- [early 1860s]-1903 / (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Name of creator
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.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
NLW MSS 9281-9297; Messrs Snell & Sons; Swansea; Purchase (with NLW MSS 9298-9299); October 1934
NLW MSS 9459F, 9660-1; Mrs E. W. Waite (i.e. Annie Edna Waite), Joseph Parry's daughter; Barry; Purchase; May 1935
Content and structure area
Scope and content
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).
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Arranged according to NLW reference numbers: NLW MSS 9281-9297, 9459, 9660-9661.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Conditions governing reproduction
Usual copyright laws apply.
Language of material
- No linguistic content
Script of material
Language and script notes
Musical notation, Welsh, English.
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
The descriptions are also available in the Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume III (Aberystwyth, 1961), pp. 132-133, 146, 160.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Title based on contents.
Formerly Dr Joseph Parry MSS 1-18.
Virtua system control number
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- Parry, Joseph, 1841-1903 -- Archives. (Subject)
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH.
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
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);