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Author Rae Linda Brown (1953–2017) was, like Florence Price, an industrious, intellectual, and creative woman. Although she always had a demanding job in academia, Brown devoted much of her time to reviving Florence Price’s music and history: she wrote articles and encyclopedia entries about her, gave talks about her, edited her music, urged orchestra directors to perform her music, and researched this volume over more than two decades. This book is a labor of love as well as a fine work of scholarship… The Heart of a Woman: The Life and Music of Florence B. Price tells an important story and tells it well: Price is a composer who should, by rights, be in the canon, and whose works should be recorded by major orchestras,[1] performed regularly in concert programs, appear in method books for students of all ages, and be studied in music history, music theory, women’s studies, and Black studies courses in colleges and universities. To the extent that we may consider Price to be approaching canonic status, it is almost entirely due to Rae Linda Brown.

Keathley, Elizabeth L. “Rae Linda Brown: The Heart of a Woman: The Life and Music of Florence Price.” Journal of the International Alliance for Women in Music 29, no. 4 (2023): 16–18.

“It may not be the case that Price neatly fits into the Western Art Music canon, as many scholars and journalists suggest.  Instead, if we view her life and compositional output in the way Brown suggests, Price disrupts and challenges the gatekeepers and Eurocentric framing of the classical canon altogether.”

Shepherd, Lauren. “Brown, Rae Linda. 2020. The Heart of a Woman: The Life and Music of Florence B. Price." Current Musicology, no. 108 (November, 2021): 155-63,

“The book reveals not only profound insights into her music but also accounts for the personal challenges the composer faced being an exceptional woman of her time in the arts. Adjudicators agreed that this publication is “incredibly significant, not only for women, gender, and music, but for the intersection that these concepts have with race,” and one added: “What the author does exceptionally well here is fully contextualize all the influences on Price, how many different types of music circles she was active in, and how that resulted in her own unique approach to classical or other styles of composition.”

Book Prize Winner:  The International Alliance for Women in Music,

2022 Pauline Alderman Award, for outstanding scholarship on women in music.

The Lowens Book Award represents one of our most prestigious honors.  “With this award, we recognize the many ways in which the author and her subject have, in Brown’s own words, 'sought to quietly articulate the undeniable role that black women have played in private and public African American life and culture' and American musical life at large.”

Honorable Mention, the Society for American Music's 2022 Irving Lowens Book Award

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