Guide to the Papers of Miriam Hyde

MS 5260

National Library of Australia

Date completed: April 2003
Last updated:

Collection Summary

Creator: Hyde, Miriam, 1913-
Title: Papers of Miriam Hyde
Date Range: 1930-1996
Collection Number: MS 5260
Extent: 1.40m (2 boxes + 3 folio boxes)
Repository: National Library of Australia


Scope and Content

The bulk of the collection comprises original musical scores written by Miriam Hyde. There are also notebooks containing drafts of her poetry and correspondence with Currency Press regarding the publication of her autobiography Complete accord.


The collection is available for reference.


The collection has been received from Miriam Hyde in a number of instalments from 1976 to 1996.

Copying and Publishing

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissable 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Related Material

The Oral History Section of the Library holds the following sound recordings:

A conversation with Miriam Hyde, conducted by Hazel de Berg in 1975 (ORAL DeB 847-848)

An interview with Miriam Hyde, conducted by Larry Sitsky in 1990 (ORAL TRC 2559)

The Pictures Section of the Library holds the following works depicting Miriam Hyde:

Oil on masonite portrait, painted by Clif Peir in 1957 (PIC R10310 LOC FS 28)

Oil on canvas portrait painted by Mary Brady in 1985 (PIC R11315 LOC FS 3)

Portrait photograph, taken by David Franklin in 1988 (PIC P1232/E LOC Q24)

The Music Collection of the Library holds a large number of published scores of Miriam Hyde's compositions.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Miriam Hyde, National Library of Australia, MS 5260, [series and/or folder number]'.

Biographical Note

Miriam Hyde is a composer, musician and poet. Born in Adelaide on 15 January 1913, she received her early musical tuition from her mother. In 1925 she was awarded an Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) scholarship to study at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, Adelaide, under William Silver. She graduated from the Conservatorium with a Bachelor of Music in 1931, at the age of eighteen. In that year she won the Elder Scholarship for three years study at the Royal College of Music, London, which she undertook from 1932 to 1935. During her time at the College, she won three composition prizes and performed two of her concertos with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. She also made several broadcasts with the BBC.

Hyde returned to Adelaide in 1936. As part of South Australia's centenary celebrations in that year, her overture, Adelaide, was conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent in the Centennial Hall. She also wrote some of the incidental music for the pageant 'Heritage'.

Following her marriage to Marcus Edwards, Hyde lived mostly in Sydney. She was a musical examiner with and on the Advisory Board of the AMEB for 37 years and a councillor of the Music Teachers' Association of New South Wales, of which she was made a life member in 1987. In addition to this she has been a recitalist, lecturer and tutor at numerous workshops.

In 1988, Hyde's 75th year, her composition 'Valley of the Rocks' was among seven Australian works in the Sydney International Piano Competition and was chosen by 23 of the 38 competitors. Also in this year there were celebratory programs on the ABC and recitals in Perth, Adelaide, Port Lincoln and Sydney.

Miriam Hyde has had two books of poetry published - The bliss of solitude, Economy Press, [1941] and A few poems, Economy Press, [1942]. Her autobiography, Complete accord, was published by Currency Press, Sydney in 1991, with the royalties being devoted to the scholarship that she won in 1931.

In 1980, Hyde was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) and she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1991. In Hyde's 80th year (1993) Macquarie University conferred upon her an HonDLitt. and in 1995 she was awarded an HonFMusA by the AMEB. In 2003, tributes for Hyde's 90th birthday included a celebratory concert of her works presented at the Eugene Goossens Hall in Sydney.

Hyde is the Patron of the Blue Mountains Eisteddfod and the Australian Musicians' Academy and an Honorary Life member of the Fellowship of Australian Composers and of the Strathfield Symphony Orchestra. In May of 1997, she presented a recital of her own works at the Royal College, London, some 62 years after her studies there. In 1996, Film Australia covered the story of her domestic and professional roles, for SBS Television.

