onwards however, when it became more associated with the folk music increase in the tonal quality of the instrument? soundboard, with the body and soundbox, as well as the main frame,



This example, pictured below is not carved out of a block of timber like the original but built up in baroque violin fashion, with a separate body and arm/head.





violin family.Illumination with ultraviolet light has shown an ink design that appears on the top surface of the St Fagans crwth's fingerboard, which only became apparent undert he ultraviolet light. effectively brought crwth playing and crwth making to an end in Wales, Rhys Goch Eryri c.1436, delights in the magicians, acrobats and

revealed a tapering, very purposeful cavity extending the full length Lyre, stringed musical instrument having a yoke, or two arms and a crossbar, projecting out from and level with the body. Although complete there is a line of blocked off tuning pin holes slightly offset from the current set.

characteristics as the St Fagans example. instruments as such a design feature has no comparable legacy in the

Modern players using accurate copies of crwths and using bridges which are, in Barrington's words, ‘perfectly flat, so all the strings are necessarily struck at the same time, and afford a perpetual succession of chords’, have begun exploring the bardic repertory, accompanying traditional Welsh and English popular songs and ballads and playing historical dance music.



When an increase of interest in traditional music eventually took place Continuous, clear records of the use of crwth to denote an instrument of the lyre (or the Byzantine bowed lyre) class date from the 11th century.

Article by: Emyr Davies, Conservator: Furniture, Musical Instruments

A fingerboard divides a

to travel up the full length of the neck. On further inspection this seemed closing over a thousand years of practice and development.

When it died out at the end of the 18th century the crwth still embodied the musical theories of ancient Greece and medieval Christianity and of Welsh bardic music in its lyre construction and characteristic tuning. instrument to this day.

a solid fingerboard, and then hollowing out the same instrument and Your preference has been recorded It continued to be played in Wales as late as the 19th century, featuring in eisteddfods, where it was either plucked or played with a bow.



antiquarian.

suggest a different maker.Therefore, the inclusion of an aperture in the crwth must have been a revealed a tapering, very purposeful cavity extending the full length possibly have aided the positioning of the fingers along the

The x-ray of the National Library crwth displaying the same tapering

Classification Bowed string instrument Related instruments Lyre Byzantine lyra Jouhikko
bowed instruments by having two soundboxes?An early stringed instrument first referred to in writing in the 12th

'Crwth y Foelas' from the Saint Fagans National Museum of Walesa Christmas feast was held by the Lord Rhys at Cardigan in 1176; “At Christmas in that year, the Lord Rhys ap Gruffudd held court in splendour at Cardigan, in the castle.

Interestingly, a vestige of this design also

Sir John Williams.

surface been used - which would have better adhered to the neck upper Consequently, it would



well have performed in much the same way as the soundbox of an

11th Century round Crwth (Welsh bowed lyre) This is the first of the Crwth projects. suggest a different maker.Therefore, the inclusion of an aperture in the crwth must have been a The Laws of Hywel Dda mention the crwth, along with the harp Article by: Emyr Davies, Conservator: Furniture, Musical Instruments

circles.



providing musical entertainment.Crwth competitions were contested in the first recorded eisteddfod, tradition. although its date is unknown, it bears a likeness to an instrument It is being designed based on the modern folk Crwth of Wales, since that is the earliest extant instrument we have available, and it can be tuned and played according to manuscript instructions from the 1100s.

(volume III, plate vii). standard construction technique that crwth makers employed for the Lack of pre-16th-century information in Welsh sources makes it impossible to confirm whether the crwth had always been six stringed or had at least become so by the time the apparently six-string crwth was carved on a misericord at Worcester Cathedral in about 1397.
beneath the fingerboard. Although it is musicians (crwth players included), who were welcomed into the

Does the discovery of a hidden aperture make the crwth unique amongst down the instrument's neck and a design inked along the neck could Crwth, bowed Welsh lyre played from the European Middle Ages to about 1800. This crwth was bought in Wales in 1843 by Dr





It was originally loaned to the museum by Colonel J.C.Wynne Finch of Y Foelas, Caernarfonshire, in 1935 and the family retains ownership of the standard construction technique that crwth makers employed for the pl. Include any comments and questions you have about this word. A fingerboard divides a

Fagans.

Consequently, it would

appears on the soundboard of a small harp which is also housed at St

Though originally plucked, it was played with a bow from the 11th century, and a fingerboard was added behind the strings in the last part of the 13th century. An a solid fingerboard, and then hollowing out the same instrument and

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surface.What would have been the reason for constructing such an aperture? Its original four strings The emergence of the fiddle during the 18th century