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Music of Wales

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The Music of Wales (Welsh: Cerddoriaeth Cymru), particularly singing, is a significant part of Welsh national identity, and the country is traditionally referred to as "the land of song".[1]

This is a modern stereotype based on 19th century conceptions of Nonconformist choral music and 20th century male voice choirs, Eisteddfodau and arena singing, such as sporting events, but Wales has a history of music that has been used as a primary form of communication.[1]

Historically, Wales has been associated with folk music, choral performance, religious music and brass bands. However modern Welsh music is a thriving scene of rock, Welsh language lyricism, modern folk, jazz, pop, and electronic music. Particularly noted in the UK are the Newport rock scene, once labelled 'the new Seattle', and the Cardiff music scene, for which the city has been labelled 'Music City', for having the second highest number of independent music venues in the UK.[2]

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Welsh language

Welsh language

Welsh is a Celtic language of the Brittonic subgroup that is native to the Welsh people. Welsh is spoken natively in Wales, by some in England, and in Y Wladfa. Historically, it has also been known in English as "British", "Cambrian", "Cambric" and "Cymric".

Nonconformist (Protestantism)

Nonconformist (Protestantism)

In English church history, the Nonconformists, also known as a Free Church person, are Protestant Christians who did not "conform" to the governance and usages of the established church, the Church of England. Use of the term in England was precipitated after the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660, when the Act of Uniformity 1662 renewed opposition to reforms within the established church. By the late 19th century the term specifically included other Reformed Christians, plus the Baptists, Brethren, Methodists, and Quakers. The English Dissenters such as the Puritans who violated the Act of Uniformity 1559 – typically by practising radical, sometimes separatist, dissent – were retrospectively labelled as Nonconformists.

Music of Newport

Music of Newport

The Newport music scene, in and around Wales' third city, has been well documented and acclaimed for cultivating bands, singers, and famous music venues. It has been traditionally a rock city since the 1970s, but it has evolved over the years into forms of punk, 1990s alt-rock, and more recently metal and hip-hop.

Music of Cardiff

Music of Cardiff

The music of Cardiff has been dominated mainly by rock music since the early 1990s with later trends developing towards more extreme styles of the genre such as heavy metal and metalcore music. It, along with the nearby music scene in Newport, has brought a number of musicians to perform or begin their careers in South Wales.

History

Early song

Wales has a history of folk music related to the Celtic music of countries such as Ireland and Scotland. It has distinctive instrumentation and song types, and is often heard at a twmpath (folk dance session), gŵyl werin (folk festival) or noson lawen (a traditional party similar to the Gaelic "Céilidh"). Modern Welsh folk musicians have sometimes reconstructed traditions which had been suppressed or forgotten, and have competed with imported and indigenous rock and pop trends.

Wales has a history of using music as a primary form of communication.[1] Harmony and part singing is synonymous with Welsh music. Examples of well-developed, vertical harmony can be found in the Robert ap Huw Manuscript dating back to the 1600s. This text contains pieces of Welsh music from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries that show amazing harmonic development. [3][4] The oldest known traditional songs from Wales are those connected to seasonal customs such as the Mari Lwyd or Hunting the Wren, in which both ceremonies contain processional songs where repetition is a musical feature.[1] Other such ceremonial or feasting traditions connected with song are the New Year's Day Calennig and the welcoming of Spring Candlemas in which the traditional wassail was followed by dancing and feast songs. Children would sing 'pancake songs' on Shrove Tuesday and summer carols were connected to the festival of Calan Mai.[1]

For many years, Welsh folk music had been suppressed, due to the effects of the Act of Union, which promoted the English language,[5] and the rise of the Methodist church in the 18th and 19th century. The church frowned on traditional music and dance, though folk tunes were sometimes used in hymns. Since at least the 12th century, Welsh bards and musicians have participated in musical and poetic contests called eisteddfodau; this is the equivalent of the Scottish Mod and the Irish Fleadh Cheoil.[6]

18th and 19th century, religious music

Music in Wales is often connected with male voice choirs, such as the Morriston Orpheus Choir, Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir and Treorchy Male Voice Choir, and enjoys a worldwide reputation in this field. This tradition of choral singing has been expressed through sporting events, especially in the country's national sport of rugby, which in 1905 saw the first singing of a national anthem, Wales's Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, at the start of an international sporting encounter.

