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Welsh Folk Tunes
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Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (14 votes) 
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Gordon Shumway
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ELCBK said
 found this tradition Welsh Christmas tune, "Y Gelynnen" (The Holly)  

Curious. I've been reading Anglo Saxon literature and there's a riddle where Hlyn is maple and Holen is holly.

Andrew

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Gordon Shumway
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ELCBK said
@Gordon Shumway -  

Sorry, about the only thing I know about the Welsh language is my eldest Granddaughter's name. 😊

Got my info from thesession.org

 "Y Gelynnen - also known as The Holly". 

Down in the comments, one person contributed this info: 

Y = the

Celynnen = Holly / Holly Tree (both translations exist)

~ after the ‘Y’ the ‘C’ mutates to ‘G’…

Y ~ ‘uh(r)’

Gel-yn-nen ~ ‘gal’ - ‘un’ - ‘nan’ 

 

...Google translate only gave me - "Holly = Celyn"

  

The only thing I know about Welsh, apart from the fact that it's Indo-European, is that, whereas most such languages inflect at the end of the word, Welsh inflects at the beginning. How the dictionaries work, I have no idea, lol! (there will be a root form, I guess).

Actually, it seems that hlyn = maple is a guess from hlynr being maple in Icelandic.

But I doubt there are many maple trees in Iceland, so perhaps the Icelandic was a guess too! Otoh, there's no doubt about holen, so hlyn can't be holly.

Wiktionary is useful https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/celyn

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki.....#Old_Norse

Andrew

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ABitRusty
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ELCBK said
@ABitRusty -

Think you can sink your teeth into this one!

Found this tradition Welsh Christmas tune, "Y Gelynnen" (The Holly) - fit for any session (Tim Roush)!  

 

Sheet music available at thesession.org! 

 

https://i2-prod.walesonline.co.uk/incoming/article14073078.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/Holly-Shrub-Misletoe.jpg

 

- Emily

  

Yeah that is good and like it!  Sounds a bit old timey too!

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ELCBK
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Cass Meurig is a wonderful Welsh fiddler & crwth player as well as singer & song writer.  

Here's a set of 3 traditional Welsh tunes, "Caru Yn Y Coed" (Courting in the Woods), "Cerdd Y Gog Lwydlas" (Cuckoo's Song), and "Lliw Lili Ymysg Y Drain" (Lily Among the Thorns) - Cass Meurig & Nial Cain.  

 

 

Here Cass plays a traditional Welsh, medieval sounding, tune on the Crwth!  Ffarwel Ned Puw (Ned Puw Farewell?)

 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/d6/2e/38/d62e3875872742e73f63f142d23b74b8.pngImage Enlarger

 

...really loving Welsh trad! 

- Emily

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ELCBK
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https://kclibrary.org/sites/default/files/styles/special_event_banner/public/special_event/12-09-18%20-%20childs%20christmas%20in%20wales%20copy.png?itok=GbvZa3uI
Well, it's getting near Christmas, so take a few minutes to relax - hear the poem, "A Child's Christmas in Wales", interwoven with the University of Arkansas Schola Cantorum Carols

 

 

A Child's Christmas in Wales - Dylan Thomas

Nos Galan (Old Welsh Carol) 

The White Snow - 2:14

The Cat Carol - 5:10

A Hot Time in the Old Town - 9:55

Between Covers of Books - 12:42

Mid-Winter - 15:33

Christmas Bells - 20:05

The Kings - 24:23

Toy Packaging - 27:30

One Tin Soldier - 30:45

Toyland - 34:31

The Christmas Song - 39:30

Upon the Sand - 44:10

O, the beautiful old story - 49:42

Peace, thou hippopotamus! - 52:28

Rum in my tea - 55:22

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/_fdou0Xa3IfY/SxcNwiQIQaI/AAAAAAAAFU8/u4rnkeY1aPM/s320/a+blue+holly.jpg

Good King Winceslas - 58:10

O come all ye faithful - 59:30

Cherry Ripe - 1:00:07

Drake's Drum - 1:01:13

Suo Gan (Welsh lullaby) - 1:02:22

Silent Night - 1:04:00

Happy Holidays!

- Emily

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stringy
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Foir posts of thebed is an Irish tune, 

Galloping nag is an English tune. 1600s or so.

Dingle, huntsmans, well for water and Jimmy Allens are all Irish, never heard of a welsh jig.

There are lots of tunes on you tube that claim to be welsh fiddle tunes, such as hunting the hare which is  also Irish. Domt deny there are probably lots of good traditional Welsh musicians, but like I said, never hear of a welsh jig, lots of Old English and Irish but no Welsh at all.

In North wales at least, there are no welsh people at all, its all scousers who live there, from Conway to wrexham.

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ELCBK
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Here's 2 Welsh Tunes played by Angharad Jenkins - "Diferiad y Gerwyn" (trad "The Droppings of the Mashtub") and a tune she composed, "Nanty Felin".

