minstrel: Definition of "Bardic" and Bardic Activities in Caid (long)

JP Andrews jpathomas at earthlink.net
Wed Apr 23 09:53:07 PDT 1997

I tend to define "Bardic" as individual vocal or musical performance. So, 
if you sing, tell stories, recite poetry, make riddles, or play an 
instrument _as an individual that's bardic. There are other things that 
are harder to pigeon hole. Juggling for instance (Lady Madb has had a 
baaaad influence on me;-) could easily be defined as a bardic art, but it 
doesn't fit in the definition above. I guess that just goes to show how 
faulty definitions can be.

I don't include dance, or drumming. Both seem to be clearly something 
else, and from a practical stand point nether dance or drumming co-exists 
well with most bardic arts. As a matter of fact, when I'm looking for a 
place to hold a bardic circle I try to find one that's as far away from 
the dancers and drummers as possible.

In central Caid bardic activities at events tend to be more or less 
unstructured. During the day (and the reader should understand that most 
Caidan events only last one day, usually Saturday, and are held in public 
parks) you can usually find someone singing or playing an instrument. 
Thoron Ravinoak brings his recorders and his harp, Cirostan brings her 
fretted dulcimers, I bring my guitars. Over the last few months we've 
seen a small increase in the number of people interested in bardic arts. 
but for years we've been more or less stable, we add a few we loose a 
few. Revels were once (it seems to me) a bigger deal than they are now, 
and I think we're a little worse off (from a bardic standpoint) for 
having less of them these days. If there is a revel, and if Thoron, 
Charles of Dublin, or I are at the event we do our best to get some 
people together. Often however there is no revel to speak of, and not 
much that we can do about it.

The wars are a different story, and most of the growth in Bardic in the 
last few years seems to me to have taken place in that area. We have 
acquired a few bards, some from other kingdoms, some from other 
organizations, that have made bardic arts at war their thing. Thomas 
White Hart and Rathfled, Black Bard of Meridies (I'm sure that's 
misspelled) are two that come to mind. There is also a household who's 
name I can't remember (their leader is a very tall Russian Lord named 
Bacca), that has been doing a lot of bardic stuff recently (or maybe I 
just noticed them recently;-).

Strangely enough, on an organizational level things are looking pretty 
good. The Caidan Circle of Bards is growing at an unheard of rate, and 
people from all parts of the kingdom are taking an interest. With any 
luck at all we'll see more bardic circles at events. But if you can't 
find a bardic circle at the event you can at least count on the Shire of 
Heatherwyne for the once a month bardic at THL Astridhr's house. It's 
open to everyone and is generally a pretty group. Here in the Barony of 
Gyldenholt we also run a once a month open bardic circle. As far as I 
know, these are the only two regular bardics in Caid.

There are other things going on. THL Astridhr just autocrated the 5th 
Bardic Colliegum, and once again it was a resounding successes. Up in 
Starkhafn they seem to have a bumper crop of very good musicians. The 
Barony of Lyondemer's LyonSong singer's have been joined by a group out 
of Altavia that seems to be doing very good work. The Merry Maker's of 
Gyldenholt are still playing period dance music (as they have been for 
the past 15 years I think) and Mistress Finella's "Phoenix Players" have 
continued to grow.

So I guess the short answer is that there's not much happening at events 
in Caid, but there's a lot happening in people's living rooms.

JP Andrews
(Lord Thomas Bordeaux)
Je voudrais que la tondeuse a gazon ecrase le chat du voisin...

Francais pour Chats par Henri de la Barbe

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