Does it *sound* period?

From: (Andrew Draskoy)
Subject: Re: Authenticity & Analogy
Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1992 19:39:57 GMT

Bertram proposed a model for analysing songs/performances to determine acceptability for authenticity, on the criteria of tune, lyrics/language, and instrumentation.

What to sing and how to sing it while maintaining that "A-feeling" has been my main focus in the society. I've come up with what I feel is a satisfactory approach. Let me see if I can put it in words. (I should explain that I sing folk, traditional, and other songs outside the SCA.)

When I learn a new piece, I look at it's elements to see if they are period, blatantly non-period, or somewhere in between. I also check my overall impression of the piece, since quantitative analysis only works so well on an abstract artistic object. If *any* element is obviously non-period to my perception (being vaguely knowledgable about it) then I won't sing it at an event, though I might consider it at a post-revel. Period english songs are unfortunately rare, so I think it's valid to flesh out a repertoire with pieces that still maintain a period feel.

I look at slightly different elements than Bertram suggests. Keeping in mind that I haven't done this consciously, here's my stab at a checklist (everything here is personal opinion, BTW.)

Sorry, this is off the top of my head and not as coherent as I would like, but I'll send it anyway to stimulate further discussion.

References (from memory - I'll double-check later):

McGee, Timothy; Medieval and Renaissance Music - A Performers Guide
Child, Francis J.; English and Scottish Popular Ballads
Bartok, Bela - a study of Hungarian folk song - I don't recall the title, send email if you want bibliographic data.

Miklos, singer in herald's clothing
beyond the Glass Mountain, farther than the birds fly
dancing away in far Ar n-Eilean-ne

Webbed by
Gregory Blount of Isenfir