minstrel: Welsh aire?

hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu
Mon Mar 20 18:33:37 PST 2000

On Mon, 20 Mar 2000, mark thompson wrote:

> Knowing that I like aires, my bagpipe instructor gave me some music that
> is titled
> Suigan, a Welsh aire.  He says that it is quite old.  Now old is
> definitely relative.  I have not been able to find any information on
> this piece.  Has anyone heard of it?  When was it written etc?.  I would
> greatly appreciate any information.

Sounds like a variant title for "Suo-gan".  W.S. Gwynn Williams (in "Welsh
National Music and Dance") identifies its earliest publication as in the
second edition of Edward Jones' "Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh
Brads" (1794).  Evidently this publication was of a simpler version of the
tune than is currently popular -- the more complex one first appears in
print in 1905 in Part II of Robert Bryan's "Alawon y Celt".

I don't seem to have notation for any version of the tune available, so I
can't help in identifying whether you have the earlier or later version.

The 18th century saw the earliest major effort in collecting and
publishing Welsh folk music, and it isn't at all uncommon for the results
of this effort to be considered "quite old" in a modern context.


Heather Rose Jones         hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu

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