Miriam Hyde studied first with her mother and then with William Silver at the Elder Conservatorium. After the University's diploma (AMUA) and winning the South Australian prize for the LAB in 1928, she graduated as Mus Bac in 1931 and won the Elder Scholarship to the Royal College of Music, London. During three years there, her professors were Howard Hadley and Arthur Benjamin (piano), R.O. Morris and Gordon Jacob (composition). She won three composition prizes and was soloist in her two piano concerti with major London orchestras, including the BBC. She also made broadcasts, on what was then called "short wave", to countries of the existing Empire, including Australia. In 1935 she added to her diplomas the ARCM and LRAM.
Returning to Adelaide in South Australia's centenary year, 1936, she wrote much of the orchestral music for the pageant Heritage, produced in the Tivoli Theatre. Of this music her Fantasia on Waltzing Matilda, an overture to one of the scenes, has become well-known as an independent piece in her various arrangements of it. Also in that year her Adelaide Overture was first performed and conducted by (then Dr) Malcolm Sargent. Seeking the wider scope of Sydney, she taught for several years at Kambala School and subsequently settled in Sydney active as composer, recitalist, teacher, examiner, lecturer and writer of numerous articles for music journals. For a period during the War, however, when her husband, Marcus Edwards, was a POW in Germany, she returned to Adelaide and taught piano and musical perception at the Conservatorium. It was during this time that she wrote her dramatic Piano Sonata in g minor. Her works include many for piano, from Preliminary to Diploma standards, chamber music, sonatas for viola, clarinet and flute, four overtures and other orchestral works. More than fifty songs, several of which, set to her own poems, have won prizes, for example, Elfin Fantasy, Winter Willow Music, Sunrise by the Sea. Her Happy Occasion Overture was performed in the inaugural concert of the Australian Youth Orchestra, in the Sydney Town Hall (1957).
Hyde has performed concerti with all the major Australian orchestras (except Brisbane), and with conductors of eminence, including Sir Malcolm Sargent, Constant Lambert, Georg Schneevoigt, Sir Bernard Heinze, Dr Edgar Bainton, Joseph Post, and Geoffrey Simon, with whom, in 1975, she recorded her two concerti with the ABC's West Australian Symphony Orchestra. She has been Patron of the Music Teachers' Associations of NSW and SA, the Blue Mountains Eisteddfod and the Australian Musicians' Academy, and Honorary Life Member of the Fellowship of Australian Composers, the Victorian Music Teachers' Association, and the Strathfield Symphony Orchestra, with whom, in April 1996, she played the solo part of her Fantasy Romantic for the first time since 1963, when she had performed it during an Australasian Composers' Seminar in Hobart. Her literary indefatigability, which has yielded nearly 500 poems, culminated in 1991 with the publication of her autobiography, Complete Accord. The royalties from this publication were donated to the scholarship that she won in 1931.
Hyde recorded two CDs of her own piano works. The ABC produced a CD of her two concerti and the orchestral work Village Fair in 1996. Her Clarinet Sonata was included on a CD of Australian clarinet works recorded by Nigel Westlake, and the Macquarie Trio recorded her Fantasy Trio. Valley of Rocks became her best-known piano work after its exposure in the 1988 Sydney International Piano Competition. Hyde was awarded the OBE (1981), AO (1991), International Woman of the Year (1991-92) for service to music, bestowed by the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, and Hon. FMusA (1995). Macquarie University awarded her an Honorary Doctorate. In 2002 she accepted the Award for Long-Term Contribution to the Advancement of Australian Music at the APRA/Australian Music Centre Classical Awards. The award preceded her ninetieth birthday celebrations in 2003, which included a concert of her works at Eugene Goossens Hall in Sydney.