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Women composers

Use this guide to discover information sources about women composers and their artistic and compositional output. This evolving guide facilitates access to important resources, documenting the impact of women composers on all musical cultures.


This section contains a selected list of general resources about women composers available through the Library, including bibliographies, histories, discographies, encyclopedias and dictionaries, and source readings. 


  • Hadlock, Heather. Women in Music. Oxford Bibliographies. Oxford University Press, 2017.
    • An annotated bibliography of literature about women in music
    • Contains an extensive section on women as composers of Western Art music

Histories and Handbooks


Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

  • Grove Music Online
    • Foremost English-language scholarly encyclopedia of music and musicians
    • Extensive articles and bibliographies written by subject experts
    • Includes detailed works lists for certain composers: useful for confirming the identity of pieces and for finding individual pieces within composers' complete works sets held by the Library
    • Includes access to New Grove Dictionary of Opera and New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (2nd edition)
  • MGG Online (Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart)
    • Comprehensive German-language encyclopedia
    • Provides in-depth articles on many aspects of music and related areas
    • Features all content from the 2nd edition plus current updates and additions
    • Integrated translation available
    • View a tutorial on using MGG Online (4:00)

Source Readings

Location and contacts

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Music Library Staff
Marvin Duchow Music Library
Elizabeth Wirth Music Building
3rd floor - 527 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1E3
Subjects: Music

Resource key

  • McGill users only
  • Open access resource
  • Free resource
  • In-library use
  • Catalogue record

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