Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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ROBERTS , DAVID ( Alawydd ; 1820 - 1872 ), quarryman and musician ;

b. 16 June 1820 at Tal-y-bont , Llanllechid, Caerns. , the son of Moses and Ellen Roberts . As the father was a smith at Cae Braich-y-cafn quarry , the family moved to Cae'rberllan , Bethesda , in order to be nearer the quarry. The son was educated at schools in Llandygài , Carneddi , and Llanllechid ; later he attended an evening school held at Ty'n-clawdd , Tre-garth . When he was 13 he joined the Carneddi musical society . He joined the Congregational chapel at Bethesda and, in time, became the leader of the church choir . He started a music class for the use of which he wrote a series of lessons . These lessons were shown to John Ambrose Lloyd and Edward Stephen ( Tanymarian ) on whose suggestion, together with the suggestion of the Carneddi musical society , they were published in 1848 , under the title of Gramadeg Cerddorol ; several other editions followed, the book being very much in demand. The Carneddi choir performed several oratorios under his conductorship. Anthems which he composed took prizes at Bethesda eisteddfodau held in 1852 and 1853 , the anthem called ‘ Bendigedig fyddo'r Arglwydd ’ being published in Y Gyfres Gerddorol . In 1867 he published Llyfr y Psalmau , containing 150 tunes — sixty composed and arranged by Alawydd himself. His best known tune is called ‘ Catherine ,’ 8.7.4. He d. 26 May, 1872 , and was buried in Glanogwen burial ground , Bethesda .

Sources:

  • W. Parry Llyfr Hanes Llenyddiaeth ac Enwogion Llanllechid a Llandegai , 1921 ;
  • M. O. Jones , Bywgraffiaeth Cerddorion Cymreig , National Eisteddfod Association publication, 1890 ;
  • R. D. Griffith , Hanes canu cynulleidfaol Cymru , Cardiff, 1948 ;
  • Y Cerddor , May 1890, Feb. 1892, and Feb. 1915.

Author:

Robert David Griffith, M.A., (1877-1958), Old Colwyn

Published date: 1959