of various performers.  What the term *originally* meant was
something quite different.
"Ceilidh" is actually the Gaelic term for "visit."  People would gather in
someone's sheilan, or cottage, all sit around the fire in the middle of
the room, and stay up late (sometimes until morning) sharing songs and
stories.  Everyone would participate.  These people were not professional
performers, just regular folk having a good time.
This is probably the closest thing you'll find to a period bardic circle.

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