[ae-mod] [SCA-AE] Music in AEthelmearc
gwendolyngrace at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 21 21:15:03 EST 2007
I missed the beginning of this conversation, so if I
repeat anything already said, please forgive me.
--- Beth <RoseThorne at att.net> wrote:
> Once upon a time, when AEthelmearch was still a
> principality of the
> East, there were bardic circles at nearly every
> event that I went to.
As Lady Kazi rightly said, these things do go in
cycles. But having mined the East for some of its
bardic traditions as AEthelmearc transitioned to
kingdom, I can say with some confidence that bardic
arts were downswinging in the East (for a number of
reasons not germaine to this discussion) at the same
time as the AEthelmearcian bards were striving to find
our own identity.
> Upon moving back to Pennsylvania, I found
> AEthelmearc coming into its
> own as the principality was in the final steps of
> becomming a kingdom
> in its own right. The music just doesn't seem to be
> as prominent now.
Depends on where and when you go, milady. And again to
support Kazi's statement, we're doing much better now
than we were, say, 9 years ago. But some events
definitely lend themselves to more singing and music
than others. Sometimes it's a question of carving out
a space for it; other times I think the action simply
needs a "ring-leader" to get things going. I remember
Lady Maeve, Her Excellency Marguerite, and several
others frequently being these "instigators" back in
This may be controversial, but when I first became
active in AEthelmearc there was a perceptible
"backlash" against bardic performance. For the most
part, our bards are courteous and do not want to be
thought of as a nuisance or a disruption. For this
reason, some bards are reluctant to co-opt a space for
bardic unless invited to do so. Therefore, even if
music would be welcome, it sometimes doesn't happen.
> Where can one procure an AEthlmearch songbook? Are
> they available
> online? Most importantly, what recommendations do
> you have to promote
> interest in the bardic arts...not just songs but
> stories and jokes and
> tales of our history?
Silence de Cherbourg is the current coordinator of the
AEthelmearc Bardic College and she would have
information about whether she still has any songbooks.
We generally try to make sure that it is updated about
every other year, and we make copies available every
year at the Kingdom encampment at Pennsic. The entire
populace is most welcome to come out for Pennsic
opening ceremonies and participate in our annual
"kingdom sing" while we await the kingdoms of the
known world - it's also a great way to learn some of
the new songs.
AEthelmearc also hosts a bardic circle each year at
the royal encampment, usually Thursday night of the
second week of Pennsic.
As for promoting the arts, as I said, I think the key
is to connect to others, encourage the arts, make it
clear when they are welcome in your midst. Contribute
- anyone can start with a "NS, There I was" story and
develop it into a more formal performance piece.
Anytime I am lucky enough to get to an AEthelmearc
event, it doesn't take much arm-twisting to get me to
sit with folks and sing.
There's also the AEbards list:
which is open to anyone who has an interest
and the College of Bards website:
which has resources, including MP3s of some kingdom
P.S. - I missed the beginning of the "Scarlet"
discussion, too: Yes, it's in 6/8, but a lot of
bodhran rhythms adopt a 6/8 feel and it's easy enough
to make it sound "marchy" (or martial) by emphasizing
the downbeat and pushing the tempo. But it can be hard
to sing that fast and march at the same time! BTW, the
first time I sang it for Michael, he actually did a
Viennese Waltz step. :^D
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