Item Details

Minority language, majority canon

Issue: Vol 7 No. 3 (2012)

Journal: Popular Music History

Subject Areas: Popular Music

DOI: 10.1558/pomh.v7i3.283


In this article I explore the idea of ‘canon’ in a lesser spoken language culture. The sense of ‘canon’ in Welsh popular music is intimately related to political and cultural activity, and ‘canonical’ figures are often inseparable from their involvement in the movement to secure a future for the Welsh language. By examining the relationship between the Anglo-American ‘majority’ canon and its ‘minority’ Welsh counterpart, I engage with the process of historicizing Welsh popular music on its own musical and chronological terms as but one in a possible network of ‘microcanons’ that exist to challenge Anglo-American cultural dominance.

Author: Sarah Hill

View Original Web Page

References :

Bloom, Harold. 1995. The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages. London: Papermac.
Cook, Nicholas, and Mark Everist, eds. 2001. Rethinking Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Davies, Janet. 1993. The Welsh Language. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
Davies, John. 1994. Broadcasting and the BBC in Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
Everist, Mark. 2001. ‘Reception Theories, Canonic Discorses, and Musical Value’. In Rethinking Music, ed. Nicholas Cook and Mark Everist, 378–402. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Fairley, Jan. 2001. ‘The “Local” and “Global” in Popular Music’. In The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock, ed. Simon Frith, Will Straw and John Street, 272–89. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Fink, Robert. 2005. ‘Klinghoffer in Brooklyn Heights’. Cambridge Opera Journal 17, no. 2: 173–213.
Frith, Simon. 1981. ‘“The Magic That Can Set You Free”: The Ideology of Folk and the Myth of the Rock Community’. In Popular Music 1: Folk or Popular? Distinctions, Influences, Continuities, ed. Richard Middleton and Trevor Horn, 159–68. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
—1996. Performing Rites: On the Value of Popular Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hill, Sarah. 2002. ‘“Blerwytirhwng?” Welsh Popular Music, Language, and the Politics of Identity’. PhD thesis, Cardiff University.
— 2007. ‘Blerwytirhwng?’ The Place of Welsh Pop Music. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Jones, Carys Wyn. 2008. The Rock Canon: Canonical Values in the Reception of Rock Albums. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Kärjä, Antti-Ville. 2006. ‘A Prescribed Alternative Mainstream: Popular Music and Canon Formation’. Popular Music 25, no. 1: 3–19.
Lipsitz, George. 1994. Dangerous Crossroads: Popular Music, Postmodernism and the Poetics of Place. London: Verso.
Redhead, Steve, and John Street. 1989. ‘Have I the Right? Legitimacy, Authenticity and Community in Folk’s Politics’. Popular Music 8, no. 2: 177–84.
Taruskin, Richard. 2001. ‘Music’s Dangers and the Case for Control’. New York Times, 9 December.
Von Appen, Ralf, and André Doehring. 2006. ‘Nevermind the Beatles, Here’s Exile 61 and Nico: “The Top 100 Records of All Time”—a Canon of Pop and Rock Albums from a Sociological and an Aesthetic Perspective’. Popular Music 25, no. 1: 21–39.
Weber, William. 2001. ‘The History of Musical Canon’. In Rethinking Music, ed. Nicholas Cook and Mark Everist, 336–55. Oxford: Oxford University Press.