Welsh traditional music declined with the rise of Nonconformist religion in the 18th century, which emphasized choral singing over instruments, and religious over secular uses of music; traditional musical styles became associated with drunkenness and immorality. The development of hymn singing in Wales is closely tied with the Welsh Methodist revival of the late 18th century.[7] The hymns were popularised by writers such as William Williams, while others were set to popular secular tunes or adopted Welsh ballad tunes.[7] The appointment of Henry Mills as a musical overseer to the Welsh Methodist congregations in the 1780s saw a drive to improve singing throughout Wales. This saw the formation of local musical societies and in the first half of the 19th century Musical primers and collections of tunes were printed and distributed.[7] Congregational singing was given further impetus with the arrival of the temperance movement, which saw the Temperance Choral Union (formed in 1854) organising annual singing festivals, these included hymn singing by combined choirs. The publication of Llyfr Tonau Cynulleidfaol by John Roberts in 1859 provided congregations with a body of standard tunes that were less complex with unadorned harmonies. This collection began the practice of combining together to sing tunes from the book laid the foundation for the Cymanfa Ganu (the hymn singing festival).[8] Around the same period, the growing availability of music in the tonic sol-fa notation, promoted by the likes of Eleazar Roberts, allowed congregations to read music more fluently.[9] One particularly popular hymn of this period was "Llef".

In the 1860s, a revival of traditional Welsh music began, with the formation of the National Eisteddfod Society, followed by the foundation of London-area Welsh Societies and the publication of Nicholas Bennett's Alawon fy Ngwlad ("Tunes of my Land"), a compilation of traditional tunes, in the 1890s.[10]

19th–20th century, secular music

A tradition of brass bands dating from the Victorian era continues, particularly in the South Wales Valleys, with Welsh bands such as the Cory Band being one of the most successful in the world.

Dr Joseph Parry, composer of Myfanwy
Dr Joseph Parry, composer of Myfanwy

Although choral music in the 19th century by Welsh composers was mainly religious, there was a steady body of secular songs being produced. Composers such as Joseph Parry, whose work Myfanwy is still a favourite Welsh song, were followed by David Jenkins and D. Emlyn Evans, who tailored songs specifically for the Victorian music market.[9] These secular hymns were embraced by the emerging male voice choirs, which formed originally as the tenor and bass sections of chapel choirs, but also sang outside the church in a form of recreation and fellowship.[11] The industrial workforce attracted less of a jollity of English glee clubs and also avoided the more robust militaristic style of music. Composers such as Charles Gounod were imitated by Welsh contemporaries such as Parry, Protheroe and Price to cater for a Welsh fondness of dramatic narratives, wide dynamic contrasts and thrilling climaxes.[11] As well as the growth of male voice choirs during the industrial period, Wales also experienced an increase in the popularity of brass bands. The bands were popular among the working classes, and were adopted by paternalistic employers who saw brass bands as a constructive activity for their work forces.[12] Solo artists of note during the nineteenth century included charismatic singers Robert Rees (Eos Morlais) and Sarah Edith Wynne, who would tour outside Wales and helped build the country's reputation as a "land of song".[13][14]

In the twentieth century, Wales produced a large number of classical and operatic soloists of international reputation, including Ben Davies, Geraint Evans, Robert Tear, Bryn Terfel, Gwyneth Jones, Margaret Price, Rebecca Evans and Helen Watts, as well as composers such as Alun Hoddinott, William Mathias, Grace Williams and Karl Jenkins. From the 1980s onwards, crossover artists such as Katherine Jenkins, Charlotte Church and Aled Jones began to come to the fore. Welsh National Opera, established in 1946, and the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, launched in 1983, attracted attention to Wales's growing reputation as a centre of excellence in the classical genre.

Composer and conductor Mansel Thomas OBE (1909–1986), who worked mainly in South Wales, was one of the most influential musicians of his generation. For many years employed by the BBC, he promoted the careers of many composers and performers. He himself wrote vocal, choral, instrumental, band and orchestral music, specialising in setting songs and poetry. Many of his orchestral and chamber music pieces are based on Welsh folk songs and dances.

