Remember Me
Or use your Academic/Social account:


Or use your Academic/Social account:


You have just completed your registration at OpenAire.

Before you can login to the site, you will need to activate your account. An e-mail will be sent to you with the proper instructions.


Please note that this site is currently undergoing Beta testing.
Any new content you create is not guaranteed to be present to the final version of the site upon release.

Thank you for your patience,
OpenAire Dev Team.

Close This Message


Verify Password:
Verify E-mail:
*All Fields Are Required.
Please Verify You Are Human:
fbtwitterlinkedinvimeoflicker grey 14rssslideshare1
Barlow, Rachelle Louise
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects: ML
This thesis concerns Wales as the ‘land of song’. In particular, it looks at choral singing in Wales which has long been considered a male tradition. From definitions of Welsh musical traditions featured in encyclopaedias to the continued use of male voice choirs at cultural events (such as rugby matches), men are continually promoted as the only bearers of the Welsh choral tradition. By contrast, this thesis questions such an assertion by arguing that women were also key players in its development in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In this matter, I interrogate two gendered stereotypes: Wales as ‘the land of my mothers’ (with reference to the suffrage movement) and Wales as ‘the land of my fathers’ (with reference to music, sport and nationhood). Conceived as a historical ethnography, this thesis draws upon extensive primary and secondary sources to provide the first in-depth study of gender and identity in Welsh choirs. \ud \ud The core of the thesis is comprised of historical narratives of four case study choirs from the period under study, namely the South Wales Choral Union (led by ‘Caradog’), the Rhondda Glee Society (led by Tom Stephens) and the two Royal Welsh Ladies’ Choirs (led by Clara Novello Davies and Hannah Hughes-Thomas respectively). In each case, I provide a discussion of the choir’s origin and the social context in which it developed, details about performance practice, membership, social class, repertoire and each choir’s relationship to notions of gender and identity in Wales. Moreover, I present a new understanding of the choirs’ conductors through biographical accounts; information regarding Clara Novello Davies and Hannah Hughes-Thomas especially has not been featured in previous scholarly studies. Informed by my perspective as a Welsh woman, I present a nuanced reading of Wales as ‘the land of song’ by considering both historical narratives and personal ethnographic experiences today. In this manner, this thesis contributes to ethnomusicological literature on gendered discourse and concepts of nationhood.
  • The results below are discovered through our pilot algorithms. Let us know how we are doing!

    • Ambrose, Gwilym P., 'The Aberdare Background to the South Wales Choral Union: (Y Côr Mawr) 1853-1872', in S. Williams (ed.), Glamorgan Historian, Vol. IX (Barry, n.d.), 191-202
    • Andrews, David, 'Sport and the Masculine Hegemony of the Modern Nation: Welsh Rugby, Culture and Society, 1890-1914', in John Nauright and Timothy J. L. Chandler (eds), Making Men: Rugby and Masculine Identity (London; Portland: Frank Cass, 1996), 50-69
    • Annabell, Angela, 'An Introduction to Colonial Music-Making', Early Music New Zealand, 2/3 (1986), 25-29
    • Argent, Mark (ed.), Recollections of R .J. S. Stevens: An Organist in Georgian London (London: Macmillan Press, 1992)
    • Averill, Gage, Four Parts, No Waiting: A Social History of American Barbershop Harmony (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003)
    • Barlow, Rachelle, Review of Music in Welsh Culture Before 1650: A Study of the Principal Sources, by Sally Harper, Ethnomusicology, 55/3 (2011), 511-516
    • Brennan, Helen, 'Reinventing the Tradition: The Boundaries of Irish Dance', History Ireland, 2/2 (1994), 22-24
    • Davies, E. T., A New History of Wales: Religion and Society in the Nineteenth Century (Dyfed: Christopher Davies, 1981)
    • Foucault, Michel, The History of Sexuality. Volume 1: An Introduction, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Vintage, 1980)
    • Johnes, Martin, 'A Prince, a King and a Referendum: Rugby, Politics, Nationhood in Wales, 1969-1979', Journal of British Studies, 47/1 (2008), 129-148
    • Machann, Clinton, 'Gender Politics and the Study of Nineteenth Century Autobiography', The Journal of Men's Studies, 6/3 (1998), 307-318
    • McClary, Susan, Feminine Endings: Music, Gender and Sexuality (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991)
    • Williams, J. Gwynn, The University College of North Wales Foundations, 1884-1927 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985)
    • Williams, L. J. and Dot Jones, 'Women at Work in Nineteenth Century Wales', Llafur: The Journal of the Society of Welsh Labour Historians, 3/3 (1982), 20-32
    • Williams, Sian Rhiannon, 'The True “Cymraes”: Images of Women in Women's NineteenthCentury Welsh Periodicals', in Angela V. John (ed.), Our Mothers' Land: Chapters in Welsh Women's History, 1830-1939 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1991), 69-91
    • 'Statue of Ivor Novello, Cardiff Bay 2009', People's Collection Wales website [accessed 8 June 2015]
    • 'St. James's Street, West Side, Past Buildings', Survey of London: volumes 29 and 30: St James Westminster, Part 1 (1960), pp. 459-471. Available online: [accessed 9 July 2014]
  • No related research data.
  • No similar publications.

Share - Bookmark

Cite this article