To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This is an overview chapter covering the entire chronology of the book and touching on the topics to which each individual chapter is devoted. It is important in that it outlines the main stages through which Welsh music passed and emphasises the causal relationship between the social, cultural and political history of Wales and its music, a recurrent theme in the book. It also explains the distinctiveness of Welsh music history and the structures and agencies that have made it so. While Welsh music before the nineteenth century had loose connections with the repertoires and style periods of other European cultures, Wales was devoid of major centres of cultural production of the type that enabled the music industry to thrive elsewhere. There was neither a metropolitan centre nor national institutions or agencies to give succour to a music culture similar to those of England, Scotland and Ireland. Two agencies filled this void from the later eighteenth century: a reconstituted version of the medieval eisteddfod, which changed its emphasis from being an essentially poetic to a primarily musical event, and the rise of religious nonconformity. Nonconformity was important for a number of reasons: it was a nationwide phenomenon but its emphasis was on the local, and it promoted engagement with congregational singing to such an extent that it fostered a remarkable level of democratic musical engagement more generally. These developments occurred simultaneously with a renewed interest in Welsh musical traditions. The twentieth century saw a new phase: the development of professionalism leading to distinctive voices in art and popular music. Amidst this entire story was the status and influence of the Welsh language, a topic that also receives close attention in the chapter.
Though its origins lie in the Middle Ages and the practices of household bards and musicians of the nobility, the modern eisteddfod tradition developed from the late eighteenth century as an essentially literary movement and part of the romantic movement that has been termed the Celtic revival. Music developed as part of the eisteddfod at local and national levels, becoming a major and eventually primary presence. The emphasis was on vocal music both solo and choral, and alongside its role in detecting and curating Welsh traditional music the eisteddfod introduced the classical concert to Welsh audiences. Eisteddfodau were always competitive events and from the later nineteenth century, choral contests helped to engender popular interest in choral singing as a practice representative of Welshness. The chapter describes the development of eisteddfodau and explains their importance in various stages of Welsh history. It also examines what were often perceived as the negative effects of eisteddfod competition and the conflict it created between meeting popular demand and the achievement of higher musical standards among the population.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.