Please scroll to the bottom of the page for web links.
Ammer, Christine. Unsung: A History of
Women in American Music, 2nd ed.
Portland: Amadeus Press, 2001.
Includes a history of female performers, composers, conductors,
teachers, and patrons in the United States. Specifically addresses
all-women’s orchestras; women composers in European, American,
and Contemporary idioms; and women in electronic music and performance
Borroff, Edith. “Women Composers: Reminiscence
and History.” College Music Symposium 15 (1975) :
A brief overview of women in music since the Medieval era. Borroff,
who wrote a terrific Sonata for horn and piano, shares her personal
testimony of not being taken seriously as a composer until the 1960’s,
when attitudes towards women composers began to change.
Buzzarté, Monique. “Women’s
Contributions to the Brass Repertoire: A List of Works.” In
The Musical Woman: An International Perspective, Volume III
1986-1990, ed. Judith Lang Zaimont, 546-617. Westport, CT:
Greenwood Press, 1991.
Buzzarté argues that female composers often neglect writing
for brass instruments because of brass instruments’ history
and association with male organizations, such as military and hunting
groups. Buzzarté compiled this list of 785 compositions for
solo brass and brass ensembles from major publisher catalogs and
reference resources. She also includes a discography and contact
information for record labels and publishers listed. This is the
first major resource on works for brass instruments by female composers.
Bowers, Jane, and Judith Tick, ed. Women
Making Music: The Western Art Tradition, 1150-1950.
Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986.
Includes accessible essays that address women in various aspects
of music from 1150-1950. This is a terrific general overview of
women in music in narrative form and is a great compliment to Neuls-Bates’s
anthology of source readings (see below).
Citron, Marcia. Gender and the Musical Canon.
Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993.
A highly academic work which shows how the western art music canon
is socially and culturally constructed. Also questions the “great”
composer or “great” composition ideal. Especially interesting
are her analyses of Cecile Chaminade’s Piano Sonata,
op. 21 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, using feminist
theory and analysis.
Foulk, Lin. "Balancing our Programming and
Curricula: Works for Horn and Piano By Female Composers," The
Horn Call 34, no. 3 (May 2004) : 62-67.
This article includes an annotated, graded list of works for horn
and piano by female composers.
Gates, Eugene. “Where Are All the Women
Composers?” Canadian Music Educator 35, no. 5 (Spring
1994) : 17-19 and “Why Have There Been No Great Women Composers?”
Journal of Aesthetic Education 28, no. 2 (Summer 1994)
In both of these articles Gates addresses why women composers are
not included in current tellings of music history and how past theories
on feminine creativity stifled and prevented women from writing
music. He also addresses the cultural factors that affected women
such as motherhood, house-keeping, and female propriety.
Halstead, Jill. The Woman Composer. England:
Ashgate Publishing Limited, 1997.
This book investigates the opportunites, influences, and critical
judgements of music composed by women compared with music composed
by men. It is divided into three main parts: Psychology; Education
and Social History; and The Gendered Politics of Music, and each
contains several subsections.
McClary, Susan. Feminine Endings: Music, Gender,
and Sexuality. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press,
An important set of essays that serve as an early example of feminist
aesthetics applied to music. Especially interesting is Chapter 5,
in which McClary analyzes Janika Vandervelde’s Genesis II
using feminist theory and analysis. McClary asserts that Vandervelde’s
work has female themes and characteristics that only a female composer
could experience and express.
McTee, Cindy. “Gender and Music Composition:
A Personal Perspective.” The Sonneck Society for American
Music Bulletin 25/2 (Summer 1999) : 40-41.
This is an interesting personal account of what it is like to be
a female composer and how McTee, who has written several compositions
for horn and piano, addresses the issue.
Neuls-Bates, Carol. Women in Music. New
York: Harper & Row, 1982.
A great introduction to women in music, this anthology of source
readings from the Middle Ages to the Present addresses women as
performers, conductors, composers, teachers, supporters, and patrons
Rieger, Eva. “’I Recycle Sounds:’
Do Women Compose Differently?” International League of
Women Composers Journal (March 1992) : 22-25.
This article presents seven characteristics supposedly shared by
women that make their music sound different from music composed
Seashore, Carl. “Why No Great Women Composers?”
Music Educators Journal 26 (1939-40) : 21, 88.
A criticism on the idea that past women did not have the resources
or opportunities to compose music as men did.
see "Women in Music" article in Grove's Dictionary
of Music and Musicians
International Alliance for Women
Women in Music
in Music Education
Feminist Theory and Music
Women Band Directors
Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship
American Association of University
National Women's Studies Association
Susan Fleet - female performers
Women in music history
Resources for Locating Works by Female Composers
Quotations and Resources Cited in
Foulk's lecture "New Standards: Women in Orchestras in the
Bibliography to Foulk's "Works
for Horn and Piano by Female Composers:
An Annotated Guide"
Chapter 1 to Foulk's Works for Horn and
Piano by Female Composers:
An Annotated Guide" (includes a brief history of woman composers
and brass music by female composers)