Fonds GB 0210 MSJOSEPHP - Dr Joseph Parry Manuscripts,

An orchestral suite, An orchestral overture, An orchestral symphony, An orchestral symphony, A quartette, 'Yr Ystorm', Compositions for the piano, An orchestral suite, An Arthurian orchestral ballad, An orchestral overture, An orchestral overture, An orchestral symphony, 'Dwynwen', An orchestral composition, Anthems and songs, Organ music and miscellanea, Dr. Joseph Parry autobiography, A fantasia on Welsh airs,

Identity area

Reference code



Dr Joseph Parry Manuscripts,


  • [early 1860s]-1903 / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

20 volumes.

Context area

Name of creator

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.

Archival history

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
  • Welsh
  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Musical notation, Welsh, English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

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, 160.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

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

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents.


Formerly Dr Joseph Parry MSS 1-18.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Access points

Subject access points

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Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

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

May 2011.


  • English



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);

Accession area

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