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Re: Re: Bardic Defenders

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  • jsand713@xx.xxxxxx.xxx
    ... What about the Royal College of Bards. I haven t heard anything about them but I do have a copy of their charter. It seems that judging this sort of
    Message 1 of 35 , Oct 5, 1999
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      On 10/05/99 15:58:54 you wrote:
      >
      >From: C&HWood <norseman@...>
      >
      >I think one of the difficulties (in my mind) in deciding who should judge
      >the Bardic Defenders Comp springs from an uncertainty of exactly what that
      >title is going to mean. Will the Bardic Defender be in some way
      >representing the Southern Region in general? That would seem logical to me.

      What about the Royal College of Bards. I haven't heard anything about them but I do have a copy
      of their charter. It seems that judging this sort of thing should be right up their alley.

      >If so, then I believe that the general populace should have a chance to
      >take part in the choosing of their Bardic Defender. Now, before anyone
      >gets all het up, I'm well aware of the problems associated with having the
      >general populace judge a competition, especially a Bardic one. Often what
      >appeals most to the majority of people not involved in the Bardic Arts is
      >exactly what is least-related to our endeavors in medieval performance art.
      > This is why winners of bardic comps are often people who performed filks
      >to Broadway showtunes, late 19th century folk songs, songs with original
      >modern tunes not related to period music, etc. Audiences often tend to go
      >with what is showy and glittery (in a performance sense) rather than with
      >less-showy performances with perhaps more artistic merit. And that is
      >(often, IMHO) unfortunate.
      >
      >BUT, if the performer is supposed to be inspiring the general populace,
      >then it may not do much good for the winner to be chosen by a bunch of
      >heavily-into-period-stuff judges with their own very particular prejudices.
      > What a small panel of performance Laurels or Maunches or Troubadours or
      >whatevers like may not be at all what the general populace had in mind for
      >rousing inspiration. And that, too, would be unfortunate.

      This gets into that wonderful discussion of what is a bards purpose? Entertainment? Education?
      Both? Edification? I feel that is up to each performer.

      <snipped
      >
      >All this blithering will eventually reach a conclusion: my idea for the
      >competition would be:
      >
      >Depending on number of entrants, one or two performances by each, performed
      >in the main hall but with only the smaller panel of "knowledgable people"
      >(Laurels, Maunches, Troubs, whoever felt sufficiently qualified to
      >volunteer) actively judging. These judges would, after the "first round,"
      >weed the field down to a manageable size (if we started with 20, we'd go to
      >perhaps 5-6). They would take care to pick performers who not only showed
      >good performance skill, but also used period or period-style pieces, and
      >had some knowledge of period practice.
      >
      >The "second round" of performers (who presumably all meet a certain level
      >of quality determined by the above judges) would perform for the main hall
      >(*Please!* not at the feast! Not in the East!), and be judged by all
      >attending. This judging would be much less formal, and involve only each
      >person putting in a vote for their choice for Bardic Defender. A silent
      >method using beans or tokens would be best (I know that gauging the levels
      >of cheers for each performer might be less modern-bureaucracy-seeming, but
      >that is a humiliating event that no performer should *never* have to
      >undergo. Been there, done that, won, still absolutely *hated* it!).
      >
      >I like my idea because it gives those knowledgable people a chance to make
      >certain that the Bardic Defender will be fairly high-quality, performance-
      >and authenticity-wise, while also insuring that the general populace has a
      >say in who will inspire them. The mass audience at the event is not
      >required to pay strict attention all day long - something we all know is
      >difficult to demand of 200 people! Performers without a great deal of
      >authentic pieces or knowledge will still have the opportunity to show what
      >they *can* do, while those who do have the greatest skill and authenticity
      >will rightly be rewarded by continuing on to the second round.
      >
      >Comments welcome - I'm just shooting out ideas here.

      This sounds good, but, I still favor a fairly standard set of judging criteria that at least
      tries to keep judicial bias out of the judging. Did you get a copy of my proposal?

