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.
'… 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
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.
Popular musicology embraces the field of musicological study that engages with popular forms of music, especially music associated with commerce, entertainment and leisure activities. The Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series aims to present the best research in this field. Authors are concerned with criticism and analysis of the music itself, as well as locating musical practices, values and meanings in cultural context. The focus of the series is on popular music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a remit to encompass the entirety of the world’s popular music.
Critical and analytical tools employed in the study of popular music are being continually developed and refined in the twenty-first century. Perspectives on the transcultural and intercultural uses of popular music have enriched understanding of social context, reception and subject position. Popular genres as distinct as reggae, township, bhangra, and flamenco are features of a shrinking, transnational world. The series recognizes and addresses the emergence of mixed genres and new global fusions, and utilizes a wide range of theoretical models drawn from anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, media studies, semiotics, postcolonial studies, feminism, gender studies and queer studies.