Audiance mood - was Re: minstrel: Lowest Common Denominator

M.Decker deckerm at
Tue Mar 21 11:26:43 PST 2000

>So what does this have to do with the reason why the newcomer in your
>shire desperately wants to wear the dress in that movie she just saw and
>is indifferent to all the books of Renaissance portraiture you've been
>showing her?  And what does it have to do with the reason why people will
>hang on every word of the 20-minute-long "Alice's Restaurant" filk and
>yawn for a two-minute sonnet?

>The relevance is that one of each pair has come with pre-existing neural
>connections that make it a richer emotional experience

That's part of it, but there are other things to consider...

Part of it is also what people are in the mood for.

When I was a kid we went into a fancy restaraunt and I could have had
anything on the menu.  But-- I was a kid, I'd been on the road and all I
wanted was a good old fashioned Peanutbutter and and Jelly sandwhich.

I was given a 'gormet' representation of what I wanted and-- it wasn't what
I wanted.... (peanut butter, orange marmelade on whole wheat)... (I think
I'm still traumatised by it...)  It wasn't what I was in the mood for, so it
couldn't satisfy me.

If you're in the mood for silliness-- a two minute serious sonnet is two
mintues too long...

Which brings us to the other part-- representation...

As a bard, mistrel, joungler... performer.. part of our job is getting a
feel for what people are in the mood for.  I bet the crowd in the mood for
silliness might love some other period forms of entertainment than the

... I mean... one of the best works I've read was from a woman troubador and
I can't for the life of me remember the true translation... but the gist of
it is hillarious.

Basically it talks about the subject of her song... endearing... loving...
and something to the tune of:

"Even though I know you're a lying pig dog bastard, who's never done a good
thing in your life and have only caused me heartache... I will sing of you
so that you can't say I've never done anything for you...."

There's a lot of witty and wonderful stuff out there and if we only stick to
the stuff shirt items-- we're going to bore people.

Don't get me wrong... I love sonnets and poetry... and just about any type
of music there is... but... what is the audiance in the mood for?

If people want humor, give them humor... like I've said... there's a place
and time for everything.  (and you *can* give them period humor)... but
don't make them stop having fun in the interest of... <gasp>   educating

What we do is both.. and it can be done wittily and craftily... which to
me... is the true Bardic fashion.

(My humble opionion, your miliage may vary, some comments not for use with
all sects.)

Mary (Briana na gealtacht)

To unsubscribe from this list, send email to majordomo at containing
the words "unsubscribe minstrel". If you are subscribed to the digest version,
say "unsubscribe minstrel-digest". To contact a human about problems, send
mail to owner-minstrel at

More information about the minstrel mailing list