minstrel: comments on Thomas' letter
Lisa and Ken Theriot
lnktheriot at compuserve.com
Mon Mar 20 14:33:26 PST 2000
< People who did not have the chance to read and learn about the medieval
times do not know the difference between a German lute of Hofner and a
medieval-arabic "al out". They just see the minstrel dressed in a wonderful
costume playing an instrument and he hears him singing a song. The dress,
the instrument and the song will be in the imagination of this person in
the audience 100 % original medieval.>
The Lowest Common Denominator strikes again! We all feel "the mood ruined"
in pretty direct relationship to how educated we are. People who know
NOTHING about period music are pretty easily fooled, the more educated,
I attended an event recently where they had a "period love song" contest; I
meant to enter, but I ran out of time to look up and polish the piece I was
going to do, so I did not enter. It turned out there was only one entry, a
(I assume) well-meaning but ignorant lady who sang a piece which I know to
be OOP. The sponsor of the contest was happy to give her the prize, so I
assume that they didn't know any more about period music than the entrant
did. I could have entered any number of pieces which would have blown the
other lady out of the water, none of which were period, but to what end?
If Greg (or most other people knowledgeable about period music) had been
judging, they would have required some documentation and the lady would not
have been able to enter. Of course there would have BEEN no entries, but
perhaps forwarding the cause of truly period music would have been better
Know your company. Cleave to your own.
< In my opinion we got a kind of responsibility to be real and authentic!
Nobody can be 100 % authentic but we can and must try to come as close as
possible to it.>
Possible and discernible only to the level of education of the assemblage.
If you feel this way, stay on Enchanted Ground. Know your company.
Cleave to your own.
< Making medieval music we should use the right instruments and if we
cannot and we put knowingly some "wrong" instruments we have the duty to
tell this our audience. I accept Lady Arabellas German Lute in a medieval
content as long as she is telling everybody that this instrument is not
medieval. I will get very angry if she does not. Sorry Milady!!!>
I agree with Brendan that detailing your variances from strict periodicity
does not belong at a bardic circle. It belongs in your documentation when
you enter an arts competition, and it forms part of your answer to any
polite queries you receive, but you will only bore and irritate people if
you break up the flow of a bardic circle with verbal documentation (unless
you can make a good story out of it!). Again, perhaps a bardic circle in
Enchanted Ground would be another matter. Know your company. Cleave to
As far as OOP instruments, I'd rather hear music on anything than not at
all (I do draw the line on anything you have to plug in). I don't think
Arabella needs to go about shouting the bardic equivalent of "Unclean!"
because her instrument isn't period; I certainly don't when I play my
guitars. On the other hand, I wouldn't take even my cittern-ish looking
guitar to a circle on Enchanted Ground. Know your company. If you can't
cleave to your own, at least try not to offer outright offense. I HAVE
seen people with lute-body guitars who look down their noses at regulation
guitar players as being "less period", and that I find as offensive as it
< I love Sean Connery and Richard Gere but when I saw the film "The first
Knight" in London with a good friend who is University Professor for
Middle-High-German Literature we both were laughing very often at the
The worst thing about the movie is that they tried to make Camelot out of
what was to be Tristan and Isolde. In an interview with Sean Connery which
I read, he said that he signed on to play King Mark of Cornwall, and was
amazed when shooting began that he had become Arthur (because the suits
didn't think T&I would sell like Camelot). Probably would have stunk
anyway, but less violently.
My two ducats,
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