The Rich Heritage of Welsh Music

Centuries old, Welsh music is famous for its distinct quality, with Welsh musicians and bards creating truly exceptional songs and music since the 12th century. This tradition lives on in modern Wales with ancient music and incredible male voice choirs.


Famous for its distinct quality, Welsh music has been around from centuries. Welsh musicians and bards have created truly exceptional songs and music since the 12th century. The earlier traditional songs of Wales were mainly based on the ancient customs such as New Year’s Day Calenning, Hunting the Wren, Spring Candlemas and processions of Mari Lwyd.

During the 17th and 18th centuries Welsh music witnessed the advent of carols. The carols were mainly based upon complex poetry enthused by painful and sad feelings of lost love, while some praised the beauty of the woman often using sexual overtones. Ballads usually based on themes such as physical labour, agriculture and daily routines were also an important part of Welsh music.

The traditional Welsh musical instruments include crwth, harp, fiddle and the triple harp. These instruments are still played by contemporary musicians.

Land of our Fathers

The song “Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau” which means “Land of Fathers” in English written by Evan James and composed by James James, a father-son duo in the year 1886 became hugely popular. The song devoted to patriotism was regularly sung at the ceremonies and gatherings, and it eventually developed into the Welsh anthem. It is used as the Welsh national anthem for more than hundred years now and sung at all the official events.

Welsh male voice choir

Near the end of 19th century, Welsh male voice choirs gained popularity in South Wales with the coal miners. Morriston Orpheus Choir, Treorchy Male Choir and Cor Meibon Pontypridd Male Voice Choirs were the popular Welsh choirs during those days. Morriston Rugby Choir and Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir established in the rugby clubs were the other famous Welsh choirs.

Modern Welsh music

In the 20th century, traditional Welsh music based upon culture and religion gave way to the secular form of music. Welsh male voice choirs sang songs that were customized for the Victorian way of living. This was the period when brass bands were first used in Welsh music and soon became its integral part.

After the end World War II, Welsh musicians moved towards the traditional form of Welsh music using themes such as religion, culture and history of Wales.

Interesting places