Melody of Cynwyd (The)

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X:1 T:Mmynen Cynwyd T:Melody of Cynwyde, The M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Air Q:"Tenderly" B:Edward Jones – Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards (1784, p. 129) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:F c|AFF F2F|FAc cBA|dGG G2G|Bcd dcB| AFF F2F|FAc cBA|BAB Gdc|BAB G2:| |:d2f d2f|d2f dBd|c2f c2f|c2f cAc| dGG G2G|B2c dcB|ecc d=BB|cd_e dcB| AFF F2F|FAc cBA|dGG G2G|B>dc dcB| c3- AFA|d3- BGB|(A>B)c cdB|A>BG F3| {CFA}c3- AFA|d3- BGB|A>Bcc dB|A>BG F2||



MELODY OF CYNWYD, THE (Mwynen Cynwyd). AKA and see "Dargason," "Sedany." Welsh, Country Dance Tune (6/8 time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Howe): ABB (Mellor). Edward Jones (1784) explains: "Cynwyd was a man’s name, and Cynwydion was the name of the Clan and Land: from which the Village of Cywyd in Merionethshire derives its name." The greater portion of this melody appears in London publisher John Playford's English Dancing Master of 1650 (1st ed.) under the title "Dargason," which is thought to have later evolved into the jig "Irish Washerwoman (1)." The resemblance is most pronounced in the first strain; the second strains are quite different.

The Welsh version was printed in 1784 in Edward Jones's Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards. Elias Howe notes that it is "An old Welsh melody, 1588", although what source he references is unknown (although it is perhaps "Dargason" in Ravenscroft's Pammelia of 1609). At some point the tune became part of Welsh folk tradition, becoming attached to a wren-hunt song[1]. See Irish Washerwoman (1) for further information.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 158. Jones (The Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards), 1784; p. 129. Edward Jones (A choice collection of 51 Welsh airs), 1863; p. 31. Mellor (Welsh Dance Tunes), 1935; pp. 14-15.






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  1. Phyllis Kinney, Welsh Traditional Music, 2016, p. 23.