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Welsh Traditional Music
University of Wales Press, 2011
A substantial, well-produced hardback, covering traditional Welsh music from earliest times through to the early 20th century. The book presents a large number of notated musical examples, and a lively and informative text that explains the changing repertory, and the changing evidence for it over the centuries.
The book very much concentrates on the repertory as notated in source books and manuscripts, so there is little discussion of other sources of evidence about musical practice - histories, accounts, and other ethnomusicological materials. There is also very little consideration of the survival of older strands of the tradition into 20th century living tradition - there are very few photographs of tradition bearers, and only a few archive recordings are mentioned; they are transcribed but we are not given references to allow us to listen to the originals. If only the book had included a CD of archive recordings in the back cover!
But from the point of view of the notated evidence for Welsh music, this is an excellent book and a highly recommended reading. Anyone with an interest in Scottish and Irish traditional music, or in the medieval Welsh music from the Robert ap Huw manuscript, will find this very useful as comparitive and background material.
£6.00 (UK only - select for overseas postage)
£11.50 (Airmail within Europe)
£17.00 (Airmail outside Europe)
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© Simon Chadwick
First published February 2012.