Dances in the Canebrakes

From Wind Repertory Project
Florence Beatrice Price

Florence Beatrice Price (orch. William Grant Still; trans. Darrell Brown)

General Info

Year: 1953 /
Duration: c. 9:30
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Piano
Publisher: Darrell Brown
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


1. Nimble Feet – 2:30
2. Tropical Noon – 3:35
3. Silk Hat and Walking Cane – 3:10


  • Full Score
  • C Piccolo
  • Flute I-II
  • Oboe I-II
  • Bassoon I-II
  • E-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
  • B-flat Bass Clarinet
  • E-flat Contra-Alto Clarinet (optional)
  • B-flat Contrabass Clarinet (optional)
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone
  • B-flat Bass Saxophone (optional)
  • B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
  • Horn in F I-II-III-IV
  • Trombone I-II
  • Bass Trombone
  • Euphonium
  • Tuba
  • Contra-Bass
  • Harp
  • Timpani
  • Percussion I-II, including:
*Snare Drum
*Suspended Cymbal


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This short suite of dances, based on "authentic Negro rhythms" according to the composer, is one of Price's better-known works.

- Program Note from publisher

Florence Price composed Dances in the Canebrakes in its original piano version in 1953, the year of her death (from a stroke). Thus, part of the work’s significance is that it was one of her last compositions. Subsequently, a more successful Black composer, William Grant Still, orchestrated the three movements of the little suite. The connection between Price and Still is unclear.

The easily heard underlying rhythms of the three “dances” were derived from stage and ballroom dances from the time of Scott Joplin (c. 1900) and earlier. The first movement, titled Nimble Feet, is a “rag.” We hear this intertwined with fragments of a cheery melody.

A “slow drag,” the dominant rhythm of the second movement, supports a dreamy melody, which is passed around various sections of the orchestra. The central musical segment is more assertive, before consolidating both moods in a final segment of music.

The word “cane” in the last movement’s title, Silk Hat and Walking Cane, may be a play on words. The predominant rhythm here is the “cakewalk,” a ballroom dance of the late 19th century. Again in three sections, the music cleverly combines the feeling of theatrical dance with fashionable ballroom dancing.

- Program Note by Michael Fink for Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Adoration (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Wasson) (1951/2020)

All Wind Works