In the 1960s, Welsh-language popular music emerged as a vehicle for mobilizing a geographically dispersed community into political action. As the decades progressed, Welsh popular music developed beyond its acoustic folk roots, adopting the various styles of contemporary popular music, and ultimately gaining the cultural self-confidence to compete in the Anglo-American mainstream market. The resulting tensions, between Welsh and English, amateur and professional, rural and urban, the local and the international, necessitate the understanding of Welsh pop as part of a much larger cultural process. Not merely a 'Celtic' issue, the cultural struggles faced by Welsh speakers in a predominantly Anglophone environment are similar to those faced by innumerable other minority communities enduring political, social or linguistic domination. The aim of 'Blerwytirhwng?' The Place of Welsh Pop Music is to explore the popular music which accompanied those struggles, to connect Wales to the larger Anglo-American popular culture, and to consider the shift in power from the dominant to the minority, the centre to the periphery. By surveying the development of Welsh-language popular music from 1945-2000, 'Blerwytirhwng?' The Place of Welsh Pop examines those moments of crisis in Welsh cultural life which signalled a burgeoning sense of national identity, which challenged paradigms of linguistic belonging, and out of which emerged new expressions of Welshness.
Table of Contents
Contents: General editor's preface; Part I 'Blerwytirhwng?': Introduction; Theories of culture; Placing Welsh pop; Identifying Welsh pop. Part II A Cultural History of Welsh Popular Music: Wales before 1963: creating the culture; 1963-73: locating the audience; 1973-82: establishing new traditions; 1982-90: breaking the mold; 1990-2000: broadening the scope. Part III Case Studies: Dafydd Iwan and the new Welsh 'folk culture'; Welsh reggae: the sound of the city; Datblygu and the embodiment of Welsh pop; Y Tystion: Wales joins the hip hop nation; Dis-located: Welsh musicians in the Anglo-American market; Appendix: a brief timeline; Bibliography; Index.
Sarah Hill is Lecturer in Music at Cardiff University, Wales, UK.
'... the best discussion to date of the complex relationship Wales has had with its own popular music and its influences... Hill's study is a [...] welcome and exciting addition to the still-too-small collection of works on popular music that suggest ways of reading these complex texts.' NABMSA Newsletter ’... Sarah Hill has produced a pioneering and original book...’ Popular Music