Sometimes people as me “how to I get started being a bard??”
It’s a hard question to answer because I can’t look at someone and know how they perform, what’s easy, what is a challenge…
So I made this list to help anyone who is trying to begin that path make a “performance playlist” that is diverse and yet works for them! This way you can choose a diverse set of pieces that are to your own taste and ability, as well as interest.
Here’s how it works –
– choose three categories
– pick one piece for each you’ve chosen
– learn it really well
– perform it
– repeat until you have a good set list!
You could start with….
1) a piece that inspires the folks you play with most (SCA-appropriate)
2) a piece that suits your own persona (maybe period, maybe not)
3) a piece that is period
4) a song/piece that you can teach quickly (like a round)
5) a song everyone knows and sings along with or interact with (could be a filk, period, more modern SCA piece, whatever SCA appropriate thing…)
6) a piece that’s not often heard in your area
7) an original SCA-appropriate piece
8) a piece that uses an instrument of some kind (drum, harp, whatever…)
9) a piece that’s in a language other than your own
10) a piece that is very short and memorable
If someone chooses five from this list, whatever they are, they’ll be on their way to having an excellent SCA repertoire.
Ratheflaed DuNoir suggested on the SCA Bardic Arts Facebook Group that every bard should know the following:
1) A funny story/song
2) A sad story/song
3) A song to sing the camp to sleep
4) A song of their homeland
5) A song for the children
These are excellent expansions or a good short alternative list from which to choose…..
My own answers to this -Aneleda’s List – could be:
1) “I am of the North” – an original piece that my fellow fighters like to hear and sing – or “Lifeblood” by Mistress Wyndrith Birginsdottir (a piece that inspires the folks you play with most)
2) “Maiden in the Moor Lay” Anon old English piece (a piece that suits your own persona(
3) “All in a Garden Green” or “Three Ravens” (a piece that is period)
4) “Hey Ho Nobody Home” or “Three Blind Mice” (Ravenscroft) (a song/piece that you can teach quickly)
5) “Ode to Endewearde” (original local anthem) OR “Dona Nobis Pachem” round (a song everyone knows and sings along with or interact with)
6) “I have a Younge Sister” (a piece that’s not often heard in your area)
7) “Follow Me” – a love song sung by a fighting lady (an original SCA-appropriate piece)
8) “The Herne” (a piece that uses an instrument of some kind)
9) “Amirilla Mia Bella” (a piece that’s in a language other than your own)
10) “Jaden’s Shield” original, funny song (a piece that is very short and memorable)
BUT if I were to just to, say, choose a set of five: I am of the North, Dona Nobis Pachem, Follow Me (or Lifeblood), The Herne, and Jaden’s Shield would be a solid set from this list.
Period song resources are numerous, but if you’re new and prefer to sing in English, check this other post of mine:
If you want to have suggestions on great SCA-culture songs (music of the modern middle ages), I would recommend checking the list that Master Liam St. Liam has posted at his blog. He’s a long-time SCAdian, a Pelican, and a serious SCA music lover.