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Folk musicHome » Themes » Folk music
Wales has a rich tradition of folk music that has lasted for centuries. Many forms of singing are seasonal. Calennig and plygain, for example, are both sung over Christmas and the New Year.
Love songs were particularly popular, as were ballads which told stories ranging from mishaps to tragedies, and they were often sung to the accompaniment of the harp. They were not exclusively Welsh either, as there is a sizable collection of English-language ballads from parts of Wales, such as Pembrokeshire and Gower, which have long been anglicised.
Since the nineteenth century, folk singing has had a place on the stages of eisteddfodau across Wales and, in the 1970s, experienced a revival in popularity. Wales also has a unique form of music called 'Cerdd Dant' (string music), in which poetry is sung with a melody that differs in rhythm and chord played on the harp.
Items on the Gathering the Jewels website:
The Welsh Academy Encylopaedia of Wales (Cardiff, 2008
Cymdeithas Cerdd Dant Cymru