Popular Music History, Vol 5, No 3 (2010)

National identity versus commerce: an analysis of opportunities and limitations within the Welsh music scene for composers and performing musicians

Paul Carr
Issued Date: 25 Jan 2012


This article investigates the sometimes opposing political, commercial and nationalistic pressures on Welsh musicians to sustain a living. Furthermore, it considers how these factors can potentially affect their Welsh identity, a term which was identified by Sarah Hill (2007) as being inherently problematic. After documenting a brief contextualization of the history of Welsh popular music and its dialogic relationship with the construction and portrayal of identity, the article outlines how opportunities and threats are impacted by this construction. It argues that both the government and the music industry need to negotiate the grey area between economics and cultural authenticity, leaving musicians free to portray their ‘Welshness’ as they see fit. The necessity for a unified industry that facilitates musicians to exploit their intellectual property rights inside and outside of Wales is also emphasized as an important factor regarding the capacity of the Welsh music industry to propagate employment for its workforce.

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DOI: 10.1558/pomh.v5i3.265


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