Guide to the Papers of Miriam Hyde
National Library of Australia
- Hyde, Miriam
- Papers of Miriam Hyde
- Date Range
- Collection Number
- MS 5260
- 3.15 metres (12 ms boxes + 3 medium folio boxes)
- Language of Materials
- The digitisation of Miriam Hyde's letters to her family was made possible by the generous financial support of the family and friends of the late Catherine Santamaria. The National Library gratefully acknowledges this support.
Scope and Contents
The two main components of the collection comprise original musical scores written by Hyde and 166 detailed letters she wrote to her family while studying at the Royal College of Music in London (1932-1935). There are several files of general correspondence from members of the music profession or relating to it. Individual correspondents include Edgar Bainton, John Carmichael, Selma Epstein, David Galliver, Ruth Gipps, Hilary and Charles Groves, Rex Hobcroft, Gordon Jacob, Derek Jones, Max Keogh, David Lockett, Mary Mageau, Joseph Rezits, Peter Sculthorpe, Victor Sangiorgio and Kendall Taylor. Organisational correspondents include the Australian Broadcasting Commission, Australian Music Examiners Board, Canberra School of Music, Music Teachers' Association and the National Film and Sound Archive. There are also notebooks containing drafts of Hyde's poetry, a detailed journal kept by Hyde on board ship while travelling from Adelaide to London (1932) and correspondence with Currency Press regarding the publication of her autobiography Complete accord.
Conditions Governing Access
Access conditions may apply to this collection, please refer to the collection's catalogue record for further information (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2622064).
Conditions Governing Use
Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.
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/subseries/file/item number]'.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated to the Library by Miriam Hyde in a number of instalments from 1976 to 1996.
The Library's Oral History Collection holds two sound recordings, both of which are available online: A conversation with Miriam Hyde, conducted by Hazel de Berg in 1975; and An interview with Miriam Hyde, conducted by Larry Sitsky in 1990.
The Library's Pictures Collection holds the following works depicting Miriam Hyde, all of which can be viewed online: Portrait, oil on masonite painted by Clif Peir in 1957; Portrait, oil on canvas painted by Mary Brady in 1985; and a Portrait photograph taken by David Franklin in 1988.
The Music Collection of the Library holds a large number of published scores of Miriam Hyde's compositions. For details consult the Library's music catalogue, which is available online via our website.
The papers have been received in a number of instalments and as a consequence there was no obvious order to the collection. The Library has grouped them into three series: Correspondence, Music manuscripts and Papers.
Hyde's letters written to her family from London during the period 1932-1935 (folders 15-55) have been arranged chronologically. While making notes for her autobiography in the 1980s, Hyde numbered the envelopes of the letters. When the letters were processed, it was noted that the following numbers were either not used or the letters were not included: 84, 86-92, 94-95, 97 and 99.
Miriam Hyde was 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, including her Concerto No. 1.
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.
Economy Press published three of Hyde's books of poetry: The bliss of solitude, , A few poems,  and Dawn to dusk, [1932-1947). 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 an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) 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, organised by the ABC and presented at the Eugene Goossens Hall in Sydney.
Hyde was Patron of the Blue Mountains Eisteddfod, the Inner West Eisteddfod, the Music Teachers Associations of South Australia and New South Wales and the Australian Musicians' Academy. She was made 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. In 2002, Hyde received a Fellowship in composition from the Australian Society of Musicology and Composition (F Comp. ASMC). In the same year, she was presented with an award from the Australian Music Centre for her 'Long-term contribution to the advancement of Australian music'.
Compositions publisehd by The Keys Press include: Lengthening shadows (piano, 1974), published in 2002; Evening in Cordoba (piano, 1987), published in 2000; Sonata in B minor (viola, 1937), published in 1999; Passing thoughts, a scherzino (viola, 1946), published in 1998; Nocturne (Flute, 1994), published in 2001; Nightfall and merrymaking (Oboe and piano, 1955), published in 2000; Sonata in F minor (clarinet, 1949), published in 2000; Fantasy-trio in B minor (violin, cello/viola and piano, 1930), published in 1999; Trio in G major (flute, clarinet and piano, 1948), published in 2000; The ring of new bells (piano, 1959), published in 2000; Brownhill Creek in spring (piano, 1942), published in 2001; Firewheel (piano, 1932), published in 1999; Concert Study No. 3 in C# Minor (1935), published in 2002.
