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Four Lessons
Four Sonatas

John Parry
(PARRI DDALL 1710-1782)
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score cover Works: 4 Sonatas for solo harp
Catalogue No: Adlais 039
ISMN: 979-0-57032-156-8
Edition: 2009, A4 stapled
Duration: Approx 7' 30" minutes each lesson
Suitable for: Grade 6 - 7 Triple or Pedal Harp
Price:: £14.00  Go to shop
Examination: LCM Grade 7 List B (2014-2016) - Lesson 1 any 2 movements
LCM DipLCM in Performance (2014-2016) - Any complete lesson


It was in October 1981 that Adlais published the first facsimile edition of John Parry's Four Lessons, produced exactly as they appeared in the 1761 publication, pp.66-82. They have been retained for the new 2008 edition so that harpists, keyboard players, musicologists and harp historians can refer to the originals as engraved almost 250 years ago. A modern re-set edition of each lesson, to which phrasing and suggested dynamics have been added, precedes its eighteenth century counterpart, facilitating comparison with the original. As presently published, the Four Lessons for Harp or Harpsichord may be played on keyboard, triple harp or pedal harp.

In transferring the Lessons to performance on the pedal harp, it should be remembered that a triple harp is much more lightly strung than today's concert harp, and less resonant, despite its bright sound. The speed, dexterity and clarity essential to successful transference to the pedal harp will be greatly helped by short articulation, and as much damping as is feasible, particularly in the left hand.

Those familiar with Welsh music may well be struck by the similarities between the melodic lines of some movements and those of certain old Welsh tunes, for example, Lesson I (Dafydd y Garreg Wen / David of the White Rock), Lesson II (Hela'r 'Sgfarnog / Hunting the Hare) and the Musette of Lesson III (Merch y Melinydd / The Miller's Daughter). Ever aware of his Welsh heritage, John Parry ends the sequence with the Welsh word Diwedd - The End.

The present edition is dedicated to Dr Osian Ellis, CBE, the first to re-discover John Parry's Four Lessons and to bring his compatriot's work to the appreciation of a wider musical public.

Ann Griffiths

The printed score includes extensive notes about John Parry & The Four Lessons


Recordings of this music
Click CD cover to go to Creighton's Collection for further information & audio clips
Click for further informationThe Glory of the Harp by David Watkins


Lesson 1
Performed by Ben Creighton Griffiths (10th World Harp Congress, Amsterdam, 2008)
Lesson 3
Performed by Ben Creighton Griffiths (Recital in Chiari, Italy, 2009)


Front cover of the score
John Parry the Blind Harpist with an assistant
Oil on canvas by William Parry
©National Museums & Galleries of Wales
used with permission

Sample of 2009 Engraving Sample of the music

Sample of retained facsimile page
Sample of the music