Florence Price, Composer
The purpose of a biography is to enhance the reader's knowledge about a particular person's life, in this case, Florence Beatrice Price, and offer a sort of historical background focusing on significant events, accomplishments, and personal aspects of that particular individual's life. Ideally, the writer molds complex biographical factsbirth and death, education, ambition, conflict, milieu, work, relationship, accidentinto a book [or article] that has the independent vitality of any creative work but is, at the same time, "true to life." Barbara Garvey Jackson, author of the biography on Florence Price chosen for this class, has noted that the purpose of her article is "
to assess the cultural world in which she [Florence] grew up, her own life and professional career in Little Rock and Chicago, and the present states of study about her." In my opinion, Jackson does an exceptional job in providing the type of information that she purposely set out to offer such inquisitive readers like myself. Let me begin by offering a tidbit of biographical information about Florence Price. Florence Beatrice Smith Price was born April 9, 1888 in Little Rock, Arkansas. She was the third child born to Dr. James H. Smith, a dentist, and Florence Irene Gull, a schoolteacher. Previous to studying composition and organ at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Florence received her first musical training from her mother at age four. After much musical education, she was soon found teaching in the music departments at Shorter College in Arkansas (1906-1910), and Clark University in Georgia (1910-1912). In 1912, she married Thomas J. Price and together they had three children. Florence successfully established herself as a concert pianist, church organist, composer, and teacher, which soon became her claim to fame. A prominent composer of the Harlem Renaissance, Florence Price published her first composition at age eleven, and at age sixteen...
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