Container List

Box 1

Folder 1 Manuscript music books and books of poems, 1934-1947

Music manuscript books, one annotated 'Concert Studies' (1934-35) and one containing '3rd Movement Concerto in E flat Minor'

Booklets of poems by Miriam Edwards:

'A few poems', 1934-1940

'The Bliss of solitude', 1939-1941

'Dawn to dusk', 1938-1947

Folder 2 Draft of a poem entitled 'Sensitivity'
Folder 3-5 Six notebooks (volumes I-VI) containing drafts of poems, 1932-1978
Folder 6 Notebook (volume VII) containing drafts of poems, 1978-1981
Folder 7 Music scores for 'Concerto No. 1' and 'Concerto No. 2', ca 1933
Folder 7 Brochures for performances at the Royal College of Music, London, 1934-1935

Box 2

Folder 8 Photocopy of a typescript of a poem entitled 'Sleeping cat', 1979
Folder 9 Musical score and music manuscript books, 1933-1935

Musical score for 'Dryad's Dance', dedicated to Arred Kurtz, who first performed it in Adelaide in 1936

Music manuscript books containing scores for: 'Marsh Birds' (1949), 'The Little Juggler' (1956), 'Wedding Morn' (1957), 'Beside the Stream' (1962), 'Fireside Images' (1965), 'Sea Shell Fantasy' (1975), 'Dancing Shadows' (1975) and 'Autumn in Princes Gardens' (1983)

Folder 10-11 Photocopy of a typescript draft of Hyde's autobiography Complete Accord, which was published by Currency Press, 1991
Folder 12 Correspondence with Currency Press regarding publication of Complete Accord, 1988-1991
Folder 13 Notebook (Volume VIII) containing drafts of poems, 1981-1996

Folio Box 1

This box contains the program and orchestral scores and orchestral parts for pieces performed at the Tivoli Theatre in the 1936 pageant Heritage, which celebrated Adelaide's centenary. Hyde wrote some of the music and was the pianist at the performance.

Packet 1 Program and musical scores

Copy of the program for Heritage

'Adelaide Overture' (includes rough score, 1935)

Motif for 'Spirit of Australia'

'Rowing Song'

'Ghostly Explorers'

Packet 2 Musical scores

'An Australian Bush Rhapsody' ('Bush fire')

'Orange-Growing' and 'Wine Waltz'


'Fantasia on Waltzing Matilda'

Folio Box 2

Packet 3 Sketchbook, manuscript music books and musical scores, 1932-1959

'English sketchbook' containing botanical drawings and sketches by Hyde, 1932-1934

Manuscript music books:

'Symphonic Overture' (F# minor) c1933

Stratford, 1935

Short score of 'Happy Occasion Overture'; 'Merry Pranks' for E flat saxophone; preliminary scraps of 'Theme and Variations in F minor' (eventually competed for orchestra on 20 February 1958 - a project started in London, 1935)

'Prelude and Dance', 1936

'Prelude and dance for small orchestra' (1936); 'Evening under the hill'; 'Dryad's dance'; 'The poplar avenue'

'Waltz in D' for violin and piano (1938); 'Memories of a happy day' (1939), 'Fantasy - romantic' (first piano score, 1938)

'Village Fair' (a ballet) for orchestra, 1943

Original short score of 'Village Fair' and other war-time Adelaide sketches

First rough copy of 'Kelso Overture', 1959

'Fantasy - Romantic' (two-piano version)

'For Love or Money'

Packet 4 Musical scores, 1934-1942

Photocopies of the following musical scores by Hyde:

Mineral section for the Heritage pageant, 1936

'Concerto No. 2 in C# Minor for Piano and Orchestra': full score, 1934-1935

'Pioneers and Bushfires', 1936

'Theme and Variations in F Minor': full score

'Adelaide Overture': full score. Original score written in 1936, full score in 1977

'Village Fair': full score, 1943

'Orange Growing' leading into 'Wine Waltz': full score, 1936

'Happy Occasion Overture'

'Kelso Overture', dedicated to Rudolf Pekarek

'The Wind in the Sedges': full score

'Wheatfield', 1936

'Symphonic Overture in F# Minor'. First public performance at the Australian Composers Concert, 1942

'Dreamland': song for soprano with orchestral accompaniment: full score. Words by Rosseti.

