The Characteristics of the Old Welsh Harp and Folk Music
“It would have been a loss to the music of the world if the Welsh Airs had never come into existence, and that not only on account of their excellence but because they have peculiarities which distinguish them from the Airs of other nations“ states Sir John Rhys. 
to the year 1742 there was no special effort made to preserve a collection of
Welsh harp tunes. Nevertheless in no other country of Great Britain were the
tunes and also the poetry of its people kept more alive in the memory than in
"In their oldest tunes we may have the remains of what was anciently the music of this country long before the Roman invasion under Julius Caesar.“ writes F.A. Gore Ouseley.
the old harp tunes and genuine folksongs reach back to tunes long past. The fact
that they were not written down only goes to show that this was not necessary to
keep them alive.
Jones writes in1802 that the majority of the tunes he published were written
down as old people sang them and as they were played by harpists in North Wales.
1839 John F.M. Dovaston writes that Welsh harp music “has
more of science than that of most other nations“. 
decline of the national minstrelsy was greatly due to the fanaticism of
ill-educated preachers who wanted to turn the people away from singing, dancing
and playing music. But by means of collections of music as mentioned above a lot
of the music of the old bardic harpers was preserved, in spite of the English
influence during the Tudor period, even in the 18th and early 19th
Since 1906 the Welsh Folk Song Society has made a great contribution to this work of preservation.