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National Library of Wales
Parry, Joseph, Dr, manuscripts

Reference code(s): GB 0210 MSJOSEPHP

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Dr Joseph Parry Manuscripts

Short Title: Parry, Joseph, Dr, manuscripts

Creation date(s): [early 1860s]-1903

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 20 volumes

Name of creator(s): Dr Joseph Parry


Administrative/Biographical history: Joseph Parry (1841-1903), musician and composer, was born in Merthyr Tydfil within a musical and choral environment. In 1854 the family moved to Pennsylvania, where Parry worked in iron rolling-mills while studying music in his spare time. His successes in composition competitions at the National Eisteddfod of Wales during 1863-1864 led to the establishment of a fund which enabled Parry to study at the Royal Academy of Music from 1868 to 1871. Having gained his degree, Parry returned to the United States, where he established a private music school before, in 1874, being appointed professor and head of the new department of music at University College, Aberystwyth, a post he held for the following six years. In 1878 he gained a Mus. Doc. (Cantab.) degree. From 1881 to 1888 Parry served as organist of Ebenezer Chapel, Swansea and as head of a musical college which he founded, and from 1888 until his death in 1903 he was lecturer in music at University College, Cardiff. Parry was a prolific composer of songs, choruses, anthems, hymns, and some instrumental works. He wrote several operas, of which 'Blodwen' (1880) enjoyed some five hundred performances by 1896. Among Parry's other major works are the oratorios 'Emmanuel' (1880) and 'Saul' (1892), and the cantata 'Nebuchadnezzar' (1884). His hymn-tune 'Aberystwyth' has become a classic.


Scope and content/abstract: Music manuscripts, [early 1860s]-[late 1890s], of Dr Joseph Parry, including orchestral suites, overtures and symphonies, piano sonatas and preludes and fugues for the organ (accumulated by his publishers, Snell & Sons); together with a draft autobiography and other papers, 1871-1903 (in the possession of his daughter).


Language/scripts of material: Musical notation, Welsh, English.

System of arrangement: Arranged according to NLW reference numbers: NLW MSS 9281-9297, 9459, 9660-9661.

Conditions governing access:

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright laws apply.

Finding aids: The descriptions are also available in the Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume III (Aberystwyth, 1961), pp. 132-133, 146, 159-160.


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Purchased (with NLW MSS 9298-9299) from Messrs Snell & Sons of Swansea in October 1934 (NLW MSS 9281-9297); purchased from Mrs E. W. Waite (i.e. Annie Edna Waite, Joseph Parry's daughter), Barry, May 1935 (NLW MSS 9459F, 9660-9661).


Related material: See also NLW MSS 19761-19763, 19772-19826 (part of NLW, Snell & Sons Collection of Music Manuscripts).


Note: Title based on contents. Formerly Dr Joseph Parry MSS 1-18 (NLW MSS 9281-9297, 9459F).

Archivist's note: Description compiled by Bethan Ifan for the retrospective conversion project of NLW MSS. The following source was used in the compilation of this description: Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume III (Aberystwyth, 1961).

Rules or conventions: Description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition; AACR2; and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: May 2011

Parry, Joseph | 1841-1903 | Archives

Personal names
Parry , Joseph , 1841-1903

Corporate names


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