The bulk of this series contains letters Miriam Hyde wrote home to her family while studying at the Royal College of Music, London, from 1932-1935. A number of years later, Hyde annotated many of these letters when she was writing her autobiography. There is also a small amount of other family and general correspondence, including with Currency Press regarding the publication of her autobiography (1988-1991) and correspondence and lists relating to recordings she made.
Musical scores for works composed by Hyde. There are number of her early works including pieces she composed while studying in London. There are also orchestral scores and parts for works she contributed for a pageant entitled 'Heritage', which was created to celebrate Adelaide's centenary in 1936. It was performed at the Tivoli Theatre, Adelaide, and Hyde was the pianist at the performance.
Musical score for 'Dryad's Dance', dedicated to Arved Kurtz, who first performed it in Adelaide in 1936
Music manuscript books containing scores for: 'Concert Study in F sharp major No. 2' (1935) and 'Concert Study in F sharp minor No. 1' (1934), '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)
Copy of the program for 'Heritage'; 'Adelaide Overture' (includes rough score, 1935); 'Ghostly Explorers'; motif for 'Spirit of Australia'; and 'Rowing Song'
Musical scores for the following pieces: 'An Australian Bush Rhapsody' ('Bush fire'); 'Fantasia on Waltzing Matilda'; 'Orange-Growing' and 'Wine Waltz'; 'Wheatfield'
Music manuscript books for the following pieces:
'Fantasy – Romantic' (two-piano version), nd; 'For Love or Money', nd; of 'Kelso Overture', 1959 (first rough copy; 'Lyric for orchestra', 1935
Short score of 'Happy Occasion Overture'; 'Merry Pranks' for E♭ saxophone; preliminary scraps of 'Theme and Variations in F minor' (eventually completed for orchestra on 20 February 1958 – a project started in London, 1935)
'Waltz in D' for violin and piano (1938); 'Memories of a happy day' (1939), 'Fantasy – romantic' (first piano score, 1938)
Music scores for the following pieces:
Two scores relating to 'Prelude and dance', 1936. Also contains scores for the works 'Evening under the hill', 'Dryad's dance', 'The poplar avenue', and 'Fantasia on Waltzing Matilda'
Two scores relating to 'Village Fair' (a ballet) for orchestra, 1943. Includes original short score of 'Village Fair' and other war-time Adelaide sketches, 1942
Photocopies of the following musical scores: 'Adelaide Overture' - full score (original score written in 1936, full score in 1977); 'The Cedar Tree' - full score, nd; 'Concerto No. 2 in C# Minor for Piano and Orchestra' - full score, 1934-1935; 'Dreamland': song for soprano with orchestral accompaniment - full score, with words by Rossetti, nd; 'Fantasia on Waltzing Matilda' - full score, 1936; 'Kelso Overture' (dedicated to Rudolf Pekarek), nd; 'Lyric for Small Orchestra' - full score, nd; 'Mineral' section for the 'Heritage' pageant, 1936; 'Orange Growing' leading into 'Wine Waltz - full score, 1936; 'Pianoforte Concerto No. 1 in E♭ Minor' - full score 'Pioneers and Bushfires', 1936; Prelude and Dance for small orchestra - full score; 'Theme and Variations in F Minor' - full score; 'Village Fair' - full score, 1943; 'Wheatfield', 1936; and 'The Wind in the Sedges' - full score
'Fantasy Romantic for Pianoforte and Orchestra: full score. First performance conducted by Professor Bernard Heinze, Sydney Town Hall, 1942
'Heroic Elegy' - full score, c1939 (first performed in Sydney, October 1940, conducted by Edgar Bainton)
'Happy Occasion Overture' (played at the official opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government in Wellington, New Zealand, 1995)
'Symphonic Overture in F# minor'. First public performance at the Australian Composers Concert, 1942
