School of Music Research Groups

The Archive of Welsh Traditional Music

Director: Wyn Thomas

The Archive of Welsh Traditional Music at Bangor University collects preserves and provides direct access to sound recordings collected in many areas of the country. Created with the financial support of the Arts Council of Wales, it serves the academic community of the University as well as individuals and institutions further afield. Although the Archive exists primarily as a research, teaching and training centre for the University’s Ethnomusicology course, its collections and facilities are also utilized by members of staff and students from the Welsh, Welsh History, English and Linguistics and other departments.

The Archive (which is housed in the School of Music) is a repository of recorded musical and verbal forms which are perpetuated in the oral tradition rather than through writing or printing. Its collections are received through a number of channels – as deposits, gifts or exchanges, through the support of collecting expeditions and through purchase.

In addition to compiling or sponsoring the publication of reference books concerned with the field of Welsh traditional music, the Archive is also well equipped with tape recorders (studio and field recorders), turntables, and transcribers and can thus reproduce recordings made by any device used in the collecting of folk music.

The Archive functions as a public library of recorded sound in which two major types of collections are housed – commercial recordings, which have been produced for public sale; and field recordings which have been collected under field conditions for research and which have not been issued commercially.

The Archive endeavors to serve educational institutions and the general public by any means at its disposal.