Music, like sport transcends language barriers. I’ve written before about getting a feel for local culture by going to a football match.

Another way is through music, either listening or performing.

In Wales, we know how music still can tell a story about who we are and what is important to us. As in Wales, it is singing in particular that is the great leveller.

TV series like ‘Military Wives’ with Gareth Malone have shown us the joy that can be had from choral singing. That joy can easily be shared with people who otherwise you’d struggle to talk to.

I used to sing with Cardiff Male Choir, and some of my fondest memories of my time with them are of a tour to Nantes when we sang with a choir from the Breton city.

Although few of the choir spoke French and their English was mostly patchy, we shared a great deal.

We learned songs together, sang in venues from small chapels to grand chateaux and festivals.

We made great friends and welcomed the choir to South Wales later for a return visit.

Singing is a wonderfully effective way of conveying emotion and its effect is amplified when it is your only way of communicating.

The same can be true if you just listen to local performances.

Wales is not the only place where close-harmony male voice choirs can be heard.

I'll never forget the power of a performance by a Croat eight-man choir in part of the Adriatic town of Split.

The impromptu concert was held in a part of the old town which is entirely sited in the palace of a Roman emperor from the third century AD.

Called the ‘Klapa Vestibul’, the choir was named because they sing in this part of the palace with its incredible acoustics.

So if you get a chance to hear choral music, especially in an intimate setting, take it.

If you get to sing too – even better – abandon your inhibitions and give it a go.

You might even be able to combine a visit to a football match and pick up a terrace chant.