 

I know I shared this video quite a while back, in a bowing thread for some of the cool techniques used - BUT, these are beautiful Welsh tunes that are worth taking a look at to learn! 

Medley of Welsh Folk Tunes - played by Angharad and Delyth Jenkins (TED-X). 

 

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ELCBK
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A Welsh Polka TUTORIAL by Angharad Jenkins - "Y Cambro Brython"

A VERY HAPPY TUNE!

 

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stringy
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First two vids are English morris dancing tunes, the third is a version of soldier soldier will you marry me, cant remember the real name but they are some of the lyrics , think its the fourth or fifth is a version of king of the fairies, if its the list of vidz you are talking about, not got time to go through them all, as I am in Krakow at the moment, but the ones I glanced at all sound Irish, in fact one or two are in o neils.

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ELCBK
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@stringy - 

Thanks! 

I'll just delete that post.

Enjoy your vacation!!!

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ELCBK
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Just found a GREAT old book source of Welsh Tunes (thanks to thesession.org)!   

"Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards: Preserved, by Tradition and Authentic Manuscripts, from Very Remote Antiquity" - by Edward Jones 

There's a bunch of history & verse, then standard music notation starts on page 124 thru 183

Read/view it all for FREE here: 

Google Books

 

Page 127 of Edward Jones's book has a tune I want to learn - "Eryri Wen" ("White Snowdon") 

Joseph Haydn used folk tunes & made Classical arrangements of them - here's "Eryri Wen" - played with the Haydn Trio Eisenstadt, Lorna Anderson & Jamie MacDougall. 

From Wikipedia: 

Sometimes, a folk tune (as notated by field workers) and the version in Haydn's work are identical. Often, however, there is divergence, with Haydn's version being less symmetrical and musically more interesting and expressive. As Hadow pointed out, the versions typically are closely similar at the beginning, divergent at the end. Under one view, this would reflect Haydn's creativity as a composer; starting with the kernel of the tune occurring at the beginning, Haydn elaborated it in ways grounded in his own Classical musical language. 

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ELCBK
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July 13, 2022 - 8:27 pm
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...you know I can't pass up a fun Welsh tune in a minor key. (lol) 

"Hen Ferchetan" (Old Maid), played by Oli Wilson-Dickson & Sarah Moody (acousticfiddle)  

 

 

Two good versions of sheet music here:

https://thesession.org/tunes/13631

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JohnG
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@ELCBK - Wow, she beat that poor cello almost to death and the bow looked like it had half a dozen hairs break. Fun tune!

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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@JohnG -

You ready to have THAT much fun?

Did you take a peek at the sheet music?  🤗

 

Ar Log!

They're a Welsh Band that started in the 70's - always some Fiddling & has some great music available. 

LOVE THESE - "Bryniau'R Iwerddon" & "Alawon Fy Ngwlad", from their 4th album. 

"Y Ferch O Fydrin" & "Pibddawns Y Bontnewydd" - from their 6th album.

"Gorsaf y Gof" & "Rachel Dafydd Ifan"

 

...found plenty of Ar Log instrumentals to enjoy. 😊 

- Emily

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ELCBK
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Alawon - The Society For The Traditional Instruments of Wales is a wonderful site for learning Welsh Tunes in Session Sets!  Sheet music (GREAT for beginners), midi, mp3 & more! 

Religion, throughout history, has promoted & regulated music - sometimes squelched it, too.  The Welsh had their share of this. 

VRÏ 

One of my new favorite groups, bringing Welsh tradition to life on Cello, Violin & Viola!

Description of their 1st album "Tŷ ein Tadau"

The backbone of this record is music from the Welsh chapel tradition. Far from being a collection of sacred or religious music, it looks at the complex relationship between Welsh music and the clergy which stretches back centuries. At the height of the Methodist reformation, folk dancing, singing and playing in almost all of their forms were being shunned by the mighty chapel as instruments of sin – meanwhile many popular tunes were being harvested, reworked as hymns and sung by the masses in order to extoll the virtues of God. This selective amnesia for huge swathes of Welsh culture meant that the members of VRï inherited a tradition broken in many places, forced into submission then resurrected and kept alive only by the brave efforts of a tireless few.
'Tŷ ein Tadau' can be seen in some ways as a reclamation exercise, and an opportunity to bring some of these old tunes back full-circle. As well offering a nod to the importance of the Welsh Chapels, which are still the cornerstone of society in the small village communities where all three members were brought up, VRï relish the thought of bringing some of the more obscure hymn tunes back into the 'folk' domain'.

Some of the tunes in this album have vocals, but even these have wonderful instrumental breaks - ALL worth a listen! 

