minstrel: Bardic in the Known World Q

Taftarus at aol.com Taftarus at aol.com
Wed Apr 23 22:03:49 PDT 1997

In a message dated 97-04-21 10:17:23 EDT, you write:

   (speaking of "Banks of the Virgi-o")
> I live in (southern) Ansteorra and I have never even heard these two 
> lines (or anything close to them) though you say they were written 
> by an Ansteorran. 

I think I have heard them before, long ago and in the north of this 
kingdom. Probably in the early years of Moonschadowe

>  And even though, I have seen this song in many places, I have only
>  heard it preformed by someone else one time.

I must say that I have not heard it but once or twice since my return to 
active participation in the SCA. Around AS XV or so, at Mona Sceaduwan
events, it was not only performed regularly -- it was choreographed!  

>  The question I would like to pose is this.
>  What is bardic like in the different kingdoms?

M'lady, I think that perhaps we live in two different kingdoms, both
called Ansteorra.  While the various bardic arts may not be so obvious 
as once they were, I find that they are possibly even more present
than once was the case.

A matter of perspective, or observation, perhaps.

>  From what I have seen of Ansteorra, Bardic is hard to find.  This is not
>  say that we do not have FANTASTIC bards.  We have lots of super-talented
>  people, but, we hardly ever hear them.  At events, the only time you hear
>  bardic is occasionally at a feast, if you listen in on a chance bardic
>  competition, or if there happens to find a bardic circle. (I probably
>  2-3/times a month, and I probably only see a bardic circle once every
>  of months).
Where once I might have expected a single formal Circle,  every third 
or fourth campfire seems to sprout at least a couple of story sessions
during the night. Where ever there is half a chance for an audience,
and at least as often for the pure joy of it, the drums begin and the
zills clash and the feet of the dancers weave their patterns.  (One
lady of note I have seen dance only in her own pavilion, and still I

I gladly see less "captive dinner theater" than was once the case.
(Entertainment during the meal is not a bad thing, but consider the
poor nobles who are expected -- in courtesy -- to cease their
repast over and over....) I gladly note more formal acting 
presentations, and enough random as well as "scheduled" 
foolery to make even Master Pepin glad of the legacy he 
established for the enjoyment of all. 

>  Do bards preform "all the time" at events?  before court? during/before
>  feast? lots of bardic circles? between rounds in a tourney? other times,
>  places?

In Ansteorra, I have seen all of these.  I have myself performed
deliberately for the kitchen and the hall, the children and the 
Crown, the newest-arrived traveller and the most established
of peers.  Formally, informally, from behind my merchant table
and from in front of the thrones, and as a teacher of various
classes which may not look at first as if they are bardic in 
> Who do you hear preform bardic (only the super bards, or 
> everyone?)  (I was very intimidated, and still am, around where 
> I live, because, most of the bards that I hear are so talented, 
> while I have to rely upon seemingly 
> endless repetitive practice and a lot of luck. =)

I hear a bit of everyone, but then I've been at it for a while.
The "super bards" that you think of I might not know, actually:
I don't make it "down South" very often.  The super-bards
that I know are folks I've known for years, and so I notice them.
The newcomers, to bardic endeavor not necessarily the SCA, 
I seek out especially and particularly, and encourage in such 
ways as I can. Not just at events, but also at other functions.

(Actually, I haven't been doing as much of that as I had hoped
to be doing currently.  Life Happens, and I have not been able
to attend the baronial Circle here on anything like a normal 
schedule for more than a year. Drat it!)
>  Any other observations?
Do you sing in your own camp at event? Do you tell stories
in the Children's Areas? Do you write poetry and submit same
to your local (or the Kingdom) newsletter?  Do you ask 
others to tell you stories, or sing for you? Do you support
the jugglers and fire-eaters and dancers with your
attention, or the fools with your laughter?

Bards support bardic endeavors by both performance and
presence as audience.

There are probably things I've left out, but (as usual) I'm getting
longwinded again....

Kihe Blackeagle (the Dreamsinger Bard)  
s.k.a. al-Sayyid Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra
   currently residing in Barony of the Steppes, Kingdom of Ansteorra
Mike C. Baker		Taftarus at aol.com		OR	KiheBard at aol.com
Any opinions expressed are obviously my own unless explicitly stated

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