The music scene here has never been richer in talent, diversity and originality. Familiar bands like the Manic Street Preachers, Super Furry Animals along with the perennial favourites, Sir Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey, have a worldwide following. And for jazz fans, there's a choice of clubs and festivals - Brecon Jazz is one of the best in Europe.

Classical music aficionados are also well served. Catching a performance by the Welsh National Opera in their new home the Wales Millennium Centre is a special experience, and Cardiff's St David's Hall has a world class programme of concerts every year.

Folk music has always been at the heart of both entertainment and political protest in Wales. For a great snapshot of what's going on, you can't beat a visit to an event like the Fishguard Folk Festival.

Of course we can’t talk about Wales and music without getting to our male voice choirs , famous throughout the world. Probably the best known today are Treorchy and Morriston Orpheus male voice choirs, and seeing them perform is a real treat. More recently, Froncysyllte’s choir has come into the limelight - there is even talk of a Hollywood film being made about it.

 

For most contemporary musical styles, you get parallel English- and Welsh-language scenes in Wales.

You'll probably be most familiar with the bands that sing in English – bands like The Automatic, Stereophonics, Feeder, and the Manic Street Preachers. Other acts that hail from Wales include the Hot Puppies, Murray the Hump, Hybrid and John Cale.

The Super Furry Animals, Big Leaves and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci link the two scenes - they've all released Welsh- and English-language albums.

You can keep in touch with all the latest news and information on the BBC's Welsh Music pages here.

If you're in Wales over the summer, you'll get a great taste of the Welsh-language rock, folk and pop worlds at Sesiwn Fawr Dolgellau. It's also worth checking events listings in any of the university or college towns - especially Bangor and Aberystwyth.

And don't forget the National Eisteddfod - apart from the traditional events there's always a very lively programme of alternative nights.