Music in Wales
Whether we can sing or not, we'll certainly give it a try.
And that's perhaps why Wales is referred to as 'The Land of Song.'
Welsh National Anthem
Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land of my Fathers) is the Welsh National Anthem and was written by Evan James in 1856. His son James adapted a traditional harp melody to accompany the words and it was first performed at the Bangor Eisteddfod in 1874.
Today the most common time you will hear the National Anthem played is before Wales play rugby. You'll notice our crowds tend to win hands down when it comes to singing - even if Wales don't always win the actual game! Our National Anthemn always gets the loudest and most tuneful rendition.
Find out more about the history of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.
Male Voice Choirs
Of course we can't talk about Wales and music without getting to our male voice choirs, famous throughout the world. Probably the best known today are Treorchy and Morriston Orpheus male voice choirs, and seeing them perform is a real treat. More recently, Froncysyllte's choir has come into the limelight - there is even talk of a Hollywood film being made about it.
The harp is regarded as the national instrument of Wales. In Wales the triple harp, an instrument with three rows of strings is more popular than the conventional harp which only has one row. Throughout the ages the harp has been used as an accompaniment to folk singing and as a solo instrument. Today artists such as Catrin Finch are bringing it right up-to-date. There are still many musicians keeping our folk tradition alive, arranging and performing traditional melodies.
Find out more about the triple harp
The National Eisteddfod of Wales
The first Eisteddfod was held in 1176, it was a grand gathering of poets and musicians at Lord Rhys' Castle in Cardigan. A chair at the Lord's table was awarded to the best poet and musician, a tradition that exists in the modern day National Eisteddfod.
The Eisteddfod takes place during the first week of August every year and each year it's located in a different region of Wales. The Eisteddfod is a festival of Welsh music, literature, dance, theatre, visual arts, recitation and all types of culture in Wales.
Welsh Music Stars, Rock & Pop Bands
All in all, for a small nation, we have bred some pretty influential musical figures, many of which have gone on to international stardom. From opera stars like Bryn Terfel and Sir Geraint Evans to music legends like Sir Tom Jones and Dame Shirley Bassey - we've certainly done our fair share for the international stage.
In more recent years we have produced some hugely successful rock and pop bands too. Manic Street Preachers, Super Furry Animals, Stereophonics, Feeder, Lost Prophets and Kids in Glass Houses are just some of the bands who have appeared in recent years and still going strong.
Find out more about music artists in Wales
Welsh Music Scene
There is also a thriving Welsh language music scene - today's big acts include Euros Childs, Georgia Ruth Williams, Gruff Rhys, Yr Ods and Race Horses, many of which are influential far beyond Wales, though not part of the mainstream music scene. Old timers such as Bryn Fon, Meic Stevens and Dafydd Iwan are still going strong.
And you can't talk about Welsh music without mentioning Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens and promoter John Rostron's Swn Festival, a Cardiff-wide music festival held each autumn.
Welsh National Opera
Classical music aficionados are also well served. The Wales Millennium Centre is home to the Welsh National Opera, a multi award-winning touring opera company. They regularly perform some of the world famous operas at the centre.
Find out what's on at the Wales Millennium Centre this month
The Welsh Proms
The Welsh Proms celebrated its 25th Anniversary in July 2010. Finding its home at St David's Hall in Cardiff, the world-class Orchestral Concert Series features the world's top orchestras, soloists and conductors, including the Hall’s Orchestra in Residence the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
As well as the Proms, the Hall also presents a multitude of live entertainment, including pop, rock, folk, jazz, rhythm and blues, comedy, children's shows, lunchtime concerts, musicals, light entertainment, dance, world music, films and classical music.
Find out what's on at St David's Hall.