Post-1945, popular music

After World War II, two significant musical organisations were founded, the Welsh National Opera and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, both were factors in Welsh composers moving away from choral compositions to instrumental and orchestral pieces. Modern Welsh composers such as Alun Hoddinott and William Mathias produced large scale orchestrations, though both have returned to religious themes within their work. Both men would also explore Welsh culture, with Mathias setting music to the works of Dylan Thomas, while Hoddinott, along with the likes of Mervyn Burtch and David Wynne, would be influenced by the poetic and mythical past of Wales.[9]

The 20th century saw many solo singers from Wales become not only national but international stars. Ivor Novello, who was a singer-songwriter during the First World War. Also, opera-singers such as Geraint Evans and later Delme Bryn-Jones found fame post World War II. The 1960s saw the rise of two distinctive Welsh acts, Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey, both of whom defined Welsh vocal styles for several generations.

Shirley Bassey was the first Welsh person to gain a No. 1 single.[15]
Shirley Bassey was the first Welsh person to gain a No. 1 single.[15]

The 1960s saw important developments in both Welsh and English language music in Wales. The BBC had already produced Welsh language Radio programmes, such as Noson Lowen in the 1940s, and in the 1960s the corporation followed suite with television shows Hob y Deri Dando and Disc a Dawn giving Welsh acts a weekly stage to promote their sound. A more homely programme Gwlad y Gan was produced by rival channel TWW which set classic Welsh songs in idyllic settings and starred baritone Ivor Emmanuel. The Anglo-American cultural influence was a strong draw on young musicians, with Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey becoming world-famous singers; and the growth of The Beatles' Apple Records label saw Welsh acts Mary Hopkin and Badfinger join the roster. Not to be outdone, the short lived Y Blew, born out of Aberystwyth University, became the first Welsh language pop band in 1967.[16] This was followed in 1969 with the establishment of the Sain record label, one of the most important catalyst for change in the Welsh language music scene.[17]

In more modern times there has been a thriving musical scene. Bands and artists which have gained popularity include acts such as Man, Budgie, and solo artists John Cale & Mary Hopkin in the early 1970s and solo artists Bonnie Tyler and Shakin' Stevens in the 1980s, but through mimicking American music styles such as Motown or Rock and Roll. The Welsh language scene saw a dip in commercial popularity, but a rise in experimentation with acts such as punk band Trwynau Coch leading into a 'New Wave' of music. Bands that followed, like Anhrefn and Datblygu, found support from BBC Radio 1 disc jockey John Peel, one of the few DJs outside Wales to champion Welsh language music.

Wales embraced the new music of the 1980s and 1990s, particularly with the thriving Newport rock scene for which the city was labelled 'the new Seattle'. Acts and individuals based in the city during the period included Joe Strummer of The Clash, Feeder, The Darling Buds, Donna Matthews of Elastica, as well as Skindred and punk and metal acts. Famous performers or attendees at venues such as TJ's included Oasis, Kurt Cobain, and others.

21st century

The early 21st century produced a credible Welsh 'sound' embraced by the public and the media press of Great Britain. Such acts included the Manic Street Preachers, Stereophonics, Catatonia, Super Furry Animals and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. The first two allowed the Welsh pop scene to flourish, and while not singing in Welsh they brought a sense of Welshness through iconography, lyrics and interviews. The latter two bands were notable for bringing Welsh language songs to a British audience. Music venues and acts thrived in the 2010s, with the noted success of the Cardiff music scene, for which the city has been labelled 'Music City'.

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Folk music

Folk music

Folk music is a music genre that includes traditional folk music and the contemporary genre that evolved from the former during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, music that is played on traditional instruments, music about cultural or national identity, music that changes between generations, music associated with a people's folklore, or music performed by custom over a long period of time. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. The term originated in the 19th century, but folk music extends beyond that.

Celtic music

Celtic music

Celtic music is a broad grouping of music genres that evolved out of the folk music traditions of the Celtic people of Northwestern Europe. It refers to both orally-transmitted traditional music and recorded music and the styles vary considerably to include everything from traditional music to a wide range of hybrids.

Ireland

Ireland

Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, in north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.

