PRB Piano Series: Myfanwy - Popular Welsh Song (1875)

By: Joseph Parry
For: Solo instrument (Piano)
page one of PRB Piano Series: Myfanwy - Popular Welsh Song (1875)

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PRB Piano Series: Myfanwy - Popular Welsh Song (1875)

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Composer
Joseph Parry
Year of composition
1875
Year of arrangement
2020
Publisher
Difficulty
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
Duration
2 minutes
Genre
World music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

Myfanwy is a popular Welsh song, composed by Joseph Parry and first published in 1875. Sources differ as to whether Dr Parry composed the music for an existing poem by Richard Davies, Mynyddog Mwynfawr - the common belief, or whether Davies wrote the words to Parry's melody following its use with an English lyric by Thomas Walter Price. Richard Davies' lyric may have been influenced by the 14th Century love story of Myfanwy Fychan of Castell Dinas BrĂ¢n, Llangollen, and the poet Hywel ab Einion.

That story was also the subject of the popular poem, Myfanwy Fychan, by John Ceiriog Hughes. Some sources say it was written with Parry's childhood sweetheart, Myfanwy Llywellyn, in mind. In 1947, Merthyr-Tydfil-born author, Jack Jones, wrote a book entitled 'Off to Philadelphia in the morning' where he relates the story within some aspects of the life of Dr Joseph Parry, weaving facts into his fictional narrative.

It's a plaintive melody, and beloved of Welsh Male Voice Choirs, of which the particular qualities of Welsh First Tenors come into their own. It was a regular, and popular piece with the Plymouth Police Choir, which I helped set up, and conducted for the first ten years or so.

A student of mine, with Welsh connections, wanted to get hold of a basic piano version of the melody, and had gone online to find one. Just out of curiosity, I had a look, too, and was quite appalled at the standard of some of these transcription/arrangements, many of which an able school pupil could have done better - and then you have to pay for it! So it seemed a good idea to provide something similar myself - and which I have dedicated to my student.

I have set it in G, and deliberately not made it as hard as some of my other arrangements, in the hope that those who like Wales and Welsh music can play it without too much difficulty.

Diolch yn fawr iawn!

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