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About Us

The Cornish National Music Archive is a partnership between the Institute of Cornish Studies at Exeter University and Lowender Peran. It is built on, and aims to extend the Cornish Music Archive collection at Kresen Kernow, which is drawn from the physical archive of the former Cornish Music Guild.

Our website aims to collect information regarding the collection, make this information available to the public, and encourage further deposits to the CMA collection at Kresen Kernow.

The broader aim of the CNMA is to collect together information about musical cultures in Cornwall and its diasporic communities – from step-dancing to brass bands, electronica to folk sessions, and Christmas carols to bagpipes. It is for everybody to use, to learn from, and to contribute to.

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Mission Statement

The Cornish National Music Archive’s vision is to represent the broad range of historical and contemporary music culture in, and related to, Cornwall.

We will do this by:


adding information to this site

encouraging new deposits of primary sources to Kresen Kernow

aiding our users by signposting towards these sources at Kresen Kernow an archives and institutions


In this project and website, our aim is to foster greater understanding of, and engagement with, this important element of Cornish culture.

Dr Merv Davey

Dr Merv Davey is past Grand Bard of Gorsedh Kernow, Folk Tradition Recorder for the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies  and one of the founders of Lowender Peran, Cornwall’s Celtic festival. He completed a PhD with the Institute of Cornish Studies researching folk song dance and identity in Cornwall and has written a range of articles and books on Cornish folk tradition. Merv plays regularly with the North Cornwall Ceilidh Band and does duty as itinerant bagpiper for Cornish events and Guize dance traditions throughout the year.

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Tony Mansell

Tony Mansell was born in Cornwall in 1946 and has never found it necessary to move away. Following early retirement he had time to develop his passion for history and writing and is the author of a number of books and many articles on aspects of Cornish history. In 2011 he was made a Bardh Kernow (Cornish Bard) for his writing and research, taking the name of Skrifer Istori. He is a sub-editor with Cornish Story – an Institute of Cornish Studies initiative.

Dr Garry Tregidga

Garry Tregidga is a co-Director of the Institute of Cornish Studies at the University of Exeter. He has published extensively on Cornish history and politics during his career, and developed the Cornish Audio Visual Archive which is housed at Penryn campus. He also runs Cornish Story, which seeks to explore the culture and heritage of Cornwall from the distant past down to the present day.

Dr Kate Neale

Kate Neale is an ethnomusicologist living and working in Cornwall. She completed her PhD on Cornish Christmas carols in the diaspora at Cardiff University in 2018, which underpins the ongoing Carols of the Cornish Diaspora project. Her broader research interests include music in relation to heritage, identity, and community. She is currently working towards publishing her thesis, and learning the Cornish language.