Annotated Bibliographies by Topic (ML 120-128 and VARIOUS)


Women Musicians

Boenke, Heidi M., comp. Flute Music by Women Composers: An Annotated Catalog.

Claghorn, Gene. Women Composers and Hymnists: A Concise Biographical Dictionary.
           See Dictionaries and Encyclopedias—Biographical Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Claghorn, Gene. Women Composers and Songwriters: A Concise Biographical Dictionary.
           See Dictionaries and Encyclopedias—Biographical Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Cohen, Aaron I., comp. International Discography of Women Composers.
           See Discographies

Cohen, Aaron I. International Encyclopedia of Women Composers.
           See Dictionaries and Encyclopedias—Biographical Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Frasier, Jane. Women Composers: A Discography.
           See Discographies

Grattan, Virginia L. American Women Songwriters: A Biographical Dictionary.
           See Dictionaries and Encyclopedias—Biographical Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Heinrich, Adel, comp. Organ and Harpsichord Music by Women Composers: An Annotated Catalog.

Hennessee, Don A., and Don L. Hixon. Women in Music: A Biobibliography.
           See Dictionaries and Encyclopedias—Biographical Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Hennessee, Don A., and Don L. Hixon. Women in Music: An Encyclopedic Biobibliography.
           See Dictionaries and Encyclopedias—Biographical Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Lepage, Jane Wiener. Women Composers, Conductors, and Musicians of the Twentieth Century: Selected Biographies, 2 vols.

Meggett, Joan M., comp. Keyboard Music by Women Composers: A Catalog and Bibliography.

Sadie, Julia Anne, and Rhian Samuel, ed. The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers.
           See Dictionaries and Encyclopedias—Biographical Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Stern, Susan. Women Composers: A Handbook.

Walker-Hill, Helen. Piano Music by Black Women Composers: A Catalog of Solo and Ensemble Works.


Boenke, Heidi M., comp. Flute Music by Women Composers: An Annotated Catalog. Music Reference Collection, no. 16, ed. Ronald L. Hixon. N.Y., Westport, Conn. and London: Greenwood Press, 1988. Mus Ref ML 128 .F7 B6 1988

Use: Helpful to the flutist or any other musician who wishes to become more familiar with the flute music of women composers.

Coverage: Covers 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Includes composers from over 40 countries.

Organization: Composers listed alphabetically by last name followed by dates, places of study, degree held, major teachers, activities, award, and works. Information found includes the year of completion, instrumentation, playing time, publisher with year of publication and commentary. Some reference information included after the commentary. Every entry does not contain every piece of information listed above. Includes an Instrumentation Index, Title Index, Publishers Addresses, Composers Addresses and Sources/Further Reading.

Pros: A very complete list. Ability to contact the composers by address whose works are unpublished.

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Heinrich, Adel, comp. Organ and Harpsichord Music by Women Composers: An Annotated Catalog. Music Reference Collection, no. 30. N.Y., Westport, Conn. and London: Greenwood Press, 1991. Mus Ref ML 128 .O6 O73 1991

Use: Brings to light unfamiliar repertoire for the organ and harpsichord that may be readily performed or studied. Also opens doors for further research in the areas of organ and harpsichord music by women composers.

Coverage: Women from Europe and U.S.A. are included and have composed at least one original composition. Women who served as editors of publications of music by other composers are omitted. No other specific criteria for inclusion are stated.

Organization: The catalog is arranged alphabetically by composer’s surname. Each entry consists of the composer’s first and last name, country of origin, and title of works. Subheadings under the title include author or source of text tune, form of work, year of completion, instrumentation, duration, degree of difficulty, and commentary. At the end of the commentary additional information may be given, if known--including specific number of published work and number of library source. Two indexes, Instrumentation Index and Title Index, follow the Catalog. Separate lists of Publishers, Libraries, and Record companies include addresses. Composers’ Biographies provides the researcher with address information. There is also a Chronological Listing of Composers by Country. This list includes the composers dates. Bibliographical information is found in the Sources/Further Reading section, which is followed by two appendixes, Women Composers of Unspecified Works for Organ and/or Harpsichord and Women Composers of Possible Works for Organ and/or Harpsichord.

Pros: A thorough work. Valuable indexes and appendixes.

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Lepage, Jane Wiener. Women Composers, Conductors, and Musicians of the Twentieth Century: Selected Biographies, 2 vols. Metuchen, N.J. and London: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1980. Mus Ref ML 82 .L46 vols. 1-2

Use: Biographies focusing on the contributions and accomplishments of some of the gifted women composers, conductors, and musicians of the twentieth century.

Coverage: Women from various countries. Limited to twentieth-century women. No other specific criteria for inclusion can be found.