      Omar Mohammud Mirzazadeh



      Information Isn't Knowledge
    • C&HWood
      ... the SR Title Bard/Bardic ... Actually, Omar, I think that the fact that the definition of SR Bardic Defender hasn t been settled is the reason for all
      Message 35 of 35 , Oct 8, 1999
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        At 06:04 PM 10/8/99 -0500, you wrote:
        >From: jsand713@...
        >
        >On 10/08/99 15:13:34 you wrote:
        ><snipped>
        >
        >>
        >>It would separate those that write from those that don't. If the position
        >>is being designed as one that requires the Defender to write original
        >>pieces, then that would be pertinent. If it's not an aboslute requirement
        >>of the job, then it would be unnecessary and IMO undesirable to test the
        >>entrants for that ability.
        >
        >But it hasn't been settled. At least I didn't think it had been.
        >
        >Shall we get into the discussion of what the qualifications and duties of
        the SR Title Bard/Bardic
        >Defender are?

        Actually, Omar, I think that the fact that the definition of SR Bardic
        Defender hasn't been settled is the reason for all (well, many) of the
        points of disagreement so far. I think that has to be settled first before
        it's possible to decide how to best choose the person who fills that spot.

        My opinion of what the SR Bardic Defender should be: a performer who can
        perform in whatever manner to inspire the populace of the SR. They should
        be able to rouse an army, inspire honor in tourney entrants, invoke love of
        our Kingdom & Region, encourage camaraderie, and most of all, entertain.
        Their duties should be to do just that. To perform on field and in hall.
        Versatility of form is a bonus, but in my mind not absolutely necessary.
        Same with the ability to create original material.

        In giving my opinion, however, I do not want to seem to be saying mine
        should count for more than anyone else's. The biggest reason I think the
        general audience should have a say (at least a partial say in the final
        round) is because we *all* will be represented by, inspried by, and
        entertained by, this person. One person's opinion, or the opinion of a
        small group of people, however well-meaning, shouldn't be the end-all.

        I had written a point-by-point reply to your long letter of earlier, but
        hadn't finished it or sent it because I realized I was getting
        cantankerous. I don't want to be cantankerous, or even to be perceived to
        be that way (oops! too late...), so I'm taking a deep breath and reminding
        myself that any bardic activity will be better than none, so we can't lose
        even if what we do have is not to my liking.

        Anyway, I think I can boil the whole reply to this: You feel the Bardic
        Defender should be someone who shows skill in the tradition (Celtic) Bardic
        arts of music, poetry, and storytelling, and possibly in extemporaneously
        writing pieces as well. To you, the term bard means someone involved in
        recreating those traditions and not just someone who performs; therefore
        it's obvious to you that a Bardic Defender is someone who wants to do all
        three...

        Whereas I believe that in the East Kingdom, the term bard is often (perhaps
        even usually) applied to any performer, whether or not they emulate the
        Bards of Celtic tradition. ( Please, other Easterners, correct me if I'm
        wrong. I know that people are aware of the older, more accurate meaning of
        bard, but isn't the other meaning commonplace here? Sometimes I think I'm
        talking in a vaccuum here). I see nothing wrong with versatile
        performers/writers gaining an edge in the comp, but I would rather not see
        those that specialise for whatever reason eliminated before the competition
        even begins.

        Soooo, is there some way we can compromise here? Be inclusive of any
        performer who wants to try, while still rewarding greater versatility, and
        ultimately ending up with someone the populace will approve of?

        One idea: Hold the three separate forms as discussed, and give points just
        for entering each category. Have the points factored in somehow (math TBD)
        with the judging scores to determine the top few. This way, a spectacular
        performer in one category is unlikely to get in the final round unless they
        at least try another form - but at least they technically have a chance.
        People who want to compete but don't want to risk embarrassment in a field
        they're inexperienced in will still have the chance to perform, even though
        they probably won't go on to the finals (could even give out little prizes
        for individual categories, or from individuals of note). And the finals
        will probably be filled with entrants who are at least competent in at
        least two areas of endeavor.

        <sidebar>I know it doesn't fit your model of Bardic (tm - Celtic) but if we
        were doing something like this, then I'd personally be interested in seeing
        music divided into vocal and instrumental. There is a *vast* difference
        between singing and playing an instrument - often more so than the
        difference between storytelling and poetry (I have a few pieces I never
        know which category they go in - is a story told in rhyme a story or a
        poem?). If we have only one performance for music, people who could
        perform with both voice and instrument will be forced to choose one or the
        other, or perform a piece with accompaniment, which usually is much more of
        a vocal piece than an instrumental one.<end sidebar>

        Anyway, I hope that the above idea sparks some more. Except for getting
        cantankerous ;) I'm enjoying the discussion!

        Linette
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