The Celtic Literature Collective

Bardic Triads
Peniarth 20

Tri ryw brifgerd ysyd, nyt amgen:
kerd dant, kerd vegin, a cherd dauawt.

Teir prifgerd tant ysyd, nyt amgen:
kerd grwth, kerd delyn, a cherd timpan.

Teir prifgerd megin ysyd, nyt amgen:
organ, a phibeu, a cherd y got [god].

Teir prifgerd tauawt ysyd:
prydu, a dachanu, a chanu gan delyn.


There are three primary musical forms, namely:
string music; bellows music; and music of the tongue.[1]

The three primary forms of string music, namely:
court music, harp music, and drum music.

The three primary forms of bellows music, namely:
organ, and pipes, and music of the bag.[2]

The three primary forms of singing:
poetry, recitation, and singing with the harp.


1. "music of the tongue": i.e. singing

2. "music of the bag": i.e. bagpipes

Harper, Sally. "Instrumental Music in Medieval Wales." North American Journal of Welsh Studies, Vol. 3, no. 1. Flint, MI: North American Association for the Study of Welsh Culture and History, 2004.

Translation by Mary Jones 2004

Back to Welsh Texts