Cynllun Datgeiniaeth 2008 / 2010 - Peter Greenhill, Twm Morys, Gareth Siôn, Gwilym Morus, Gorwel Roberts

ail ddarganfod crefft a chelfyddyd datganiaeth ganol oesol 

Ar ddiwedd yr 20fed ganrif, gwelwyd datblygiadau enfawr ym maes cerddoriaeth farddol (neu gerdd dant yn yr hen ystyr), gan daflu golau newydd ar rhai o gyfrinachau’r traddodiad canol oesol. Daeth cymaint o wybodaeth ymarferol ynglŷn ag estheteg y diwylliant barddol i’r fei fel y gorchfygwyd cyfwng 300 mlynedd parthed agweddau rhythmig crefft lafar yr hen ddatgeiniaid. Gwelwyd mydryddiaeth gymhleth y gynghanedd yn dod yn fyw fel dyfeisiau sain, a hynny mewn modd hynod hwylus i’r glust. Yn sgil hyn i gyd, y cwestiwn holl bwysig yw: ydi’r hwylustod hwn yn ddigon i gyfiawnhau datblygiad yr holl fydryddiaeth? Er bod y fydryddiaeth yn ateg i’r cof, ei phrif amcan oedd diddanu’r glust, ac felly roedd rhaid ei bod yn hawdd ei chanfod gan glustiau medrus connoisseurs yr Oesoedd Canol.

Mae’r adluniadau hyn yn ganlyniad i waith ymchwil gyda’r amcan o ddarganfod cymaint â phosibl am wirionedd y perfformiad canol oesol, a hynny gan geisio cynnwys cyn lleied o anwiredd â phosibl, gan ymwrthod ag unrhyw ddyfalu sydd ymhlyg yn yr ymchwil ar hyn o bryd. 

Peter Greenhill






Declamation Project 2008 / 2010 - Peter Greenhill, Twm Morys, Gareth Siôn, Gwilym Morus, Gorwel Roberts

rediscovering the medieval art and craft of declamation

In the late 20th century, huge advances were made in penetrating the mysteries of bardic instrumental music. The wealth of practical information released, on the aesthetics of medieval bardic culture, was brought to bear on the great impasse of three hundred years standing which surrounded the question of the rhythmic aspects of bardic vocal performance. This presentation of the products will demonstrate its famously-complex metrics taking flight as sound-devices, at a high level of accessibility to the ear. In light of this, the crucial question here has to be: is this level of accessibility high enough to account for the development and use of all the metrics? For, although it is clear that the metrics had a mnemonic role, their prime function was to entertain the ear, and so they must have been satisfactorily accessible, not too elusive, to the attuned ears of the connoisseurs of the Middle Ages.

The reconstructions to be performed have been derived from the research with the intention of capturing as much of the truth of medieval performance as possible, and this at the cost of the inclusion of as little untruth as possible, by excluding any speculation that the research implies is not absolutely necessary at this time. 

Peter Greenhill



 


10 Canllaw’r Datgeiniad:

  • Pwysleisiau: os yw’r llinell yn cynnwys 3 curiad yna pwysleisir 1 a 3, os 4 curiad yna pwysleisir 2 a 4. Oes digon o glec ar y pwysleisiau?
  • Amseru’r sillafau: oes digon o amrywiaeth cyffredinol? Gofaler nad oes ormod o’r sillafau diacen yn disgyn yn union ar ganol dau guriad (e.e. ar guriad y pastwn), fel nad ydyw’n rhy fecanyddol.
  • Tonyddiaeth: ydi’r gwahaniaeth rhwng y ddwy dôn yn ddigon neu’n ormod? Ydi cywair cyffredinol y ddau’n addas ar gyfer pob cymal?
  • Taflu’r llais – ydi’r llais yn cario, heb ddefnyddio gormod o anadl? Mae cywair uwch yn taflu’r llais yn bellach, ynghyd â chodi’r pen.
  • Mae curiadau gwag angen dwy glec ar y pastwn a llithrad oddi ar unrhyw gytsain sy’n ei ragflaenu.
  • Toriadau rhwng cymalau: ydi’r rhain yn y mannau cywir?
  • Hen ynganiadau wrth ddatgan cerddi hanesyddol.
  • Cynaniad: ydi hyn mor eglur â phosibl? Neu oes modd cynnwys mwy o lithradau? Ydi’r cytseiniaid dwbwl, lle bynnag y maent, yn cael eu dyblu?
  • Tempo: moliant – ddim rhy araf; marwnad – ddim rhy gyflym. Ydi’r ystyr yn cael ei gyfleu neu ydi’r tempo rhy gyflym? Os oes amheuaeth, oes angen arafu? Neu mwy o doriadau rhwng cymalau?
  • Efallai’r ystyriaeth bwysicaf wrth ymarfer: ydi’r geiriau’n dod yn gyflymach ata ti na dy allu i’w llefaru, fel chwaraewr tenis wedi ei ddal ar y droed ôl? Neu wyt ti’n eu rhagweld ac yn symud i mewn iddyn nhw ar y droed blaen, er mwyn i ti ymhyfrydu ynddyn nhw tra’n eu gwthio ymlaen? Os ddim, arafa tan iddyn nhw dod o dan dy reolaeth, neu anadla’n ddyfnach.


