These short articles were written by undergraduate researchers working for the Hidden Voices project. The goal is to provide an brief introduction to each piece, and to mention pedagogical aspects of each. The articles are tagged by level of difficulty.

Florence Price

Hoe Cake, from Three Little Negro Dances. Florence Price

Born in 1887, Florence Beatrice Price is recognized as the pioneer of accomplishing many “firsts.” She was a pianist, composer, organist, and educator who broke through monumental barriers as an African American woman in classical music. She wrote hundreds of works including symphonies, concerti, choir works, chamber works, and an...

Florence Price

The Sea Swallow. Florence Price

Florence Beatrice Price (1887-1953) was a remarkable African-American pianist, composer and educator. Florence Price's compositional output was extensive, comprising over 300 works across various genres. Among her compositions were four symphonies, four concertos, as well as choral works, art songs, chamber music, and solo instrumental pieces. In a remarkable discovery...

Margaret Bonds

Troubled Water, from Spiritual Suite. Margaret Bonds

Margaret Bonds arranged over fifty African-American spirituals for various instruments, one of which is the five-minute piano work Troubled Water, based on the spiritual Wade in the Water. The context of the spiritual is associated with Songs of the Underground Railroad, work songs used by slaves in the nineteenth century...

Philippa Schuyler

Rumpelstiltsken. Philippa Duke Schuyler.

Rumpelstiltsken (1955) was inspired from a character in Grimm's Fairy Tales . In the story, a miller brags to the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold. The king thus locks her in a room, orders her to spin straw into gold, and threatens to execute her if...

Mary Watkins

Mirrors. Mary Watkins.

Mirrors, by Mary D. Watkins, is a dreamlike and meditative piece for solo piano. The left hand plays a repeated triplet eighth note figure for the entire piece, endlessly cascading like gentle waves upon a shore. The right hand plays a peaceful and elongated melody which, like the left hand,...

Mary Lou Williams

Walkin' and Swingin'. Mary Lou Williams.

“Walkin’ and Swingin’,” composed originally for a jazz band by Mary Lou Williams, gives the solo pianist an original taste of Williams’s expertise in the style of jazz and blues of the 1930s. Opening with a laid-back swing introduction, the piece unfolds into a more lively swung melody, colored by...

Florence Price

Dance of the Cotton Blossoms (1938), by Florence Price

Dance of the Cotton Blossoms is an early advanced piece written by Florence Price in 1938. This piece is not to be confused with another piece by Price which shares the same title, but was written in 1931. She also wrote a piece called “Cotton Dance (Presto)” ca. 1940. Price’s...

Philippa Schuyler

Wanchai Road, by Philippa Schuyler

Schuyler’s “Wanchai Road” is mysterious, spontaneous, and chaotic, reflecting the actual Wanchai Road in Hong Kong. It is reminiscent of beeping cars and tramways with a relentlessly consistent left hand rhythm, while the right hand has a syncopated, meandering melody. Although texturally thin, Wanchai Road requires dexterity and technical proficiency...

Florence Price

Rocking Chair, by Florence Price

Rocking Chair, by Florence Price, is a gentle and nostalgic solo piano piece spanning approximately three pages. It effectively captures the sensation of lounging in a rocking chair on a lazy afternoon, while its steady rhythm and simple, lilting melody lend a soothing quality to the composition. With a 6/8...

Florence Price

Rabbit Foot, by Florence Price

Rabbit Foot is a playful early intermediate piece by Florence Price. In a repetitive A-B-A I form, Rabbit Foot offers opportunities for discussion about keeping repeats musically interesting through dynamics and shaping. All three sections have tricky articulations that call for a significant level of control, plus ornamentation that is...

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