The second half of the 19th century was the golden age of congregational hymn singing. Several periodicals were published to promote this interest in music.
John Roberts ('Ieuan Gwyllt') was one of the most important figures in Welsh music circles at the time. He was a Calvinistic Methodist minister, and one time editor of 2 newspapers – Yr Amserau [The Times] in Liverpool, and Y Gwladgarwr[The Patriot] at Aberdâr.
It was John Roberts who founded Blodau cerdd[The Choicest Music], and though technically not a periodical publication, 7 numbers were issued between July 1852 and January 1853. He also established Y CerddorCymreig[The Welsh musician], 1861-1873 and Cerddor y Tonic Sol-ffa[The tonic sol-fa musician]. Other popular music periodicals of this period include – Y Gerddorfa[The Orchestra] 1872-1881, and Greal y Corau [The Choirs' magazine] 1861-1863.
By the end of the century, therefore, the periodical press in Wales produced a wide and varied output. They were not solely national publications. Many periodicals of a local nature were also published, serving parishes, churches, chapels and societies.