A history of Welsh music

Publication Type:



Cambridge University Press,, Cambridge, United Kingdom, p.xxxiv, 444 pages : (2023)

Call Number:



(OCoLC)fst01030269, fast, History and criticism., Music, Music., Wales


Includes bibliographical references (pages 404-436) and index."All histories of music need contexts, but some more than others. The relevant contexts, at least in western music, have been patronage (whether benevolent or commercial), cultural production and distribution, the audiences for which music has been written and performed, the needs and purposes it has served, and how continuities have been interrupted by musical or extra-musical interventions. It would not be an enormous step to think of Welsh music history in similar terms were it not for the sizeable adjustment needed because Welsh music has not consistently followed the path of the mainstream European tradition. There is no body of secular works in the art music category from before the mid-twentieth century that has gained sustained public interest or deserved serious analytical attention, so no claim can be made for Welsh music to have a composer-led history. It can therefore reasonably be asked why Wales should famously be regarded as a 'musical nation' and a 'land of song'. These could be dismissed as stock phrases of the type routinely tagged to national stereotypes, which gain currency by repetition, but it would be a mistake to pass over them too lightly. They deserve unpicking because they contain historical substance, and to an extent, have configured the way the Welsh have regarded themselves and how others have often described them" --