Music From The Clay Country

We are excited to be running a project over the next few months titled ‘Music From The Clay Country’ – and we need your help!

From brass bands to choirs, and traditional music to hymn tunes, we’re trying to capture the breadth and depth of music and music making in the clay country – historically right down to the present day, we’re looking to record as much information about music in Cornwall’s Clay Country as possible.

Where and what is the Clay Country?

The clay country is the china clay production district in mid-Cornwall – stretching from Summercourt  in the west to Fowey and Par to the east, and as far north as Roche and as far south as Mevagissey. The clay country is covered by clay tips, pits, industrial refineries and distribution networks of this form of decomposed granite, which is used to make paper, cosmetics, and much more. Discovered in the mid-1700s, the china clay industry became one of Cornwall’s largest employers – by 1850, there were around seven thousand people employed by the industry in the district.

This area is dotted through with towns and villages that have strong communities, and many different musical groups and traditions taking an important role in community life.

We want to gather as much information as possible about people, groups, musical traditions and events in the clay country as possible.

Can you help?

Do you know of a group, musician, song, dance, piece of music, venue – or something else – that should be included in the project? Why not write a short article about it for the website? Or, let us know about it and we can follow it up!

The clay country will probably have different boundaries and definitions depending on who you’re asking, so we’re not making any particularly hard or fast boundaries – we’re just looking to fill the map with music!

If you’re not sure whether your idea falls within the clay country, write it up or get in touch anyway! We would still love to include it on the website and so we can add more information about music in Cornwall.

What are we doing?

We’re working with community musicians and researchers to gather information, write it up into articles, and will be publishing it on the website and sharing it on social media.

We’ll also be giving talks and demonstrations about different sorts of music in the clay country. If you’re interested, please get in touch!

Is this something your school would be interested in? Please get in touch if so!

We’ll also be celebrating the project with a launch in July – stay tuned for further details.

We are grateful to acknowledge FEAST, the Cornwall Community Foundation, the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies, and Gorsedh Kernow for their support in this project.
Federatino of Old Cornwall Societies Logo

The Federation of Old Cornwall Societies

Gorsedh Kernow Logo