Scotland

Scotland

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a 96-mile (154-kilometre) border with England to the southeast and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast and east, and the Irish Sea to the south. It also contains more than 790 islands, principally in the archipelagos of the Hebrides and the Northern Isles. Most of the population, including the capital Edinburgh, is concentrated in the Central Belt—the plain between the Scottish Highlands and the Southern Uplands—in the Scottish Lowlands.

Mari Lwyd

Mari Lwyd

The Mari Lwyd is a wassailing folk custom found in South Wales. The tradition entails the use of an eponymous hobby horse which is made from a horse's skull mounted on a pole and carried by an individual hidden under a sackcloth.

Cutty Wren

Cutty Wren

"The Cutty Wren" and its variants such as "The Hunting of the Wren" are traditional English folk songs. It is also the territorial song for the British overseas territory of Tristan da Cunha. The origins and meaning of the song are disputed. It is number 236 in the Roud Folk Song Index.

Calennig

Calennig

Calennig [kaˈlɛnɪɡ] is a Welsh word meaning "New Year celebration/gift", although it literally translates to "the first day of the month", deriving from the Latin word kalends. The English word "Calendar" also has its root in this word.

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, observed in many Christian countries through participating in confession and absolution, the ritual burning of the previous year's Holy Week palms, finalizing one's Lenten sacrifice, as well as eating pancakes and other sweets.

Calan Mai

Calan Mai

Calan Mai or Calan Haf is a May Day holiday of Wales held on 1 May. Celebrations start on the evening before, known as May Eve, with bonfires; as with Calan Gaeaf or 1 November, the night before is considered an Ysbrydnos or "spirit night" when spirits are out and about and divination is possible. The tradition of lighting bonfires celebrating this occasion happened annually in South Wales until the middle of the 19th century.

Methodism

Methodism

Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity whose origins, doctrine and practice derive from the life and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John's brother Charles Wesley were also significant early leaders in the movement. They were named Methodists for "the methodical way in which they carried out their Christian faith". Methodism originated as a revival movement within the 18th-century Church of England and became a separate denomination after Wesley's death. The movement spread throughout the British Empire, the United States, and beyond because of vigorous missionary work, today claiming approximately 80 million adherents worldwide.

Hymn

Hymn

A hymn is a type of song, and partially synonymous with devotional song, specifically written for the purpose of adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification. The word hymn derives from Greek ὕμνος (hymnos), which means "a song of praise". A writer of hymns is known as a hymnist. The singing or composition of hymns is called hymnody. Collections of hymns are known as hymnals or hymn books. Hymns may or may not include instrumental accompaniment.

Bard

Bard

In Celtic cultures, a bard is a professional story teller, verse-maker, music composer, oral historian and genealogist, employed by a patron to commemorate one or more of the patron's ancestors and to praise the patron's own activities.

Styles of Welsh music

Traditional folk music

Early musical traditions during the 17th and 18th century saw the emergence of more complex carols, away from the repetitive ceremonial songs. These carols featured complex poetry based on cynghanedd, some were sung to English tunes, but many used Welsh melodies such as 'Ffarwel Ned Puw'.[1] The most common Welsh folk song is the love song, with lyrics pertaining to the sorrow of parting or in praise of the girl. A few employ sexual metaphor and mention the act of bundling. After love songs, the ballad was a very popular form of song, with its tales of manual labour, agriculture and the every day life. Popular themes in the 19th century included murder, emigration and colliery disasters; sung to popular melodies from Ireland or North America.[1]

The instrument most commonly associated with Wales is the harp, which is generally considered to be the country's national instrument.[18] Though it originated in Italy, the triple harp (telyn deires, "three-row harp") is held up as the traditional harp of Wales: it has three rows of strings, with every semitone separately represented, while modern concert harps use a pedal system to change key by stopping the relevant strings. After losing ground to the pedal harp in the 19th century, it has been re-popularised through the efforts of Nansi Richards, Llio Rhydderch and Robin Huw Bowen. The penillion is a traditional form of Welsh singing poetry, accompanied by the harp, in which the singer and harpist follow different melodies so the stressed syllables of the poem coincide with accented beats of the harp melody.[19]

The earliest written records of the Welsh harpists' repertoire are contained in the Robert ap Huw manuscript, which documents 30 ancient harp pieces that make up a fragment of the lost repertoire of the medieval Welsh bards. The music was composed between the 14th and 16th centuries, transmitted orally, then written down in a unique tablature and later copied in the early 17th century. This manuscript contains the earliest body of harp music from anywhere in Europe and is one of the key sources of early Welsh music.[20] The manuscript has been the source of a long-running effort to accurately decipher the music it encodes.

