KIDS COMMUTE: Five Folksongs in Counterpoint week!
This week, we're learning about the Five Folksongs in Counterpoint by the American composer Florence Price!
Florence Price was a classical composer, pianist and organist who actively wrote and published music from when she was 11 until she died in 1953.
She was also the first Black woman to have her music played by a major American orchestra. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed her Symphony No. 1 in 1933 and her Piano Concerto in One Movement the next year.
Her education was based on the European tradition of classical music, and her music expertly blends this training with spirituals and African American folk songs.
She was a deeply religious person, and she often brought the music of the Christian church into her music.
Counterpoint happens in music when one or more independent melodies happen at the same time while playing off of each other.
If you’ve ever sung a round or canon in music class, where you might start the melody first, and your friend might come in a bar or a couple beats later, that’s an example of counterpoint.
In this quartet, each movement is inspired by popular folk songs, spirituals and hymns.
The five folk songs are “Calvary,” “My Darling Clementine,” “Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes,” “Shortnin' Bread” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”
Delia Zaleski helped produce this week's episodes.