There are songs that aren't good for arts competitions because
they're out of period, but that are still old enough to be evocative
of the period. A song about sailors might be a great bardic circle
piece, or fantastic for singing after a small feast so people can
beat on the tables and sing along. But *which* song about sailors?
One of the female-in-disguise pieces might be great, but something
about whaling and New Zealand... not great. <g>
I use dishes that "aren't period." Period dishes are in museums.
But if I choose a goblet and a plate that remind me of Renaissance
paintings, they'll probably remind others of that too.
Another Laurel was showing me some shoes she got at Walmart that look
like period shoes. HOW COOL! I was wearing shoes Richard of
Wolfswood made; hers looked as cool as mine did. Not that I don't
love mine, but the thing is that appearances and impressions are
Some people rate documentability higher than they do appearance or
courtesy. We don't need to agree on what the order of priority
should be, we just need to remember that different people have
On the spinet song question, and on cornucopia type questions, one
excellent source is the Oxford English Dictionary. If a term is
clearly out of period, you can date writings by that, sometimes. If
the word "cornucopia" was being used, then the idea was still
current. As it means "horn of plenty," it's not likely to have been
referring to something other than that image. It's the name for an
image, for a motif.
A spinet was a little harpsichord, and nowadays refers to a small
piano. For a while, back in the every-home-had-a-reed-organ day,
there were spinet organs. But there weren't spinets before 1600.
There were clavichords and harpsichords.. Those words aren't going
to fit into that song. <g> And "organ" is just a little too... meaty
a term to put into a sexual innuendo song...
I would go "time and place" on a song like that, and use it at less