The Welsh Crwth

An ancient and rare fiddle with a hauntingly medieval sound, the Crwth was played by bards from the 11th century to the 19th century. It was played all over Europe in some form or another, and was known in Scotland & Ireland as the “Cruit“ and in England as the “Crowd“ or “Crowth“. The last crwth player from the bard tradition died in 1805, taking with him much of the ancestral aural tradition. It was dabbled with in the 19th century, reproductions surfaced along with fig-leaved Roman Statues, but it was all but extinct as a craft. In the last 20 years there has been a revival of interest in Wales for the Crwth, all due to modern historical players such as Robert Evans and Cass Meurig.

Emerald discovered the Crwth while digging through her research on 18th century fiddle in Scotland. She was enraptured by the uniqueness and intrigued by the harmonic possibilities of the six-stringed rectangular fiddle, which has to be worn by tying a rope around the player’s neck. She presents a variety of tunes on the Crwth from traditional Welsh Songs to contemporary originals – exploring the 21st century possibilities on the Crwth. She has presented her Crwth at concerts and workshops all around the US, notably she took part in the Gallery Talk Series at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and performed in A Welsh Christmas Revels at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge in 2015.