Another distinctive instrument is the crwth, also a stringed instrument of a type once widespread in northern Europe, it was played in Wales from the Middle Ages, which, superseded by the fiddle (Welsh Ffidil), lingered on later in Wales than elsewhere but died out by the nineteenth century at the latest.[21] The fiddle is an integral part of Welsh folk music. Other traditional instruments from Wales include the Welsh Bagpipes and Pibgorn.

Folk music

Welsh folk is known for a variety of instrumental and vocal styles, as well as more recent singer-songwriters drawing on folk traditions.

Dafydd Iwan, co-founder of the Sain record label
Dafydd Iwan, co-founder of the Sain record label

By the late 1970s, Wales, like its neighbours, had seen the beginning of a roots revival, the beginnings of which can be traced back to the 1960s folk singer-songwriter Dafydd Iwan. Iwan was instrumental in the creation of a modern Welsh folk scene, and is known for fiercely patriotic and nationalistic songs, as well as the foundation of the Sain record label. The Festival Interceltique de Lorient saw the formation of Ar Log, who spearheaded a revival of Welsh fiddling and harp-playing, and continued recording into the 21st century. A Welsh session band, following in the footsteps of their Irish counterparts Planxty, Cilmeri recorded two albums with a uniquely Welsh feel. Welsh folk rock includes a number of bands, such as Moniars, Gwerinos, The Bluehorses, Bob Delyn a'r Ebillion and Taran.

Sain was founded in 1969 by Dafydd Iwan and Huw Jones with the aid of funding from Brian Morgan Edwards.[22] Originally, the label signed Welsh singers, mostly with overtly political lyrics, eventually branching out into a myriad of different styles. These included country music (John ac Alun), singer-songwriters (Meic Stevens), stadium rock (The Alarm) and classical singers (Aled Jones, Bryn Terfel).

The folk revival picked up energy in the 1980s with Robin Huw Bowen and other musicians achieving great commercial and critical success. Later into the 1990s, a new wave of bands including Fernhill, Rag Foundation, Bob Delyn A'r Ebillion, Moniars, Carreg Lafar, Jac y Do, Boys From The Hill and Gwerinos found popularity. Jac y Do is one of several bands that now perform twmpathau all over the country for social gatherings and public events. Welsh traditional music was updated by punk-folk bands delivering traditional tunes at a much increased tempo; these included early Bob Delyn a'r Ebillion and Defaid. The 1990s also saw the creation of Fflach:tradd, a label which soon came to dominate the Welsh folk record industry with a series of compilations, as well as thematic projects like Ffidil, which featured 13 fiddlers. Some Welsh performers have mixed traditional influences, especially the language, into imported genres, Soliloquise for example and especially John ac Alun, a Welsh language country duo who are perhaps the best-known contemporary performers in Welsh.

In June 2007, Tŷ Siamas was opened in Dolgellau. Tŷ Siamas is the National Centre for Traditional Music, with regular sessions, concerts, lessons, an interactive exhibition and a recording studio.

Pop and rock

In the non-traditional arena, many Welsh musicians have been present in popular rock and pop, either as individuals, (e.g. Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Dave Edmunds, Shakin' Stevens), individuals in groups (e.g. John Cale of The Velvet Underground, Green Gartside of Scritti Politti, Julian Cope of Teardrop Explodes and Andy Scott of Sweet, Roger Glover of Deep Purple and Rainbow), or as bands formed in Wales (e.g. Amen Corner, The Alarm, Man, Budgie, Badfinger, Tigertailz, Young Marble Giants), but not until the 1990s did Welsh bands begin to be seen as a particular grouping. Following on from an underground post-punk movement in the 1980s, led by bands like Datblygu and Fflaps, the 1990s saw a considerable flowering of Welsh rock groups (in both Welsh and English languages) such as Catatonia, Manic Street Preachers, Feeder, Stereophonics, Super Furry Animals, The Pooh Sticks, 60ft Dolls and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.

