Valleys of Song

Music and Society in Wales 1840 - 1914

Gareth Williams

Valleys of Song

Gareth Williams

Distributed for University of Wales Press

237 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1998
Paper $39.95 ISBN: 9780708314807 Published February 2003 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

Like all clichés, Wales as 'the Land of Song' has a solid basis in historical fact. Welsh choral singing was a form of popular culture in the nineteenth century. Crowds followed the choirs in even greater numbers than in football matches, and Eisteddfod competitions frequently became 'choral bull-fights' where keenly honed rivalries spilled over into betting, missile throwing, assaults on adjudicators and general violence. This is the story of Wales as the 'the Land of Song' as it has never been told before - colourful, dramatic and uplifting. Vividly written in a lucid style by an accomplished social and cultural historian, this is a celebration of the land of song in its hey-day that will appeal to a wide audience

List of Illustrations

1. Songs of Wales
2. Storming the Fort of Sin
3. From the Cynon Valley to the Crystal Palace
4. Music and a Musician of Merthyr Tydfil
5. Imperial Merthyr, 1880–1914
6. ’This Valley of Coal and Song’: Musical Rhondda, 1860–1914
7. ’Disastrous Vehemence’: Welsh Choralism in Crisis
8. Criticism and Composition in the Welsh Musical Renaissance
9. Violence and the Big Male Voice
10. Fled is that Music

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