Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , THOMAS ( Hafrenydd ; 1807 - 1894 ), musician ;

b. 7 Dec. 1807 at Llanidloes, Mont. He began to study music when he was 10, and received lessons from William Owen ( 1788 - 1838 , q.v.) . His chief contribution to Welsh music was his publication ( 1846 ) called Y Salmydd Cenedlaethol , containing psalm-tunes, hymn-tunes, and sacred choral pieces selected from the works of Handel , Haydn , Mozart , Beethoven , Kent , Farrant , etc.; this was the first work containing examples of sacred pieces from the works of the masters that the Welsh people were given. The work also contains the hymn-tune ‘ Llandinam ,’ arranged by Hafrenydd (but entitled ‘ Erpingham ’ in this collection). The last forty pages of the work consist of instruction in the Wilhelm system of learning to sing. In 1852 Hafrenydd published Ceinion Cerddoriaeth , a selection of 220 hymn-tunes, seventy anthems, and choruses from the works of the masters; at the end of the work is a musical dictionary which was afterwards issued separately and proved of great help to Welsh musicians in regard to Italian musical terms, etc. He also published Hymnau Nadolig , Y Rheol Gristnogol am Briodas , Y Gwirionedd a Chyfeiliornad . He received a grant from the Civil List in recognition of his service to music and to literature. He d. 16 Dec. 1894 , and was buried in Llanidloes churchyard.


  • M. O. Jones , Bywgraffiaeth Cerddorion Cymreig (1890) ;
  • Y Cerddor , Feb., Nov., and Dec. 1895 ;
  • R. D. Griffith , Hanes canu cynulleidfaol Cymru (Cardiff, 1948) .


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

Published date: 1959