'The Cedar Tree': full score

'Heroic Elegy': full score, c1939

'Lyric for Small Orchestra': full score

'Fantasia on Waltzing Matilda': full score, 1936

'Fantasy Romantic for Pianoforte and Orchestra: full score. First performance conducted by Professor Bernard Heinze, Sydney Town Hall, 1942

Prelude and Dance for small orchestra: full score.

'Pianoforte Concerto No. 1 in E flat Minor': full score

Folio Box 3

Packet 5 Music manuscript books and musical scores, 1930-1988

Music manuscript book, 1930-1931

Music manuscript book, 1933

Music manuscript book, 1945

'Memories of a Happy Day', 1939

'Birds in Sunlight', 1973

'Wych Wood', 1960

'A Little Scherzo for Piano', nd

'Variations on Waltzing Matilda', nd

'Four Funny Frogs', 1969

'Ivy Leaves': for piano, nd

'Lamp with a Fringe': for piano, 1969

'Study in Blue, White and Gold': for piano, 1969

'Reflected Reeds': piano solo, 1956

'Humoresque': for piano, 1973

'Tap Music', 1946

'A River Idyll': for piano, revised notation, 1975. Original score, 1931.

'Firewheel', c1930

'Magpies at Sunrise', 1946

'The Spring of Joy': for pianoforte. Dedicated to Kittie Traill

'Rhapsody No. 2 in A Minor', 1954

'Grey Foreshore', 1956. Dedicated to Florence and Lynda Simpson.

'Wet Night on the Highway', 1958

'Study in A flat, 1970

'Captain Cook Sketch Book': a suite of five pieces, 1988

'Earrings from Spain', nd

'Autumn Stream': duet, 1972

'Wedding March', 1973

'Cathedral Ceremony' 1974

'Study in A Minor' and 'Pastoral Study in G Minor', 1973

'Valley of Rocks', 1974

'Concert Study No. 3 in C# Minor', 1935

'The Poplar Avenue', 1974. Dedicated to Dr Julian Smith.

'Scherzo in G': for piano, 1937. Dedicated to Hazel King

'Sonata', 1941

'Spring': piano solo, 1939 and score with improved notation, 1967

'Forest Stream', 1942

'Brown Hill Creek in Spring', 1942

Packet 5a 'Pianoforte Concerto in E flat Minor (No. 1)': orchestral score, 1934
Packet 6 Musical scores, 1935-1959

'Lyric for Small Orchestra': orchestral score, 1935

'Fantasy Romantic for Pianoforte & Orchestra': orchestral score, 1938

'Kelso Overture": orchestral score, 1959

Packet 7 Musical score, 1957

'Happy Occasion Overture': orchestral score, 1957. New score parts were written in 1971

Packet 8 'Variations on F Minor Theme': orchestral score
Packet 9 Musical scores, 1934-1935

'Symphonic Overture': - full score

Part of the musical score of a quartet, c1934

'Variations on God Save the King': photocopy of musical score dedicated 'To Mother', 1935

Packet 10 Musical score, 1987

'Water Nymph': musical score (1 page), which was commissioned by the City of Sydney Cultural Centre for the Eisteddfod Jubilee, 1987

Packet 11 Musical scores, 1935-1984

'Motet in E Major': orchestral score, words from Psalm 96, 1935

'The Ring of New Bells': musical score, dedicated to the Rev. W.R. O'Brien, St Paul's, Burwood, 1959

'Sea Shells': vocal score for chorus of women's voices with piano accompaniment. Words by Marjorie Kenna, 1959

'Memories of a Happy Day': photocopy of musical score, with annotations made in 1975. Original score written 1939

'Brown Hill Creek in Spring': revised musical score, 1984. Original written in 1942