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Wales

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No. 32 Sept. 1958

O'r frest : Otherwise extempore or improvised.

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authority to its appearances on the platform by establishing its cere-
monial rites as essential to the Chairing and Crowning of successful
poets. But it has allowed a slender gap for improvisation by providing
the opportunity for two of its poets to read verses of congratulation to
the winners. Usually these verses are terse and witty and by no means in
tune with the solemn cadences of the fixed ceremonial. One may detect
a note of homely relief in the laughter with which these poetic sallies
are received.
The Eisteddfod's literature addicts with the aid of the B B C which
has, I hope, received its due share of praise in these lines already, have
another outlet for spontaneous utterance in the final round of Ymryson
y Beirdd held in the Literature Pavilion during the week. They have also
not too sporting a chance to engage in public dispute and discussion
with judges and each other within the walls of the same temporary
structure.
Welsh musicians do not use the Eisteddfod in the same way. Indeed
neither singers, instrumentalists nor composers seem to appear to have
anything they wish to discuss in public. It is surely not because they
have nothing to say. The trouble with most practitioners of the Arts is
that such friends as they may have retained cannot stop them from
arguing and pontificating.
Perhaps the few Welsh composers who attend the Eisteddfod are too
busily engaged as judges of competitions to have any time to get to-
gether for public discussion. They can hardly assert that there is nothing
to discuss, although, in all conscience, one cannot claim that Welsh
music is pouring over the counters of music-dealers. The very scarcity
of published work must be a matter of urgency to the intending
purveyor.
In this respect it is surely time to bring pressure to bear on the Council
of Music of the University of Wales. It is, after all, a National board, to
which England appears to have no comparable institution. And private
publishing houses having faded from the scene, we must ask the Uni-
versity Press Board to revive some of the valuable activity in which it
indulged, before the war, in co-operation with the music department
of the Oxford University Press, and at least one other house.
Nor are musicians likely to find a more sympathetic platform than
that which they could erect at the Eisteddfod where there is a constant
demand for new work in music.
The best people will have seen the sympathetic comments in The
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