The Cymanfa Ganu is a distinctive contribution of Wales to hymn singing. As experienced in the 21st century in Wales and in Welsh communities around the world it is a festival of hymns, largely familiar to those within the culture, sung with great fervour under the direction of a conductor, who also leads the occasion with remarks on the hymns and on the manner in which they are to be sung. It is felt to be a success if a strong emotional response to the hymns is generated. Those present look for the ‘hwyl’ (mood); they hope to enjoy themselves.
The word ‘Cymanfa’ however does not denote an emotional or even festival event. It means simply an assembly, or gathering. The word ‘Canu’ simply...
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