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Child Ballads in the SCA

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  • Holly
    Hello from Linette! I think that both CA issues on the Child Ballads are good resources for Scadians who are interested in the topic. Their differences in
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 8, 2008
      Hello from Linette!

      I think that both CA issues on the Child Ballads are good resources
      for Scadians who are interested in the topic. Their differences in
      style and methods are a reasonable result of differing schools of
      thought in academia and research, and I hope that we can all utilize
      what we like out of each without feeling the need to disparage one or
      the other.

      I have a copy of Dame Tsivia's CA and can type her list of Child
      Ballads which plausibly date back to period, if that's something
      people would like to seeon the list. It's fascinating to see how
      many of the ballads have origins within the medieval period.

      What I think would be a fabulous project to add to this would be to
      publish the within-period versions of said ballads, or at least, what
      books or websites they can be found in. It's one thing to say that a
      ballad's plot-line, even snippets of its lyrics, are in a 1300's
      manuscript - I frequently would be comfortable performing such a
      piece in an SCA context. Sometimes, however, I'd really like to work
      from the product closest to that which a medieval person would hear
      or know. For instance, although T.H.White based his Once and Future
      King on legends and literature which existed in period, reciting from
      that book would certainly be less close to the medieval performance
      than a recitation from, say, Geoffrey of Monmouth. Similarly, some
      versions of the Child Ballads are obviously going to be closer to the
      period versions than others, and it's very hard for someone who is
      not versed in how to research folklore to know which is which. So it
      would be amazingly wonderful to have Tsivia's list expanded in detail
      - where can one find the 1200's version of Hind Horn, for
      instance? A 1300's version of Queen Eleanor's Confession? For me
      personally, it would be very exciting to work with creating a
      performance of as early a version as possible.

      Even though it's likely most of those versions would have no music
      contemporaneously associated with the piece, there are ways of
      dealing with that. Several books have lately been published where
      the author takes lyrics without melodies and link them with melodies
      from the same period which work plausibly together. Several of the
      Child Ballads seem to be linked to Breton lais or French romances,
      and it's very possible that many of those were spoken in performance
      within period. I'm currently trying to work with some of the lyric
      translations of Marie de France's lais to create a performance for
      the SCA - I would love to see more of that sort of resource made
      known to Scadian performers. Gregory's Ballad project is really
      wonderful, too, and addresses some of the ballads I'm talking about,
      but not all. I would so love to learn more.

      Anyone interested in working on such a project? A HUGE thanks must
      go out to both Tsivia, Dani, and Gregory, for the work they've
      already done on this topic - and other scholars as well, of
      course. Asking for more is by no means a disparagement of the
      wonderful work that's been done so far - I hope it's understood as
      fervent enthusiasm for a topic we all love!

      Linette
    • tsivia@uottawa.ca
      ... go out to both Tsivia, Dani, and Gregory, for the work they ve already done on this topic - and other scholars as well, of course. Asking for more is by no
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 8, 2008
        Linette wrote:

        >Anyone interested in working on such a project? A HUGE thanks must
        go out to both Tsivia, Dani, and Gregory, for the work they've
        already done on this topic - and other scholars as well, of
        course. Asking for more is by no means a disparagement of the
        wonderful work that's been done so far - I hope it's understood as
        fervent enthusiasm for a topic we all love!

        I am **SO** for seeing more work on the non-court musics in period!!!! I
        mean, everyone who seems to perform "Great Silkie" does the 1800s version
        (usually unaware that a) it's not period and b) there ARE recorded
        probable period versions), yet there are very very few places where you
        can find the one "official" old tune. And then there's the one I collected
        from Baroness Mairi nan Beatann years ago...!! (My folklore prof was
        gobsmacked and said it was the only other version she'd ever heard which
        sounded authentic!) Both are in my C.A. ballad booklet as well.

        I'd love to see more folks team up on this. My academic work has drawn me
        far from my folklorist roots (Too far I feel some days) and as I was just
        contracted to write another book (academic women's studies textbook), I
        won't have the time myself. But I can suggest and/or advise from arm's
        length if others want to take up the torch.

        Great suggestion, Linette!!

        TSivia

        PS: I'm probably going to be attending the Ventanadur (spelling?) event in
        Myrkfallin, Aethelmearc, in 2 weekends from now...if anyone will be there,
        come over and say hello!
        TSivia
      • Kataryna Dragonweaver
        ... utilize ... or ... No disparaging intended... and on my part these rants are not rants as much as they are arguments that do stem from the differences in
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 9, 2008
          --- In SCA_BARDS@yahoogroups.com, Holly <linette@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hello from Linette!
          >
          > I think that both CA issues on the Child Ballads are good resources
          > for Scadians who are interested in the topic. Their differences in
          > style and methods are a reasonable result of differing schools of
          > thought in academia and research, and I hope that we can all
          utilize
          > what we like out of each without feeling the need to disparage one
          or
          > the other.
          >

          No disparaging intended... and on my part these 'rants' are not rants
          as much as they are arguments that do stem from the differences in
          research methods in the different schools of thought.
          :)

          > I have a copy of Dame Tsivia's CA and can type her list of Child
          > Ballads which plausibly date back to period, if that's something
          > people would like to seeon the list. It's fascinating to see how
          > many of the ballads have origins within the medieval period.
          >
          > What I think would be a fabulous project to add to this would be to
          > publish the within-period versions of said ballads, or at least,
          what
          > books or websites they can be found in.

          <snip>

          >
          > Anyone interested in working on such a project?

          I'm more then happy to host on a website any information of this
          sort. I'm a bit of a database junky so taking bits and compiling them
          is fairly simple for me... but my problem is that I haven't the time
          currently to do the digging.... but if someone wants to send me files
          of what they have then I can collate etc.
          -Kataryna
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