Folk Songs Proper
texts of these songs were emotional and poetic with shorter verses than in the
ballads. The language is straight to the point without the tiring
circumlocution of many ballads.
melodies are simple without vocal difficulties, but often wonderful in form and
very expressive. Many tunes are similar to the emotional 'hwyl'
of the old Welsh preachers. The melodies of many traditional Welsh hymn tunes
are those of folk songs (carols, ballads and love songs).. These came to be used
as sacred melodies when hymn singing was introduced into Welsh nonconformist
services of worship in the first half of the 18th century. In the
following time these hymn tunes became more popular than the harp airs or
secular folk songs.
The hymn tunes, which can be counted among the most beautiful sacred melodies of the world, are mostly sung in four-part harmony.