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Welsh Traditional Music

Image of Y Canorion (Bangor, 1908)CAWMS supports both scholarship and practical activities in this area, and has benefited a great deal from an ongoing partnership with many distinguished historians, editors and practitioners of traditional music. The Centre has a close relationship with the Archive of Traditional Welsh Music, directed by Wyn Thomas, one of the leading scholars in this area, who has written widely on the work of female folk song collectors, including Jennie Williams (1885–1971) and Mary Davies. There are also a number of recent Bangor dissertations and doctorates that address other influential Welsh women – the composers Morfydd Llwyn Owen and Grace Williams; the harpists Nansi Richards and Augusta Hall ‘Lady Llanover’; the singer Leila Megane; and the collectors Ruth Herbert Lewis and Dora Herbert Jones.Image of a harpist

One of the most significant figures associated with the Centre in this respect is the widely respected fiddle and crwth player Dr Cass Meurig, who completed a Bangor thesis in 2001 on the music of the fiddler in eighteenth-century Wales. She has since contributed to several CAWMS publications, and her edition of the 1752 manuscript of fiddle music copied by the professional fiddler John Thomas (NLW MS J. Lloyd Williams 39) is published by the National Library of Wales as ‘Alawon John Thomas’.

CAWMS is also a warm supporter of ‘live’ traditional music in Wales, represented by associations such as trac, Wales’s first folk development agency, and clera, the society for promoting Welsh traditional instruments. Contributions on any aspect of traditional music are welcomed both at the Centre's conferences and for its journal, and a series of publications in this area shapes the recent CAWMS volume Studies in Welsh Music: Bearers of Song.