Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Vocal Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Esther Jane Hardenbergh

Second Committee Member

Frank Ragsdale

Third Committee Member

Robynne Redmon

Fourth Committee Member

Dorothy Hindman


Florence Beatrice Price is a pioneer amongst African American composers. She was the first black woman to have one of her compositions played by a major American orchestra, the Chicago Symphony in 1934. In spite of her major accomplishments as a composer, many of her songs remain in obscurity. This document is an analysis of twelve of her art songs, only discovered in 2009 in an abandoned home just outside of St. Anne, Illinois. A detailed analysis of each piece is provided including a biography of each poet, a discussion of the text, pedagogical considerations, performance practice and expression, and accompaniment. A biography of the life and contributions of Florence Price as well as a brief history of African American Art song are also included in this document.


Florence Price; Art Song; African American Art Song; Women; Composer; Classical Music