Declaimer's 10 Guidlines:
  • weightings - if across 3 beats, then 1 and 3 carry the weights, if across 4 beats then 2 and 4 carry the weights - have they got all the punch they need?
  • timing the syllables - is there enough overall variety? - check that not too many of the unstressed syllables are going on that mid-point between two beats (i.e. on the staff beat), so that it's not at all robotic
  • intonation - is the distance between the 2 tones ok or is it too wide? - and is the general pitch of them both at the right height for each passage or paragraph?
  • projection - are you projecting, without using up too much breath? - a higher pitch projects further, head up projects further
  • empty beats need the double-knock and the off-glide from any preceding consonant too
  • paragraph breaks - do you have these in the best places?
  • old pronunciations
  • enunciation - is this as distinct as you can make it? - or can you fit in a few more off-glides? - and are the doubled consonants, wherever possible, being doubled?
  • tempo - moliant not too slow, marwnad not too fast - but is the meaning being communicated or is the tempo too fast for that? - if in doubt, go slower? - or put in more paragraph breaks?
  • maybe most important whilst you're practising: are the words coming at you faster than you can cope with them - like a tennis player caught on the back foot - or are you anticipating them and moving into them on the front foot, so that you can relish them as you drive them forward? If not, try taking it slower until you're more on top of them? Or breathe more deeply?
  
 


INTRODUCTORY NOTE TO THE DATGEINIAITH PRESENTATION FOR MAY 16TH 2009 AT BANGOR – PETER GREENHILL


In advance of the May conference I think it would be helpful if I explain here a little about the background to my contribution. For those who might want to read in some detail please see the opening chapters from my 1995 dissertation held in the Archive of the Centre for Advanced Welsh Music Studies at Bangor: ‘The Robert ap Huw Manuscript: An Exploration of its Possible Solutions’, vol. 8: Verse. This was on the relevance of medieval verse to my study of instrumental cerdd dant and the Robert ap Huw Manuscript. The instrumental music had been my main focus during the years 1972 to 1991, but it also required some subsequent, ancilliary work on cerdd dafod. I had heard Gwyn Thomas give an absolutely fascinating rendering of a stanza or two whilst beating time in a tutorial in 1973, but it was not until 1992 that I turned to the poetry to see what implications its metrics would have for the translation of the Manuscript's tablature that I had finally arrived at in the preceding year.

I should make it clear that my dissertation is mainly concerned with using the poetry as a test of validity for the translation of the Manuscript, although it does also explore the new and exciting implications for reconstructing the performance of the poetry which opened up at that time. Formerly, that problem must have been felt to be so very daunting that no-one had really tackled it. J. Glyn Davies had published in 1911 (Welsh Metric, Vol. 1, pp. 13-4) a single paragraph on the subject where he bravely approached it head-on, but I was able to bring a mass of new information to bear on the problem from the oblique angle of the instrumental music.

A simple illustration may help to explain the usefulness of this oblique approach. If one believes that the performed poetry had rhythmicity, and if one believes that that was measured, one comes up against the problem: how many beats did the common line of verse straddle? A head-on approach runs into difficulties: if the cynghanedd is used as an indicator, one finds it suggests certain syllables in a line as strong candidates for occupying beats. But the number of these in a line can be very variable indeed - the range is actually from two to eight! This makes it very difficult to know what to do, and very difficult to have any confidence in whatever one does; whereas, if one turns to the instrumental music, one has an answer (of - as it happens there - four).

For those who want to go into more detail on this sort of extrapolation, from cerdd dant to cerdd dafod, the following extract from the opening part of my dissertation examines the evidence for a close association between the music and the poetry, provides a brief resumé of the chief features of the music and explains the need to use the metrics of the poetry to test the interpretation of the music. For those who want to go deeply into the derivation of reconstructed cerdd dant in respect of its most crucial features here - metre and rhythm - this dissertation is predicated on two others: ‘The Robert ap Huw Manuscript: An Exploration of its Possible Solutions’, vol. 8: Metre (1998) and vol. 6: Rhythm (1998).

An independent assessment of all of these will be forthcoming in the book currently being written by Paul Whittaker, the research fellow at Bangor with the specialism of the instrumental music, and some of my work on the music and poetry relationship has been outlined in Sally Harper's 2007 extended essay: Dafydd ap Gwilym, Poet and Musician, at http://www.dafyddapgwilym.net/essays/sally_harper/index_eng.php, especially pp. 9-18, 49-58 and 62-3. It includes some of my scores of the instrumental music and one of a cywydd. The cd: Music from the Robert ap Huw Manuscript Vol. 1 (Paul Dooley, 2004) is comprised of some of my translations of pieces in the Manuscript.

Since 1995 I have been able to develop the performance interpretation of the poetry further, mainly in order to account for the use of each individual metre and not just of its nearest relatives – to uncover the raison d'être of each metre in fact. As I have found with the commonest metres of dán díreach, every cerdd dafod metre (there are over fifty of them) appears to have had a clearly distinctive combination of musical features which explains why it had been attractive. In the May presentation at Bangor we will focus on the particularly popular example of the cywydd deuair hirion.