Documentation for Bardic

chant_music1Every entry must include written documentation of a minimum of 2 pages with a biblography. It can be easy to forget certain details during your oral presentation but written documentation gives you the opportunity to make sure you can cover the aspects of your piece you want and help show how you made the decisions you made. It’s a great way to show the judges what went into your pieces.

Documentation can take a couple of different forms depending on what you are comfortable with as long as the information you want to highlight is conveyed. The thing to remember is you want to move beyond just bringing photocopies of source material: to have something you wrote yourself explaining what you are entering. These two styles of documentation are:

Article Form:This is a more informal approach that allows the Competitor to create documentation suitable for publishing in an SCA newsletter as a standalone article on their piece. The language is more relaxed and the text has accompanying photos. Usually in this form, your documentation is between four to six pages. The guiding principle is to write to an audience who probably doesn’t know much about what you are entering. Competitors are encouraged to enter this style of documentation into the principality newsletter to share your interest with others following the competition!

  • Note: This option is a new, trial approach to encourage a wider interest in entering A&S competitions. Their Highnesses reserve the right to adapt this option in future for the betterment of the competition. – Here is an example of this style:
  • Scientific Approach: This method involves writing a more traditional paper with structured sections and subsections (Introduction, Methods, Discussion, and Summary etc.). While this method does allow the Competitor to more fully explore a topic on paper, it can be too long for the judges to read in its entirety. There is no length range for this category; the paper is as long as it needs to be. This is the more common approach seen at the kingdom level at present.
  • Make sure to choose an easy to read font for the text, like Arial or Times New Roman. You can always use more period looking fonts as Titles or Subtitles.ctiga9a

Some things you’ll want to cover:

Describe your piece:

  • Who: Who wrote it? Who would have performed it? Who was it written for or its intended audience?
  • What: What was the purpose the piece? What time period is it? What was the social impact of the piece? What made you choose this piece? What things were happening in the world that might have influenced the composer etc? What is the style of the piece? If music, what is the time signature, key, scale or mode etc…?
  • When: When was this piece written? Performed? Were there earlier style examples or examples in other regions?
  • Where: Where did the piece come from? What is its history? Where did the style originate?
  • Why: Why was this popular/not popular? Why was it written? Why did you choose it? Why is this piece important?
  • How: How was it performed or staged? How was it intended to be seen? How was it used in period? How did you rehearse it? How is your performance similar/different from in period?
  • Give your piece a Context: Where is it from? What can you say about the culture and time?
  • Processes involved: How did you create/rehearse it? How would it have been performed in period?
  • Choices you made in creating the piece: Can you provide time and place appropriate examples for the choices you made? Did you have to choose modern techniques and materials?
  • Summary paragraph: Sum up everything you just covered above.
  • Give a Source Listing/Bibliography: what did you use to research your piece? This can be anything; a book, musical score, paper, reliable internet sources, an artifact, even a conversation with an expert. Please make sure to include copies/pictures of extent pieces, musical scores and period source material if possible.


There are many great reasons to enter this competition besides winning. Getting your work known in the Principality and being an active, contributing member of the Bardic community comes with its own rewards.

Good luck and have fun!

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