Published online by Cambridge University Press: 08 September 2022
Musical life in nineteenth-century Wales was characterised by the active dissemination of ideas through the publishing of original Welsh music and musical journals. The latter in particular sought to educate as well as to inform, at a time when formal musical education at college or conservatoire was not available. The growth of musical education in Wales was greatly assisted by the emergence of tonic sol-fa as a popular medium, which in turn supported the growth of congregational and choral singing. The chapter discusses the significance of these developments and the extent to which they fostered a Welsh musical tradition. The first part of the chapter considers the relationship between religion, music and education by examining a range of landmark publications, including Cyfaill mewn Llogell (1797). The second part examines the influence of the tonic sol-fa notation system and its popularity in Wales, considering how educational and religious aims coalesced with technological developments to embed the system in the popular musical culture of Welsh communities. It also considers the reasons why some musicians viewed the system negatively and saw it as limiting the progress of Welsh musical practice. The chapter concludes with a survey of music publishing and sales in Wales in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.