Profile of Stephen Rees

image of Stephen Rees
Stephen Rees
Lecturer; Admissions Tutor; First Year Tutor
01248 382184
School of Music



Mr Stephen Rees (born 1963 in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire) was educated at Amman Valley Comprehensive School and studied music at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He studied piano with Beate Popperwell at the Welsh College of Music and Drama between 1977 and 1981. Appointed lecturer in music at Bangor in 1988, he has taught a wide range of historical subjects from the late middle ages to the twentieth century, as well as harmony and counterpoint, music analysis, music technology, electroacoustic techniques, and traditional fiddle styles. He has a particular interest in the traditional music of Wales and has performed professionally thoroughout the UK, Europe, and North and South America.

Current Teaching (2007-08)

First year

Harmony and Counterpoint (English & Welsh); Astudio Cerddoriaeth y Gorllewin

Second and Third year

Beethoven and the String Quartet (English & Welsh); The Art of Courtly Love (English & Welsh); Tonal Studies (Welsh)

Current undergraduate supervision includes projects on the traditional music of Wales, the Norwegian hardingfele, and tonal studies

Current Responsibilities

Admissions Tutor
First Year Tutor

Research interests

Traditional music in Wales
Folk music revivals in Wales and Europe
European polyphonic song and its sources in the late fifteenth century
Welsh-language music theory

Main publications


(with Sally Harper) ‘Aspects of the Paleography and History of the Robert ap Huw Manuscript’, Welsh Music History / Hanes Cerddoriaeth Cymru, 3 (1999), 54−67; Welsh version 68−81.

Traddodiadau Cerdd Cymru [The Musical Traditions of Wales], Darlith Goffa Amy Parry-Williams [Amy Parry-Williams Memorial Lecture], (Aberystwyth: Cymdeithas Alawon Gwerin Cymru [Welsh Folk Song Society], 2000), 20pp.

‘A New Celtic Tradition? Group Instrumental Performance in the Welsh Folk Revival, c.1975-c.1989’, Welsh Music History / Hanes Cerddoriaeth Cymru, 7 (2007), 304-324; Welsh version 325-343.

Shorter Articles, Reviews

‘Gwynfyd Moderniaeth’ [‘The Bliss of Modernity’: review of Christopher Butler, Early Modernism: Literature, Music and Painting in Europe, 1900-1916 (Oxford, 1994)], Tu chwith, 3 (1995), 87-91

‘Gwlad y Gân: Ailddiffinio’r Traddodiad’ [‘The Land of Song: Redefining the Tradition’] Barn, 401 (Mehefin 1996), 18-20.

‘Rediscovering the Welsh Fiddle’, The Strad, February 1998, 143-147.

‘Late Medieval Secular Song’ [Review of CDs of recordings of music by Solage, Binchois, Ockeghem and others], Early Music, 26 (1998), 681-685.

‘The Violin in Folk Music’, in Richard Dawes (ed.), The Violin Book (London: Balafon Books, 1999), 118-120.

‘Wales: crwth’, ‘Wales: pibgorn’, ‘Wales: penillion singing’, ‘Wales: hymn-singing’ and ‘Wales: harp/telyn’, in Fintan Valelly (ed.), The Companion to Irish Traditional Music (Cork: Cork University Press, 1999), 424-30.

‘Fy amser i ganu’ [‘My time to sing’: review of Merêd: Merdydd Evans yn canu 50 o ganeuon gwerin traddodiadol’, Sain SCD 2414], Barn, 514 (Tachwedd 2005), 15-16.

Five short articles on Welsh traditional music in the Gwyddoniadur/ Encycopedia of Wales (forthcoming 2008).

Recent and forthcoming papers

‘A ‘Celtic’ Reaction? Musical Style and National Identity in Welsh Folk Music Groups of the 1970s and 1980s’.
International Conference on Welsh Studies (organised by NAASWCH: the North American Association for the Study of Welsh Culture and History). University of Wales, Swansea: Thursday 13 July, 2006.

‘Celtic and European Identities in the Revival of Welsh Traditional Music’.
Image and Identity in Contemporary Europe (organised by Bangor University School of Modern Languages and WISCA). Bangor: Thursday 7 September, 2006.

‘ “On some compositions from the fifteenth century”: Fétis, Pixérécourt, and the Rediscovery of Late Medieval Music’.
Bangor: IMEMS video seminar. Tuesday 21 November, 2006.

‘Wales versus Brittany: Real and Imagined Presences in the Music of fernhill.’
Bangor: CAWMS conference, ‘Exploring Music in Wales’. Saturday 23 June, 2007.

‘Welsh or Breton? Local and Regional Identities in the Music of fernhill’.
Society for Music Analysis Study Day, University of Liverpool, Friday 16 November, 2007


Cam Ymlaen (2000-2001)
50 minutes of music (both original compositions and arrangements of traditional music) for the television feature Cam Ymlaen [A Step Ahead], which was based on traditional Welsh step dancing. Various combinations of musicians up to maximum of 13-piece band. Produced by Teledu Elidir for S4C. One 54-minute programme. Broadcast 4/8/2001.


Yn ein dwylo (2000-2001)
Consultant and presenter for the six-part television series Yn Ein Dwylo [In our Hands], exploring the past and present of the traditional music of Wales. Produced by Teledu Elidir for S4C. Six 27-minute programmes. Broadcast September-October 2001.

Byw Cerdd (2005)
Consultant and presenter for the four-part radio series Byw Cerdd [Living Music], examining Welsh-born musicians working in four different genres both inside and outside Wales. Produced by Carreg Ateb for Radio Cymru. Four 28-minute programmes. Broadcast August 2005.

Numerous interviews regarding traditional music in Wales on S4C, BBC Radio Cymru and Radio Wales

Selected Recordings

Various artists:
Ffidil [4 duo fiddle tracks with Huw Roberts] (Fflach Tradd: CD 182H), 1996

As a member of the group Crasdant:
Cerddoriaeth Draddodiadol Gymreig / Welsh Traditional Music: Sain SCD 2220, (1999)
Nos Sadwrn Bach / Not Yet Saturday: Sain SCD 2306, (2001)
Dwndwr / The Great Noise: Sain [CD and DVD]: SCD 2487, (2005)

Stephen Rees has also appeared on numerous other commercial recordings and tv/film scores playing fiddle, piano accordion, whistles and pibgorn.

Traditional Music Performance

Since 1998, Stephen has given more than 80 concert performances with Crasdant across the UK, mainland Europe and North America.

Activities related to traditional music performance

Clera (Society for the Traditional Instruments of Wales)
One of the founders of the organisation in 1995-96, Stephen has led many traditional fiddle workshops throughout Wales

Trac (Traddodiadau Cerdd Cymru / Music Traditions Wales)
Founder member; first chair 1997-2002. Current board member.