Minority language, majority canon


  • Sarah Hill Cardiff University




historiography, minority language popular music, value judgements, Welsh pop


In this article I explore the idea of ‘canon’ in a lesser spoken language culture. The sense of ‘canon’ in Welsh popular music is intimately related to political and cultural activity, and ‘canonical’ figures are often inseparable from their involvement in the movement to secure a future for the Welsh language. By examining the relationship between the Anglo-American ‘majority’ canon and its ‘minority’ Welsh counterpart, I engage with the process of historicizing Welsh popular music on its own musical and chronological terms as but one in a possible network of ‘microcanons’ that exist to challenge Anglo-American cultural dominance.

Author Biography

Sarah Hill, Cardiff University

Sarah Hill is a lecturer in Music at Cardiff University. She is the author of ‘Blerwytirhwng?’ The Place of Welsh Pop Music (Ashgate, 2007), and coeditor of Peter Gabriel: From Genesis to Growing Up (Ashgate, 2010). She has published articles on female vocality, Otis Redding, music in postcolonial Wales, and narrativity in progressive rock, and is currently working on a cultural history of popular music in San Francisco, 1965–69.


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How to Cite

Hill, S. (2013). Minority language, majority canon. Popular Music History, 7(3), 283–300. https://doi.org/10.1558/pomh.v7i3.283