Tŷ ein Tadau - Playlist

 

2020 VRÏ - New Years Eve Concert (Live Music Now Special)! 

 

 

...great time to start learning by ear - if you haven't already started. 😊  

https://i.pinimg.com/474x/35/51/45/35514598b0b4d1c3966c21a6c9a2f90b--letter-e-black-print.jpg

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stringy
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Very interesting, sounds like  a mix of gypsy folk, irish and English traditional music, did they write this themselves or is it a trad tune, its very good.

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ELCBK
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@stringy -

They have their twist on traditional and they also compose some of their own. 

This group really wants to talk about their music and help set the stage for their tunes.  I found it a rare treat to read about them and their lavish track notes for their 2nd album - wish I could find the same for their 1st one. 

 

VRÏ Bio

VRÏ Track Notes for their "Islais a genir" album.

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ELCBK
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Shoot, I got ahead of myself - these are the tunes I really wanted to share from VRÏ's 2nd album, "Islais a genir"!

Islais a genir - Playlist

 

Eiri 

 

 

Gwenno

 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/6d/66/08/6d660898bea8d210c3a355e324ca1367.png.

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ELCBK
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Alawon - The Society For The Traditional Instruments of Wales is a wonderful site for learning Welsh Tunes in Session Sets!  Sheet music (GREAT for beginners), midi, mp3 & more! 

I've gone over most of these tunes, they're very nice Medieval sounding, simple monophonic melodies.

Only played a handful, so far - but they are the type of tunes that would make great building blocks for something more elaborate! 

https://www.musicaneo.com/data/upload/36571_w_226x308.jpeg

"Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards: Preserved, by Tradition and Authentic Manuscripts, from Very Remote Antiquity" - by Edward Jones 

There's a bunch of history & verse, then standard music notation starts on page 124 thru 183

Read/view it all for FREE here: 

Google Books

Thought I'd mention this book again, because of all our recent discussions about software that can utilize a photo or scan of sheet music. 

If you enjoy old tunes, these are very interesting. 

 

Excerpts from an article on Welsh music at mustrad.org.uk:

There is sufficient evidence to prove that at a very early period a musical culture existed in Wales; a culture far in advance of what might have been expected in a country of rugged character, whose political conditions were continually plunging it into war. It has been asserted that this especial cultivation of scientific music was mainly due to the fact that the harp, an instrument of more capability than most primitive ones, was in popular use. Also it may be added that Wales possessed in its bards a race of men whose profession was the production of poetry and music for the purpose of inciting their countrymen, by song and chant, to deeds of valour. 

Prince Gruffydd ab Cynan, who lived in the 11th and 12th centuries, is credited with having put the professional music of Wales into some order, and with having made laws for the guidance and government of the bards and harpers, and others of the minstrel class. He is said to have enacted that certain 'measures' should be played to particular kinds of lyrics, and to have given names to these.

It may be now asked what authentic remnants of ancient Welsh music exist.  In the 18th century there were several libraries of old Welsh manuscripts which, in at least two instances, suffered greatly by fires; it does not, however, appear that among those destroyed were any manuscript musical collections which (as among English manuscripts) gave indication of the vocal or instrumental music of Wales at an early date, with the exception of two MSS. to be presently dealt with...  

It is not very clear when Welsh music, considered as national music, began to have attention paid to it. Towards the end of the 17th century stress began to be laid upon the fact that certain tunes were of Scottish origin, and that others were in the 'Scotch taste', but the present writer cannot find (save in one minor instance) that any attempt was made before 1742 to offer to the public a collection of melodies professedly of Welsh birth, although some Welsh tunes, indicated as such, occur at earlier date in certain London country dance books.

 

There's a HUGE Bibliography of Welsh National Music included with this article!

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ELCBK
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Still some lovely tunes I haven't played in this thread!

These 2 are from the 'Drunken Fiddles' YT Channel - for violin & cello!   

"Beth Yw’r Haf I Mi" (What is The Summer to Me) - played very slowly, then normal speed.

 

"Aberdulais" a Welsh Air - played normal, then very slow. 

 

 

Alex Sganga recorded a whole bunch of Traditional Welsh Tunes on the fiddle!  He listed chapter/tune titles (and his sources) in the video description. 

00:00 - The Lord of Caernafon´s Jig/ Dic Y Cymro  01:56 - The Queen´s Marsh  03:30 - Gower Reel/ The Little Red House in Cardiff/ March of the Men of Devon  05:45 - The Cowslip/ The Singing Tune  07:25 - The Perfect Measure/ The Flowers Hornpipe  09:00 - Difyrrwch Gwyr Y Bontnewydd/ You Young and Carefree Lads  10:40 - March of Rhuddlan/ Erddigan Y Pibydd Goch/ Three and Six  14:05 - The Queen´s Dream/The French Polka/ Anglesey  16:17 - Owen´s Jig/ The Druid  18:22 - The Maid of Penderyn/ The New Harp  20:25 - Farewell to Marian/ The Old Maid/ The Niffy Maggot.

...jeez, the names - what's with the maggots?

Btw, I don't doubt some of these may also be Trad English & Irish tunes.

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