Parry, John



Welsh composer and writer and a player on the harp, violin, piano, clarinet and flageolet. He was born at Denbigh, and in 1795 joined the band of the county militia, playing the clarinet, which he had learned from a dancing-master. Two years later he became bandmaster, a position which he resigned in 1807 to go to London. There he taught the flageolet, and in 1809 was engaged to compose for Vauxhall Gardens. For several years he conducted the Congresses of Welsfi Bards, called Eisteddfodau, at one of which, in 1821, he was given the title of Bardd Alaw, or Master of Song. From 1834 to 1848 he was musical critic of the Morning Post. To the literature of music he contributed several books of instruction for different instruments; An account of the Rise and Progress of the Harp; and II Puntello, or The Supporter, which contains the rudiments of music. He adapted English words to a number of Welsh airs, and published various collections, notably Cambrian Harmony, and The Welsh Harper, having an historical introduction, and incorporating nearly all of Jones' Relics of the Welsh Bards, with English translations of the words. Parry's compositions number over three hundred, including music for the harp, piano, flute, flageolet, violin, band and orchestra; incidental music to a large number of plays; many glees; and songs.