The Info List - Cymanfa Ganu

--- Advertisement ---

A Cymanfa Ganu[1] (Welsh pronunciation: [kəˈmanva ˈɡanɨ], Singing Festival), is a Welsh festival of sacred hymns, sung with four part harmony by a congregation, usually under the direction of a choral director. In Wales, more than a thousand Cymanfa Ganu are held each year. These take place in virtually every village and town in Wales, except for parts of Monmouthshire and south east Wales. Many villages and towns have more than one Cymanfa Ganu a year, as often many separate chapels in towns and villages hold their own. Some large annual ones occur event in some chapels and take place at festivals such as the National Eisteddfod
of Wales
and the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. Some are occasionally held in theatres and concert halls. Cymanfa Ganus are held across the world - wherever people of Welsh heritage live, significantly in Patagonia ( Argentina) e.g. Trelew, Gaiman, where there were significant Welsh settlements from the 19th Century. In some of these areas Welsh is still spoken as a main language in daily use, usually together with Spanish. Outside Wales, in the UK there are Cymanfa Ganu in London, parts of the West Midlands and other areas where there are still chapels using the medium of Welsh . The Cymanfa Ganu is one of the unique features of Welsh culture and its preservation is being supported by a number of Welsh cultural associations, such as the New Zealand National Gymanfa Ganu Association and the Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu Association (North America). North American Gymanfa Ganu[edit] Once a year, a four-day North American Festival of Wales
(a Gymanfa Ganu, commonly just referred to as a National) is held in North America over the Labor Day
Labor Day
weekend. The four-day festival opens on Thursday night with a Noson Lawen, which some call a Welsh Amateur Night. The weekend continues with an evening banquet on Friday and a Saturday concert, generally featuring a Welsh male voice choir and soloists, both from Wales. Sunday is the defining day of the four-day festival which begins with a bilingual church and memorial service. After a brief intermission, this service is followed by afternoon and evening sessions of the Gymanfa Ganu itself. A unique feature of the gymanfa ganu is the seating separation of alto, soprano, tenor, and bass singers into sections for the four part harmony singing. And while the Gymanfa Ganu is conducted with the dignity of a church service, it is not unknown for the musical conductor to stop the singing when one or more of the voice sections wanders from the desired harmony and needs special attention. Interspersed between the formal proceedings are frequent sessions of spontaneous singing of favorite hymns. A Welsh Marketplace, offering Welsh products, artifacts, souvenirs, recordings, and books, is also available during the days of the festival. The Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu Association is the main organizational body responsible for putting on the event. See also[edit]

List of music festivals in the United Kingdom


^ Gymanfa Ganu is sometimes used, due to the complexities of consonant mutation in the Welsh language, which leads to the initial ⟨c⟩ being mutated to a ⟨g⟩ when preceded by the Welsh word for the. The Welsh plural is Cymanfaoedd Canu.

v t e

Welsh folk music


Eisteddfod Noson Lawen Twmpath

Folk song

Cerdd Dant Cymanfa Ganu Cynghanedd Men's chorus


Crwth Fiddle Flute Pibgorn Triple harp Tabwrdd Welsh bagpipes

Dance & Tune Types

General Clogging

2/4 Dance Polka

2/2 and 4/4 Dances Barn dance Hornpipe Reel

3/4 Dances Waltz

6/8 Dances Jig

Non-dance Tunes Marches and Airs which exist in various meters.


Aeolian mode Dorian mode Harmonic minor scale Ionian mode Mixolydian mode Pentatonic scale


Cape Breton fiddling Folk music of England Folk music of Ireland Folk