Estelle Ricketts

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Estelle Ricketts, born 1871, was an American composer.

Personal life[edit]

Ricketts lived in Darby, Pennsylvania, which is now a suburb of Philadelphia.[1] She lived with her mother, her younger brother, and her father, who operated a boarding stable.[2] She was the only one in her family who could read and write.[3]


Estelle Ricketts' 1893 parlor piano piece, “Rippling Spring Waltz,” is the earliest known piano solo written by a black woman.[4] Estelle Rickets is mentioned in a book entitled "The Work of the Afro-American Woman," written by Mrs. Gertrude Bustill Mossell. This book highlights the achievements of African American women in all different disciplines, and was published in 1908.[5]

The frontispiece to Ricketts' "Rippling Spring Waltz"


  1. ^ Walker-Hill 1992
  2. ^ Walker-Hill 1992
  3. ^ Walker-Hill 1992
  4. ^ Walker-Hill 1992
  5. ^ Mossell 1908


  • Walker-Hill, Helen. “Music by Black Women Composers at the American Music Research Center.” American Music Research Center Journal. 2.1 (1992): 23-52.
  • Mossell, N. F. "The Work of the Afro-American Woman." Philadelphia: Geo. S. Ferguson Company, 1908.