The 21st century has seen the emergence of a number of new artists, including Marina and the Diamonds, Skindred, Lostprophets, The Kennedy Soundtrack, Kids in Glass Houses, Duffy, Christopher Rees, Bullet for My Valentine, The Automatic, Goldie Lookin Chain, People in Planes, Los Campesinos!, The Victorian English Gentlemens Club, Attack! Attack!, Gwenno, Kelly Lee Owens, Funeral for a Friend, Hondo Maclean, Fflur Dafydd, The Blackout, The Broken Vinyl Club, The Joy Formidable and The Anchoress. More abrasive alternative acts such as Jarcrew, Mclusky and Future of the Left – all well known within the independent music community and known as Welsh acts – have also received modest commercial success in the UK. Quite a strong neo-progressive/classic rock scene has developed from Swansea-based band Karnataka and other bands that have links to them. These include Magenta, The Reasoning and Panic Room.

Electronic music

Llwybr Llaethog has produced bilingual electronic music. DJ Sasha is from Hawarden, Flintshire. Also worth noting are the successful Drum and Bass DJ High Contrast who is from Cardiff, the veteran house outfit K-Klass from Wrexham, and the Swansea-based progressive breaks producers Hybrid. Escape into the Park and Bionic Events are examples of the Welsh Hard Dance scene. On 16 July 2011 Sian Evans of trip hop, synthpop Bristol based band Kosheen had a No.1 Official UK Singles Charts hit in collaboration with DJ Fresh.

Hip-hop

Welsh hip-hop and rap artists include Goldie Lookin Chain,[23] LEMFRECK[24] and Astroid Boys.[25] Bilingual artists include Mr Phormula[26] and more recently, Sage Todz,[27] Dom James and Lloyd.[28]

Welsh language popular music

There is a thriving Welsh-language contemporary music scene ranging from rock to hip-hop which routinely attracts large crowds and audiences, but they tend to be covered only by the Welsh-language media.

In 2013 the first Welsh Language Music Day was held, taking place each year in February. Events mark the use of Welsh language in a wide range of genres of music, and locations include Womanby Street in Cardiff as well as London, Swansea, Brooklyn and even Budapest.

Every year, Mentrau Iaith Cymru, The National Eisteddfod and BBC Radio Cymru have their national 'Battle of the Bands,' where young, upcoming Welsh bands can compete for £1000, and, what is thought to be one of the greatest possible achievements for a Welsh language act, to perform at Maes B, on its final night. In addition to Maes B, there are a number of various Welsh language music events throughout the year that have gained popularity in the past few years. In February each year the Welsh magazine 'Y Selar' hosts an award ceremony in Aberystwyth University where Welsh music fans from all over the country go to see the most popular and upcoming bands perform. There's also the 'Dawns Rhyngolegol' where the Welsh societies from every University in the UK gather to celebrate the best Welsh language music in Wales.

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Carol (music)

Carol (music)

A carol is a festive song, generally religious but not necessarily connected with church worship, and sometime accompanied by a dance. A caroller is someone who sings carols, and is said to be carolling.

Cynghanedd

Cynghanedd

In Welsh-language poetry, cynghanedd is the basic concept of sound-arrangement within one line, using stress, alliteration and rhyme. The various forms of cynghanedd show up in the definitions of all formal Welsh verse forms, such as the awdl and cerdd dafod. Though of ancient origin, cynghanedd and variations of it are still used today by many Welsh-language poets. A number of poets have experimented with using cynghanedd in English-language verse, for instance Gerard Manley Hopkins. Some of Dylan Thomas's work is also influenced by cynghanedd.

Bundling (tradition)

Bundling (tradition)

Bundling, or tarrying, is the traditional practice of wrapping a couple together in a bed sometimes with a board between the two of them, usually as a part of courting behavior. The tradition is thought to have originated either in the Netherlands or in the British Isles and later became common in colonial United States, especially in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Some Nebraska Amish may still practice it.

Harp

Harp

The harp is a stringed musical instrument that has a number of individual strings running at an angle to its soundboard; the strings are plucked with the fingers. Harps can be made and played in various ways, standing or sitting, and in orchestras or concerts. Its most common form is triangular in shape and made of wood. Some have multiple rows of strings and pedal attachments.

Nansi Richards

Nansi Richards

Nansi Richards Jones was a Welsh harpist, sometimes known as the "Queen of the Harp" or by her bardic name "Telynores Maldwyn".