Manuscript scores for the following pieces: 'A Little Scherzo for piano', nd; 'A River Idyll' for piano, revised notation, 1975 (original score, 1931); 'Autumn Stream' - duet, 1972; 'Birds in Sunlight', 1973; Brown Hill Creek in Spring, 1942; 'Captain Cook Sketch Book' - a suite of five pieces, 1988; 'Cathedral Ceremony' 1974; 'Concert Study No. 3 in C# Minor', 1935 (written while a student at the Royal College of Music); 'Ear Rings from Spain', 1970; 'Firewheel', 1932; 'Forest Stream', 1942 (awarded A.P.R.A prize, South Australia); 'Four Funny Frogs', 1969; 'Grey Foreshore', 1956 (dedicated to Florence and Lynda Simpson); 'Humoresque' - for piano, 1973; 'Ivy Leaves' - for piano, 1969; and 'Lamp with a Fringe' - for piano, 1969
Manuscript scores for the following pieces: 'Magpies at Sunrise', 1946; 'Memories of a Happy Day', 1939; 'The Poplar Avenue', 1974 (originally composed in 1936 and dedicated to Dr Julian Smith); 'Rhapsody in F# minor' and 'Burlesque in A minor'; 'Rhapsody No. 2 in A Minor', 1954; 'Reflected Reeds' - piano solo, 1956; 'Scherzo in G': for piano, 1937 (dedicated to Hazel King); 'Spring' - piano solo, 1939 (and score with improved notation, 1967); The Spring of Joy' - for pianoforte (dedicated to Kittie Traill); 'Sonata', 1941-1944 (a war-time work, written while Hyde's husband was a prisoner of war); 'Study in A♭', 1970; 'Study in A Minor' and 'Pastoral Study in G Minor', 1973; 'Study in Blue, White and Gold' - for piano, 1969; sSymphony in F minor', 1930-31; 'Tap Tune', 1946; Valley of Rocks, 1974; 'Variations on Waltzing Matilda', nd; 'Wedding March', 1973; 'Wet Night on the Highway', 1958; and 'Wych Wood', 1960
Manuscript scores for the following pieces: 'Fantasy Romantic for Pianoforte and Orchestra' - orchestral score, 1938; 'Kelso Overture" - orchestral score, 1959; 'Lyric for Small Orchestra' - orchestral score, 1935
'Happy Occasion Overture': orchestral score, 1957. New score parts were written in 1971. Written for the inaugural performance of the Australia Youth Orchestra. In its version for four hands, it opened the concert for Hyde's 90th birthday, played by Geoffrey Tozer and Hyde's daughter, Christine Edwards. It was also performed by the Strathfield Symphony Orchestra at the opening of its April 2003 concert.
Manuscript music scores for the following pieces: part of the musical score of a quartet, c1934; 'Symphonic Overture' (full score) and 'Variations on God Save the King' - photocopy of musical score dedicated 'To Mother', 1935. (Created as a major part of the ARCM Composition Diploma in the styles of Palestrina, Purcell, Mozart, Brahms, Wagner, Chopin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Delius and Ravel.)
'Water Nymph' score (1 page), which was commissioned by the City of Sydney Cultural Centre for the Eisteddfod Jubilee, 1987
Manuscript music scores for the following pieces: 'Brown Hill Creek in Spring' - revised musical score, 1984 (original written in 1942); 'Memories of a Happy Day': photocopy with annotations made in 1975 (original score written 1939); 'Motet in E Major' - orchestral score, words from Psalm 96, 1935; 'The Ring of New Bells', (dedicated to the Rev. W.R. O'Brien, St Paul's, Burwood), 1959; and 'Sea Shells': vocal score for chorus of women's voices with piano accompaniment. Words by Marjorie Kenna, 1959
Manuscript music scores for the following pieces: 'Legend' for clarinet and piano, 1982; and photocopy of 'Happy occasion overture', c1956 (includes notes added later by Hyde)
This series contains papers accumulated by Hyde over the course of her life and career. Include are drafts and published versions of her poetry, a draft of her autobiography, memorabilia from her studies in London, ephemera relating to concerts and performances; and a journal kept on board ship on her voyage to England in 1932.
Booklets of Hyde's poetry, under the poems by Miriam Edwards: A few poems, 1934-1940; The Bliss of solitude, 1939-1941; Dawn to dusk, 1938-1947
Memorabilia from the Royal College of Music, including teachers' reports (1932-1935) and newspaper cuttings and program relating to a voice recital in which Hyde's sister, Pauline, took part, Adelaide, 1935
Botany notebook containing detailed drawings by Hyde, 1927; detailed journal kept on board ship during Hyde's trip from Adelaide to London, 1932; sketchbook containing botanical drawings, 1932-1934; appointment diary, 1935 and a music book annotated 'Susan Bray's album of pieces for the left hand', 1945