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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Rehearing Florence Price: A Closer Look at Her Symphony in E Minor
by Hobbs, Erin, M.M., California State University, Long Beach, 2017, 43; 10263292
Abstract (Summary)

Until recently, female composers have been undervalued for their contributions to the world of music. While much has been done to remedy this omission, there are still some composers whose works have yet to receive the attention they deserve. Florence Price’s orchestral works, particularly her Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, are an example of these often-overlooked compositions, and they are deserving of more recognition. It is possible that her works were initially ignored not just because she was a female composer, but also an African-American living in a time when both groups were considered inferior to their white male counterparts in the United States. Now that our society has become more fair-minded about recognizing all races, cultures, and groups, it is time to re-visit the orchestral works of Florence Price and attempt to have them included in standard orchestral repertoire. These compositions represent a little-heard group of composers in American history, and they add a more varied style and voice to classical music literature.

The first part of this thesis presents an historical background of Florence Price and highlights social and cultural influences that had an impact on her musical compositions. Price’s compositions reflect her upbringing as an African-American woman and often include musical characteristics that borrow from Negro spirituals, lending unique qualities to her music. The second part of the thesis focuses specifically on her Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, including a basic analysis of harmony and form, discussion of thematic elements, and an argument for more frequent performances of the symphony. I will also describe my rehearsal and performance experiences of the piece with the Symphony Orchestra of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Muller-Stosch, Johannes
Commitee: Briggs, Ray, Lindau, Elizabeth
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Music
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 56/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Music, Womens studies
Keywords: E minor, Florence, Price, Symphony
Publication Number: 10263292
ISBN: 978-1-369-80503-1
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