PARRY, JOHN ('The Blind Harpist'; 1710? - 1782), of Ruabon harpist and publisher of music

Name: John Parry
Pseudonym: The Blind Harpist
Date of birth: 1710?
Date of death: 1782
Child: William Parry
Gender: Male
Occupation: harpist and publisher of music
Area of activity: Music; Performing Arts
Author: Robert David Griffith

Born at Bryn Cynan, near Nevin, Caernarfonshire, c. 1710. Thomas Price (Carnhuanawc) says that his harp teacher was Robert Parry, Llanllyfni, Caernarfonshire; Edward Jones (Bardd y Brenin) says that he received lessons from Stephen Shôn Jones, Penrhyndeudraeth. He became one of the best harpists in the kingdom and took part at concerts given in London, Cambridge, Oxford, and Dublin. He was family harpist at Wynnstay, Denbighshire, the home of the Williams Wynn family.

His greatest service to Wales was rendered by his three publications: (a) Antient British Music , 1742 (in the preparation of this work he was assisted by Evan Williams (born 1706); (b) A Collection of Welsh, English, and Scotch Airs , 1761; and (c) British Harmony, being a Collection of Antient Welsh Airs , 1781.

He died in 1782 - in November according to the Gentleman's Magazine, but in October according to Edward Jones (Musical and Poetical Relics …). It is believed that he was buried in Ruabon churchyard.


Published date: 1959

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