Robin Huw Bowen

Robin Huw Bowen

Robin Huw Bowen is a player of the Welsh triple harp, known in Welsh as Telyn Deires ,. He was awarded the Glyndŵr Award in 2000.

Cerdd Dant

Cerdd Dant

Cerdd Dant is the art of vocal improvisation over a given melody in Welsh musical tradition. It is an important competition in eisteddfodau. The singer or (small) choir sings a counter melody over a harp melody.

Robert ap Huw

Robert ap Huw

Robert ap Huw, was a Welsh harpist and music copyist. He is most notable for compiling a manuscript, now known as the Robert ap Huw manuscript, which is the main extant source of cerdd dant and is a late medieval collection of harp music. It is one of the most important sources of early Welsh music.

Crwth

Crwth

The crwth is a bowed lyre, a type of stringed instrument, associated particularly with Welsh music, now archaic but once widely played in Europe. Four historical examples have survived and are to be found in St Fagans National Museum of History (Cardiff); National Library of Wales (Aberystwyth); Warrington Museum & Art Gallery; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (US).

Fiddle

Fiddle

A fiddle is a bowed string musical instrument, most often a violin. It is a colloquial term for the violin, used by players in all genres, including classical music. Although in many cases violins and fiddles are essentially synonymous, the style of the music played may determine specific construction differences between fiddles and classical violins. For example, fiddles may optionally be set up with a bridge with a flatter arch to reduce the range of bow-arm motion needed for techniques such as the double shuffle, a form of bariolage involving rapid alternation between pairs of adjacent strings. To produce a "brighter" tone than the deep tones of gut or synthetic core strings, fiddlers often use steel strings. The fiddle is part of many traditional (folk) styles, which are typically aural traditions—taught "by ear" rather than via written music.

Pibgorn (instrument)

Pibgorn (instrument)

The pibgorn is a Welsh species of idioglot reed aerophone. The name translates literally as "pipe-horn". It is also historically known as cornicyll and pib-corn. It utilises a single reed, cut from elder or reed, like that found in the drone of a bagpipe, which is an early form of the modern clarinet reed. The single chambered body of the elder pipe has a naturally occurring parallel bore, into which are drilled six small finger-holes and a thumb-hole giving a diatonic compass of an octave. The body of the instrument is traditionally carved from a single piece of wood or bone. Playable, extant historical examples in the Museum of Welsh Life have bodies cut and shaped of elder. Another, unplayable instrument at the Museum, possibly of a later date, is made from the leg bone of an unspecified ungulate. Contemporary instruments are turned and bored from a variety of fruitwoods, or exotic hardwoods; or turned from, or moulded in plastics. The reed is protected by a reed-cap or stock of cow-horn. The bell is shaped from a section of cow-horn which serves to amplify the sound. The pibgorn may be attached to a bag, with the additional possibility of a drone, which is then called pibau cwd; or played directly with the mouth via the reed-cap.

Dafydd Iwan

Dafydd Iwan

Dafydd Iwan Jones is a Welsh singer and nationalist politician who rose to fame writing and performing folk music in the Welsh language. From 2003 to 2010, Iwan was the president of Plaid Cymru, a political party which advocates for Welsh independence from the UK.

Current outlets

Welsh bands have the outlet for audiences, on such media as BBC Wales, BBC Cymru, S4C and The Pop Factory. In particular, BBC Radio 1's Bethan and Huw and BBC Radio Wales's Adam Walton support new Welsh music at their respective stations.

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Source: "Music of Wales", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Wales.

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Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Davies (2008), pg 579.
  2. ^ "Cardiff to become 'Music City' to protect and grow venues". BBC News. 14 December 2017.
  3. ^ Livezey, Bronwyn (2018). The Voices of Angels in the Land of Zion: The Welsh Chapter of the Tabernacle Choir.
  4. ^ Crossley-Holland, Peter (1948). Music in Wales. Hinrichsen Edition Limited.
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  10. ^ G. Grove, Grove's dictionary of music and musicians, col. 3 (St. Martin's Press., 6th edn., 1954), p. 410.
  11. ^ a b Davies (2008), pg 532.
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  18. ^ Davies (2008), pg 353.
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References
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