Welcome to the Cornish National Music Archive!

Hello there and welcome to our project – a place for all Cornish music and musicians.

The story starts when the collection of the former Cornish Music Guild was brought to the attention of one of the team in 2015. It had been housed in what was then the Cornish Studies Library in Redruth, and contains original compositions, cassette recordings, printed music, handwritten manuscripts – all items of real significance for Cornwall’s musical culture. The collection was catalogued during 2016 at the then Cornwall Record Office and is now housed at Kresen Kernow.

‘Rediscovering the Guild’s archive was the spark that got us thinking that there ought to be somewhere that brings all types of Cornish music – and music in Cornwall – together.’

~ Merv Davey

As music researchers and enthusiasts, we wanted to bring wider attention to these important pieces of Cornish musical history and culture, and help grow the collection itself – which was where the idea for this website was born.

We felt it was important to include information not only about the collection held at Kresen Kernow, but about the broader range of music in Cornwall – from brass bands to traditional and folk music, Cornish language song, performers and composers, festivals, events, and venues – basically, to be a resource for everyone that reflects the diversity of Cornwall and its music.

BUT – this website is far from finished! New articles are being published regularly, and we’re inviting you to take part!

If you’re interested in writing an article about someone, somewhere, or something musical in or relating to Cornwall, you can sign up to contribute articles. Need some inspiration? Check out some different ways to look around the site here.

Finally, we definitely wouldn’t be where are today without the help and support of Tamsin Mallett and the team at Kresen Kernow – they do such an amazing job and we’re incredibly grateful for their work and input. We’d also like to thank the Cornwall Heritage Trust, the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies and Gorsedh Kernow for their support in this project.

So thanks for reading our very first blog – there’ll be more to come soon! We hope you enjoy looking around the site, and if you have any comments or suggestions we’d love to hear from you.

1933: Trelawney Male Choir, Redruth (Photo courtesy Roy Blewett)  
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The decline in Cornish mining was a terrible time for those who had been employed in the industry. Many former miners formed themselves into choirs and sang at many locations to raise money to feed their families. 1920s: Unempoyed Miners’ Choir (Photo: courtesy Roy Blewett) !920s: Unemployed tin miners from
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As played by Francis Bennett January 2024, part of a series of play-through's of Cornish Tunes aimed at promoting and enabling players of all abilities to improve their knowledge of Cornish music. Courtesy of Sounds Like Cornwall Today
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