The “How do I become a Bard?” question

To my knowledge there is no formal way to become a bard (at least in Avacal), just show up and sing, play, tell stories, or whatever type of performance you do. If you do it often enough, people will come to know you as a bard… But I could be wrong here, and perhaps there is a secret Bardic initiation ceremony I don’t know about…. But for some reason people started calling me a bard one day (and frankly I don’t think I’m that good a performer, just very enthusiastic). So come out & join in, we’d love to hear you.

Some places to help you get started

Borealis Bardic Judges Rubric
The Bards and Performers of Avacal
Country Dance and Song Society
Join the Avacal Bards email group
SCA Music and Dance (& Bardic Arts)


Just a bit of etiquette for the bardic circle to help you along

Take turns.

There is no one right way to sing a song or its lyrics.

Be attentive to the performer.

If you can help it, don’t join in formal performances unless asked, or you know the performer well enough to know they don’t mind. Join in for choruses if indicated – and please indicate if you’d like people to join in. Some songs are exempt if every one joins in go for it.

For informal (campfire) singing generally join in, especially if the performer remains seated – standing usually indicates that they’d like you to listen – but not always. Try to add to and not detract from the song when you join in… don’t drown out the singer….. confused yet? I know I am.

Borealis-Bardic-3Encourage people when they are trying something new.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help/critique from known bards, we don’t bite… much :). Conversely, don’t critique someone unless they have asked for it, specifically from you.

Share: the limelight, your knowledge, your songs and stories.

If the person who wrote or filked the song is present at the bardic circle, ask them to perform it or ask their permission before you perform it .… I really should practice what I preach sometimes.

Practice everywhere to everyone all the time. (Not quite Bardiquette… oh well… be polite about it though).

The following message is brought to you by ASSoB:
There is no secret Bardic initiation ceremony in Avacal, and there never was.

Links to find period songs:
Steve Hendricks Music Collection
Coral Public Domain Library
Margareta vanden Velde’s Music Book