All fencers, bearwards, common players in interludes and minstrels, not belonging to any baron of the realm or towards any other honourable personage of greater degree … which … shall wander abroad and have not license of two justices of the peace … shall be judged rogues, vagabonds and sturdy beggars.
The Bardic Arts is a nebulous category, but a generally accepted definition is that they are one of the many performance arts that uniquely tends to have a focus on songs that tell stories and storytelling. Those who practice the Bardic Arts are observers, keepers, performers, and often creators of the stories and songs of the history and people of the SCA, as well as works inspired by their Group/Household/Shire/Canton/Barony/Principality/Kingdom pride, events in period, and works about period times or in period settings inspired by events in the SCA.
Along with performing, many bards will add original works to the wealth of material that help support and build up 'The Dream' of the SCA. Bardic is an Art/Craft - but there is a Social aspect, as well as many opportunities for service to the Society through performance and also organizing entertainment at events.
Bardic includes recited poetry, recited prose, a cappella song (either solo or chorus), and accompanied song (either solo or chorus). That said, as there are many bardic traditions, both within the society and within period, the definition of what constitutes the Bardic Arts or a Bard is fluid.
May not be pre-17th century, but fun or interesting to sing