Ow Styrya Ilow Kernewek
Defining Cornish Music

Defining Cornish-ness is an age-old challenge – what makes a person (or a piece of music for that matter) Cornish for one person, might not be what makes it Cornish for another. Part of our aim is to represent the breadth and depth of music that is part of Cornish culture, so we’ve carefully considered how wide to cast our net of what to include in an archive of Cornish music. It can be quite the conundrum – consider for example, a piece of music written about Cornwall – but not by a Cornish person? Or, to take the opposite example, written by a Cornish person – but with nothing particularly “Cornish” about the music?

We’ve put our heads together and decided to include music that is, or has been: popular in Cornwall, impactful in Cornwall, written in Cornwall, written about Cornwall, inspired by Cornwall – thus aiming to include individuals, traditions and and compositions that express, reflect and celebrate Cornwall and our distinctive identity.

Most recent articles:
The story of Maggie May starts in the USA. It was composed as a pop song for the minstrel shows by Charles Blamphin and GW Moore circa 1869, and was published as sheet music in Chicago in 1870. It would seem to have arrived in St Mabyn that same year.
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