Marian Arkwright was born in Norwich, Norfolk, England, and received a doctorate in music at Durham University. After completing her studies, she worked as an orchestra musician and composer and conducted orchestras including the Newbury Amateur Orchestral Union. She received a prize from The Gentlewoman for an original orchestral work The Winds of the World.
Arkwright was noted for unusual instrument combinations. Selected works include:
- Quintet for piano, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon
- Trio for piano, oboe and horn
- Trio for pianoforte, oboe and viola
- Scherzo and Variations for piano, clarinet and bassoon
- Rêveries for piano, oboe and viola
She published three volumes of violin and piano duets and two Concert Pieces for viola and piano. She took an interest in folk music and her Japanese Symphony contained airs that she had noted down herself.
- Lucy Broadwood, Obituary Marian Ursula Arkwright, Journal of the Folk-Song-Society. Vol. 7, Nr. 26, December 1922, p. 27
- The Monthly musical record, 36, 1906, retrieved 11 November 2010
- "Marian Arkwright, Bluebell Kean, Margaret Meredith and Ethel Barns: Chamber Works". Originally published in The Music Student Chamber music supplement July 1914 pp.97-8. Retrieved 10 October 2010.