minstrel: Definition of Bardic arts

Fiona P. bilby at matra.com.au
Mon Apr 28 07:13:32 PDT 1997

>>Still it occasionally yields some fruit.  I'll pose the following question.
>>I recently posted a new poem in the style of a Shakesperean sonnet.
>>Nothing in the poem was modern, except that I wrote it.  Was it "aping a
>>dead tradition?"  If not, does it not demonstrate the possibility of
>>creating new, dynamic, original work in a period format?
>Sonnets are a personal favorite of mine.  Emotionally, I don't care if it is
>"aping" or not, a good sonnet will get my vote every time! :)

And yes, they were pretty impressive.

>Philosophically, I cannot consider using Period forms as "aping"...it is a
>creative process, and a particularly Period creative process.  It is
>insistence on not just the form but the content, i.e., only duplicating
>actual Period works, not new works in Period forms, and insisting that to be
>the *only* valid expression, that I find fault with.

Of course not.  Consider - is not the modern "pop" song, with its single
melodic line and instrumental harmonies, merely "aping" the English
lute-song/ayre?  (I'll get in trouble for this one, I just know it).  One
thing I like to remember is that - the past is PART of our history, and as
such helped create what exists now.  The past may be another country, but
it's not unrelated to our own and I'm certain there's a certain amount of
trade between the two places.  What we have now could not have existed
without what came before.  This is a dangerous argument to use for
justifying the use of "modern" forms in a mediaeval context, but it works
well when one is attempting to explain why a song in a mediaeval style,
which has deliberately set out to recreate a mediaeval form and feel, can
be classified as mediaeval for all intents and purposes.  NOT contemporary
1300s, maybe, but mediaeval.  Cannot the middle ages live now?

I'm thinkin especially of two Australian groups here; the Renaissance
Players and Cantigas, both of whom perform contemporary (as in 1300s
contemp.) and original (as in composed in this century) pieces - and you
only know the difference when yiu read the liner notes.  As a music
librarian I have no hesitation at cataloguing them both into the early
music section (as opposed to general classical or somewhere else).  As a
musician I'd have little compunction in performing their original pieces in
a mediaeval context (as if I'd have half a chance.  But hey).

is the intent alone important, or the result - or a combination?

Just a little ramble (it's midnight, give me break)...

                      - Fyrean McNeil of Barra -

		@~~~,~~'~~~	********    ~~~,~~'~~~@

	O feminea forma, O soror Sapientie, quam gloriosa es ...

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