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  1. PJ.Paradox
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    PJ.Paradox Member

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    Bardic Resources - A Real Life Perspective

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by PJ.Paradox, Mar 13, 2010.

    Most of my writing involves an adaptation of some form of creature from folklore, or ancient religious or mystical practice, and my current projects are no exception. Unfortunately, I had a vision of a trio of mystic musicians as protagonists and I'm not quite sure where to begin researching for real life culture references to support my theme.

    Most of us have likely heard of Sirens, Muses, Gods and Goddesses of the arts, etc. I am a little lost when it comes to human beings that use music as a means to channel supernatural power. The closest I can think of is some of the Vodoun ceremonies wherein Loa are invited to take possession, but that does not quite have the fantasy bard feel that I am investigating. There are certainly plenty of bards in fantasy fiction, the very least of which includes Dungeons and Dragons and Mercedes Lackey's "Bardic" series.

    If anyone can point me in the right direction of what folklore I should begin researching, I'd be most appreciative. Anything from specific ethnic stories, to regions, to other words besides "bard" with similar meanings to search for would be helpful.
     
  2. IamIan
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    IamIan New Member

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    While they have no supernatural ties that I'm aware of the griots of Africa are similar to the European bards.
     
  3. callmeSteve
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    callmeSteve New Member

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    There was a book that I once read that was a part of a series that may be of use to you. The series is called the Spellsong Cycle, and the author is L.E. Modessit, Jr. In the series, a music teacher from modern times gets transported into a world where music holds magical power, and that may help with some ideas of how music could be converted into magic.

    It's not exactly the research which you requested, but I thought it may nonetheless be helpful.
     
  4. MissingInAction
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    MissingInAction New Member

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    Try the Tuva People, famous for Tuvan Throat Singing.

    They had an interesting Shamanism Music relation.
     
  5. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    They weren't magical, but the filidh were sacred individuals, with close connections to the paganised Christian church of Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland. They weren't bards - that was a lower rank, who read out the file's poetry when they couldn't be bothered to do it themselves, and occasionally wrote their own work when they had the opportunity in between furthering their studies and promoting the office of their sponsor. But they were similar to what you seem to be asking for - poets, historians, philosophers, and storytellers.

    Their relation with magic was their connection of pagan rituals, and their apparent ability to control the minds of those who had commissioned their poetry. They were actually using excellent psychological techniques in their work, but the superstitious Gaelic mind saw this as their magical skills (they already believed that magic was present in the work of hereditary poets and musicians) and the filidh were almost sacred individuals, permitted to do whatever they wanted, even in blatant defiance of a contract, as they were so important.
     

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