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In 1970, Delia created music for Orpheus by Ted Hughes for the "Listening and Writing" series of schools programmes produced by Dickon Reed. The music consists of an electronic tune by Delia over guitar chords composed and performed by Alan Parker and the programme won the prize for the best educational programme in Japan.[1]

Delia Derbyshire composed the music for the schools programme Orpheus which won the Minister of Education prize in last years's Japan Prize Contest. She had to create sounds that would have been made by stones and trees if they were able to speak.
   -- Desmond Briscoe in the Ariel article

It was first broadcast in early 1971.[2]

The BBC Annual Report and Accounts 1971-72[3] includes the text:

Prize-Winning Radio Programmes
Japan Prize Minister of Education's Prize
Orpheus, a verse play written by Ted Hughes for a School Radio programme and produced by Dickon Reed
Series Editor John Kerry

This is not to be confused with Maddalena Fagandini's 1961 sound for Orpheus.[4]




  • The autograph draft is in the Ted Hughes collection at the British Library.[5]
  • Published in Collected Plays for Children, 1971.[6]
  • Published in the 1974 US edition The Tiger's Bones.
  • Published in the BBC schools' radio booklet Listening and Writing in Summer 1974.[2]