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date: 06 April 2020

Griffith, R(obert) D.locked

  • Owain Edwards


(b Cwm-y-glo, Caernarvonshire, 1877; d Old Colwyn, Oct 21, 1958). Welsh music historian. He was one of a large musical family; brothers of his were organists at Cwm-y-glo, Tregarth and Bethesda. In 1890 he moved with his parents to Bethesda, where he took up the viola and from the age of 15 started holding music classes. He believed firmly in the tonic sol-fa system as a valuable means of learning music, particularly of developing a good sense of relative pitch. He was elected precentor at Jerusalem Chapel, Bethesda, in 1906 and three years later had established an 80-voice mixed choir which gave regular performances of oratorios. Subsequently he conducted many other amateur music societies, including the Bethesda Choral Society (from 1921) and the Colwyn Bay and District Choral Society (1929–36), and was a guest conductor at singing Festivals in nonconformist chapels. He earned his living as a salesman for a paint company. Griffith wrote extensively on Welsh music and musicians, concentrating on church music especially in his ...

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