Music in the SCA can be broken down into two general types, Instrumental
and Non-Instrumental. Instrumental music has many different uses
and outlets. From the formal: playing for royal processions; playing for dancers,
(though Dancing is a subject all its own);
To the informal:
sitting around the campfire entertaining camp mates;
marching to the battle (list) field;
busking, (putting out a hat and hoping for more in it at the
end than when you started).
Non-Instrumental music is primarily made up of singing, though
whistling, humming, and clapping all qualify as well. England's
Henry the second's favorite performer was famous for his ability
to "flatulate tunefully" (not that we're advocating that
sort of thing...). Singing can range from mournful love songs to
bawdy ballads; from sacred church hymns to rousing marching anthems;
as a group, or solo. it's all welcome in the SCA.
Also associated with Music are the Bards, (a term we use roughly
to mean "entertainers"). Bards do sing, play musical instruments
and such activities, but they also are known to tell stories,
recite poetry, juggle, perform magic, and a myriad of other manners
You do not need to be a virtuoso to play music -- in fact, most
of us aren't. Of course the great musicians are a pleasure to
listen to, but there is always room for another voice in the chorus;
another drum at the circle; another storyteller at the fire...