Composer: Florence Price

Instrumentation: Double bass and piano

Difficulty: Suitable for advanced players
Exam syllabus: Grade 7

Download editions are supplied as a single PDF containing the double bass part and piano accompaniment

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Adoration was initially written as a short piece for organ, intended for performance in church. It was published in 1951 and since then has been arranged for many instruments and ensembles. Adoration is a beautiful example of Price’s unique style, weaving together African American spiritual melodies with European classical traditions.

For double bass players it is particularly poignant to read the opening of the letter she wrote in 1943 to the great virtuoso double bass player Serge Koussevitsky in his role as conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra:

My dear Dr. Koussevitsky,

To begin with I have two handicaps – those of sex and race. I am a woman; and I have some Negro blood in my veins. Knowing the worst, then, would you be good enough to hold in check the possible inclination to regard a woman’s composition as long on emotionalism but short on virility and thought content; – until you shall have examined some of my work? As to the handicap of race, may I relieve you by saying that I neither expect nor ask any concession on that score. I should like to be judged on merit alone.

It was a remarkable achievement that in 1933 Price’s first symphony was premiered by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It was the first such work written by an African-American woman performed by a leading orchestra.

In 2009 boxes of hitherto unknown compositions by Price were discovered in a dilapidated house that had been her summer home in her last years. However, it is only in recent years with the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement that Price’s music is finally being properly recognised.

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ISMN: 979-0-708191-35-3

Exam Syllabus

Set for Grade 7 exams by:

  • ABRSM (from 2024)

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