A long, long time ago in medieval Gaelic and British culture, a bard was a professional story teller, verse-maker and music composer, employed by a patron (such as a monarch or noble), to commemorate one or more of the patron’s ancestors and to praise the patron’s own activities. (Wiki Definition)
Bards kept track of the history of their people and would observe humanity and sing about it; whether local or foreign they would tell stories, counsel against wrong behavior and sing about the consequences of attitude.
Shakespeare would not have been far removed from the Bards. The Bard order having become troupes of performers and artist guilds over time would have a lasting effect on musical story-telling. I am personally very fond of the telling a story in music!
It is often called the language of the soul and the best example I can think of is David playing skillfully for King Saul to drive evil spirits away and refresh him (I Sam 16:14-23).
In fact, according to an Assyrian bas-relief, King Sennacherib asked for a tribute from King Hezekiah in the form of male and female musicians. It seems that they were first-class performers BUT David stood out among all virtuosos!
David’s divinely inspired compositions excelled in many ways. His songs include both contemplative and pastoral psalms. They range from expressions of praise to narrative history, from the joys of the grape harvest to the pomp of the palace inauguration, from reminiscences to hope, from request to entreaty.
We must remember man is not the inventor of music but rather the mouthpiece of history, stories, news, emotions and will; a messenger of words in rhythm and tone that can affect the course of things to come.
Yes, music can alter our moods and even Neurologists have discovered that music activates many unexpected areas of the brain like emotion and memory. Even Crazy_Eyes can vouch how one of his songs drove several women wild with anticipation. I will ask him share the details with you if you and him so desire.
Here is a good example of a song with story telling including a warning in a Bard-like fashion and based on one of my favorite books: The Pilgrims Progress.
Take a listen as he tells you about a place and an experience.
Also thebuddha is a great storyteller who engages our senses with his words and expresses the emotions of others in his music so well!
Speaking of which, I have missed his storytelling these last few days and I hope he is okay? I hope he brings us a good story!
Until next time, keep the story alive and sing me a song!