minstrel: Definitions of "Bardic"

JP Andrews jpathomas at earthlink.net
Fri Apr 25 16:44:31 PDT 1997


Edwin wrote:

"I find this discussion quite amusing.  So shall we start limiting 
ourselves
by definitions?  A good thing, I suppose, for those who lack talent or 
breadth of experience.  I am NOT referring to Muirgheal, who I have never
met, by the way.

"If we limit "Bardic" to what we commonly see at SCA "Bardic Circles," 
we'll
be stuck with copying each other's work and singing old Simon and 
Garfunkle
tunes.
Belly dancing is common at the same fires as Bardic Circles, does this 
make it
Bardic?  

"A friend of mine did a work from Homer and was told by one "Bard" that 
such
work was inappropriate for SCA Bardic.  Strangely, everyone else seemed to
like it, including the King.  Why worry about catagorization.  If you can
sing, then sing.  If you can juggle, then do that.  If the only thing you
can do is sit quietly and listen, then you're just as welcome at MY fire!"


I don't think we're doing something wrong by saying "This is a bardic 
art, and that is not". It's by these exchanges of ideas that we grow. Two 
years ago I would not have thought juggling a bardic art, I have began to 
change my mind. The same goes for the performance from Homer (I suspect 
that I am the "bard" referred to above;-). I believe that at the time my 
feelings were that the particular performance had more to do with 
dramatic interpretation than storytelling, and as such was more suited to 
the theater than to the bardic circle. I may have been wrong. And the 
response my statments got from those around me made me think more about 
that performance. 

But the fact that "everyone else seemed to like it, including the King" 
is irrelevenant; a lot of people, and a lot of Kings like belly dancing, 
and I'll likely go to my grave believing that isn't a bardic art.

That being the case I'm not concerned with what is and is not belly 
dancing, I'll leave that for the dancer's to decide. I am however 
concerned with what is and is not bardic arts. I don't view a definition 
as a restriction, but as a clarification. How can we try to improve 
something if we don't know what it is, or is not? How can we even talk 
about an issue, or an art, if we don't have a clear idea of what is 
related to it? We need a definition if we're going to move forward. Not 
to forcefully and blindly remove people from the group that refers to 
themselves as "bards", but to focus our own efforts on improving our arts.

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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