Welcome to the SCA Bardic Arts Resource Page!

This is a website to provide resources and links for those in the Society of Creative Anachronisms (SCA), interested in the Bardic and Performing arts around the SCA Known World.

"What are the SCA Bardic Arts?"  

This 'Living Definition' was started by Master Owen Alun, Northshield, approximately AS25 during the first Known World Bardic event.  The growing list of performer types in the footnote is from expanded lists by Northshield Bards, the Midrealm Gorsedd Bardic group, and several other sources.  Ongoing changes to this living definition most recently discussed and approved during AS53.    ...With the added amused group consensus of all those reviewing this, that perhaps 'florid style' is not good for creating a "concise definition".)

SCA Bards and Bardic Arts (*in general):

Those who perform created, or selected, works with a focus around a narrative/story/idea from SCA historical eras and cultures, as well inspired by the 'Modern Middle Ages.' With the very important caveat:

"Bardic is among the Performing Arts of the SCA, not all Performing Arts are Bardic."

Bardic works:
Are most commonly presented in song, story, poetry, short prose, as well as others.  With material selected, or recreated, from the wide array of SCA Corpora historical eras and cultures, inspired by historical events, period legends and heroes.  Encouraging of original creations and arrangements.  As well as drawing inspiration and creating works from the events, experiences, traditions, people, as well as those reinforcing the culture, values, and ideals, from the 'Modern Middle Ages.

Bardic covers multiple performance types and venues*(see footnote):  
Using performance styles analogous to descriptions of what/how/where such works were presented in the vast variety of pre 17th C settings.  A few standard examples include:  Spoken and oral historical experiences passed down through the ages.  Use of poetic formats.  Songs may be presented as solo or group pieces, sometimes accompanied with instruments.

Sharing performances with audiences, in venues ranging from highly formal and solemn occasions, all the way to entirely casual; preserving and honoring the 'oral tradition.'  The original and adapted creations of bardic works continues to expand a growing shared repertoire with a chronicle of experiences being passed down through the decades in the SCA.  

Bringing all these elements together, can provide an authentic experience
for the performer and audience.

*Footnote: Multiple Bardic Performing Arts Types - including, and not limited to:

Poets, singers, singer-songwriters, storytellers, wordsmiths; minstrels, musicians, instrumentalists; Bards, Fillids, Griots, Jongleurs, Minnesingers, Meistersingers, Olaves, Scops, Skalds, Troubadours, Trouvères...

(...And Welcoming to All Friends of/within the wider Performing Arts Community including:

 Actors, Commedia Arts, Fools, Improvisational Artists, Jesters, Jugglers, Mimes, Movement Arts, Mummers, Musicians and Instrumentalists from other areas of focus, Physical Theater, Players, Stage Magicians, Theatrical Arts, and more!)

*SCA Performing Arts & Artists - including and not limited to(!):

• Theatrical Arts: Scripted works, Greco-Roman, Aristophanes, Sophocles, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Miracle plays, Mystery Cycles, etc

• Stage Magicians

• Physical Theatre: Juggling, Mime, Mumming, etc

• Improvisational theatre: Commedia dell'Arte, Kyogen, Noh, Atellan Farce/Oscan Games, etc

• Foolery and Jesters

• European & Known World Musical Arts: Vocal, Instrumentalists, etc. 

• Bardic Arts: Minstrels, Poets, Storytellers, Singers, Singer-Songwriters, etc

• Movement Arts:  including World dances that tell a story in the music, song, and in the movement of the dancers

• And many, many, many more!

The First (or Next) Question Many ask:   "How do you know if you are a bard?"

To paraphrase a quote:  "That's easy!  And it's the same answer to,

"How do you know/decide when you are an archer, vs. doing/enjoying archery?"

"There are things one enjoys casually/socially, and things that pull in your passion, and you add in the time, energy, focus to learn the skills to do it really well over a period of time.  Time that often passes without you noticing because you're doing something you deeply enjoy, often finding people with this similar shared interest traveling along side you!"; "And, yes, it is *absolutely fine* to enjoy something, even many other things, at a casual-social level, as well as to have more things you are doing or trying out, as interests change over time!  (If you don't, you might be missing the 'Modern Middle Ages' around you.)" 

~ Mistress Lucia Elena Braganza, Middle Kingdom

Image - circa 1624 - 'Jester With A Lute' - Frans Hals - Paris, Louver, - Oil Painting on Canvas,

'Jester With A Lute' Image - Found on Wikimedia Commens:  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Frans_Hals-_Jester_with_a_Lute.JPG