In 1933, Florence Price was the first African-American woman to have her music performed by a major symphony orchestra (the Chicago Symphony Orchestra). Florence’s music brings together the European classical tradition in which she was trained and the haunting melodies of African-American spirituals and folk tunes. Today’s listening piece is the third dance movement from her Symphony in E minor. The Juba dance or hambone was a dance based in West Africa that was imported by African slaves to American plantations and could be performed at gatherings where instruments like drums (for fear of transmitted secret messages) were forbidden.

As an American composer in the early 20th century, Florence Price had the double disadvantage of being both African-American and a woman.

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