Organization: Two volumes. Each volume is alphabetically arranged. Each biography is detailed and authentic, containing information from personal experiences told to the author. Photographs are included occasionally. A list of recordings and compositions are included at the end of each biography. Volume I thoroughly investigates 17 women musicians, followed by an Index. Volume II lists 17 different musicians and an Index.

Pros: Information is first-hand. Biographies are very detailed.

Cons: Not a complete listing; only 34 total biographies.

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Meggett, Joan M., comp. Keyboard Music by Women Composers: A Catalog and Bibliography. Westport, Conn. and London: Greenwood Press, 1981. Mus Ref ML 128 .H35 M43

Use: A substantial bibliographical list of books and articles on the subject of women composers. Also, ideal for the keyboardist wishing to find repertoire written by women composers.

Coverage: General bibliography listing major books and articles concerning more than one composer, as well as a substantial list of repertoire. Catalog of 254 women composers. No clear indication of why certain composers were included over others. All titles of keyboard music that could be found are listed, from the 17th to the 20th centuries, from all possible countries. Includes solo piano/harpsichord music, piano music for four hands, music for two pianos, four hands, and solo organ music. Excluded idioms are jazz, popular music, rock music, and teaching pieces if that is the predominant area of composition. Includes writings by the composer, if available.

Organization: A general bibliography listed alphabetically by author. Partial citations are given, consisting of last name of author or editor, short title, and acronym keyed to the List. Descriptive annotations are given for many of the books; composer discussed in them are listed alphabetically. The catalog includes biographical information, titles of keyboard music, writings by the composer, recordings of the work, and a bibliography. Composers are listed alphabetically. Bibliography consists of works concerned only with each composer, emphasizing books and articles on the individual’s life, and, more importantly, books and articles that give information on technique of composition, musical analysis, and bibliographies of works. Books are listed alphabetically; articles are listed chronologically. Five appendixes are Supplementary List of Composers, Composers by Period, Country of Origin, Research Libraries and Music Organizations, Discography. Complete description of these are found in the Preface, xiii.

Pros: Valuable appendixes.

Cons: Information is in two columns on each page and can be difficult to read, especially because there is no bold type. The headings do not easily stand out.

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Stern, Susan. Women Composers: A Handbook. Metuchen, N.J. and London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1978. Mus Ref ML 105 .S7

Use: A list of women composers directed to those who wish only to identify women composers’ dates and genre they composed in. A List of Sources is helpful to the researcher searching for more literature on specific composers.

Coverage: Composers represent women from United States, Canada, England (not all of Great Britain), Belgium, France, West Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy. General time period is 16th century to mid-20th century. Women listed have either had a composition published or performed in public, or have won an award for one. Excludes composition students, women who wrote strictly teaching material, popular songs or jazz. Only “classical” composers are included.

Organization: Four parts include List of Sources, Handbook Proper, Supplementary List of Composers and Supplementary Bibliography. List of Sources is in alphabetical order under the double-letter codes referred to in the main section. The Sources section gives discographies, complete lists of works, and/or indications where works can be found. Reviews are not included in the List of Sources. The Handbook lists names in alphabetical order. Following the name information birth/death dates, places, fields of musical/job activity, and major types of music the woman composed are included. Supplementary List of Composers covers composers for whom the author could locate no other information; in alphabetical order. Supplementary Bibliography consists of those sources which speak about women composers in general, with no reference to a specific composer.

Pros: List of Sources provides helpful research material.

Cons: Not helpful for women composers of the last three decades of the 20th century. An extensive list of composers with little information.

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Walker-Hill, Helen. Piano Music by Black Women Composers: A Catalog of Solo and Ensemble Works. Music Reference Collection, no. 35. N.Y., Westport, Conn. and London: Greenwood Press, 1992. Mus Ref ML 128 .P3 W3 1992

Use: A catalog intended to provide practical assistance to teachers and performers, and also to be useful to scholars and researchers seeking to assess the contributions of black women composers.

Coverage: Contains only non-vocal piano music. Excludes works involving voice and improvised piano music. Only Afro-American women composers included and two Afro-British composers.

Organization: Entries include a brief biographical sketch and a list of solo and ensemble works with date, number of pages, key, duration and brief notes. Includes an Introduction that gives an overview of the history of black women composers, a Selected Bibliography and Selected Discography. Four appendixes, titled, Available Published Piano Music, Ensemble Instrumentation, Easy and Moderate Pieces for Teaching and Chronology of Surviving Piano Works before 1920. Information is well organized for easy identification.

Pros: Extremely valuable appendixes and index. Complete, precise information.

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