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[ 2007-11-21 16:56 ]

威尔士的音乐风格从未受过束缚。在威尔士,不同的小环境里都会有不同的音乐风格。乐评人Owen Powell说:“威尔士就像是四到五个并在一起的小国家。去到不同的地方,你会听到不同的音乐――威尔士南部谷地是摇滚和金属音乐,威尔士西部是田园风格和迷幻音乐。威尔士西北部Gwynedd则是威尔士语歌声荡漾的地方,还有舞曲、嘻哈音乐(hip hop)、电子音乐,风格不一而足。”

Wales has never been about one style of music or one particular scene. It is a particularly parochial area. ‘Wales is like four or five different countries in one,’ says Owen Powell. ‘Wherever you go you get various sounds and styles – rock and metal in the South Wales valleys, pastoral, psychedelic folk in West Wales.

You have the Welsh language stronghold of Gwynedd (North West Wales) and everything from dance, hip hop and experimental electronica in between.’ You only have to look at two of Wales’ most successful recent acts to underline this diverse approach. From the dark heart of the Rhondda Valley come soon-to-be-stadium-sized rock giants Lostprophets, heading a fertile metal scene that has already produced Funeral For A Friend and Bullet For My Valentine.

Wales is unique in that is one of very few countries that harbours two equally strong music scenes - one in English, one in Welsh. These two disparate and diverse breeding grounds make occasionally uncomfortable bedfellows but in the main exist in a state of unencumbered creativity.

There are some Legendary Welsh language bands such as Y Cyrff and The Crumblowers (who formed the nucleus of Catatonia) and Ffa Coffi Pawb (who featured Super Furry Animals’ frontman Gruff Rhys). Meanwhile, one-time Welsh language outfit Gogz now sing in English as The Heights. These North Walians peddle a fine line in thrilling, visceral rock ‘n roll.

Music Instruments

The harp has been closely associated with Wales for a very long time, and one kind of harp, the triple harp is uniquely Welsh. Other specifically Welsh instruments included the crwth and the pibgorn, though both fell out of general use by the end of the 18th century. Due to Nonconformist Christian disapproval, the instrumental folk tradition fell into decline through the 19th and early 20th centuries, but has since seen a revival and is now arguably as strong as ever.

The principal instruments are the harp and the fiddle, but many other instruments are used, and both the crwth and pibgorn are again being played by a small but growing number of people. Wales also has a long tradition of folk song which, like the instrumental tradition, and for the same reasons, was long in decline but is now flourishing again.

The Crwth

One of the oldest of traditional Welsh instruments. The crwth is a form of stringed lyre which uses a bow to play the strings. There is archaeological evidence to suggest that similar instruments were in use 5,000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. The range of notes is limited, with a range of just a single octave, and all the strings are played at the same time. The sound created has a droning quality, which can be strange to the unfamiliar ear.

There are a number of crwth players in Wales, including Cas Meurig, who continues to develop the crwth repertoire, and Robert Evans, who with vocalist Mary-Anne Roberts, recreates 'cerdd dafod', literally 'dance of the tongue'. Cerdd dafod was a form of singing with crwth accompaniment, which flourished in Wales from the beginning of the 14th century to the end of the 16th century.

The Pibgorn

The pibgorn is a simple reed instrument once popular with shepherds and cattle drovers. It is made up of a wooden pipe and the horns of a bull. One horn is used as a mouthpiece and another to form a bell end which helps amplify the sound. The pibgorn consists of six holes for the fingers and a thumb hole at the back, similar to a recorder, giving a range of 8 notes. It was used for playing dance music and passing the time on the cattle droves. Pibgorns are rare instruments, although they can be made to order by specialist instrument makers. The musician Stephen Rees, who plays with the folk group Crasdant, continues his work in bringing the pibgorn sound to new audiences.

The Whistle and Flute

The penny whistle or tin whistle has been a popular instrument with players through out the world owing to its low cost, ready availability and ease of construction. The oldest whistle found in Wales is believed to be 900 years old and was found at Chirk castle. It appears to have been made from the bone of an animal. Other historical evidence of its use in Wales includes the Nant Garw sunday school annual tea parties which took place during the 19th century when it was used to accompany the dancing when no harp was available.

"And when you heard the tin whistle, the children ran to watch them practicing the dancing" - Margretta Thomas, 1880-1772. A close relation of the whistle is the flute. Until the late 1800s most flutes were made out of wood, although most are now made from metal. It was usually played with other instruments such as the harp and fiddle. The black wooden flutes we see traditional players using today were once orchestral instruments that were discarded when the modern metal version came into use.

The Harp

Wales has an unbroken tradition of harp playing. It was used as a dance instrument and for playing tunes and airs. The tradition owes its survival to the gypsy families of Wales who kept harp playing alive, and Nansi Richards, the famous harpist Telynores Maldwyn. In Wales the triple harp was popular, an instrument with three rows of strings as opposed to the conventional harp which has one row.

It has been the tradition in Wales to play the harp on the left shoulder with the right hand playing the lower strings and the left playing the higher ones. This style of playing is possibly unique to Wales. The growth in popularity of the singly strung classical harp at the beginning of the 20th century had a negative impact on the popularity of the triple harp, with the result that today there are few triple harp players in Wales.

The Fiddle

Wales has a long tradition of fiddle playing and its music was popular with the great Romany familes of Wales. Three people who were renowned for playing both harp and fiddles were Cornelius, David and Adolphus Wood. Unlike the harp there is no unbroken tradition of fiddle playing in Wales, but because the players wrote down their tunes the repertoire has been preserved. Many manuscripts from 18th and 19th centuries contain tunes which appear very similar in style to contemporary classical or popular music.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org




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