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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.

Description

Consult this section to discover catalogues and search tools for locating repertoire by women composers put forth by music publishers and vendors.

Music publishers and vendors

This guide does not endorse any of the following publishers or vendors. The resources listed here are included because they provide pertinent information about selected works and composers.

  • Daniel’s Orchestral Music Online
    • Orchestral music finder tool: provides information about thousands of works
    • Advanced search options filter by composer’s nationality, ethnicity, and gender
    • Provides links to online perusals scores, program notes, and recordings
  • Arsis Press
  • Boosey & Hawkes
    • From operas to orchestral and chamber works that span 125 years of classical music
    • Peruse scores, discover instrumentation and duration
    • Watch and listen to excerpts of interviews with composers and their works
  • The Edwin A. Fleisher Collection
    • Standard repertoire and many rare and out-of-print works
    • 19th- and 20th-century American music
    • The catalogue lists names, dates, and nationalities of composers, instrumentation, and titles of complete, incomplete, and uncirculated sets held by the collection
  • Furore
    • More than 100 works for orchestra by women composers
    • 2,000 compositions from various epochs by 170 women from Europe, America, Asia, and Australia
    Hildegard Publishing Company
    • Discover composers by historical period: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern
    • Search and browse by title, instrument, or composer
    • Listen to examples from their catalogue: vocal, choral, piano, instrumental
  • Ladyslipper Music
  • Oxford University Press
    • Orchestra, opera chamber, solo and chamber works and choral music catalogue
  • Présence Compositrices
    • List of publishers with their specific descriptions and websites 
    Svensk Musik
    • Swedish vendor
    • More than 7,200 titles by female composers
    • Filter by language, instrumentation, duration, composition year and genre
  • Theodore Front
    • Includes catalogue of 20th century women composers
  • Wise Music
    • Downloadable catalogue to the work of women composers
    • Organized by composer in chronological order; emphasizes orchestral music
    • Includes short profiles for each composer, repertoire listings, and links to explore their music further online (e.g., see information about Florence Price original manuscripts recently discovered and published)
  • Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy
    • Non-profit organization advocating for the performance and place of women composers
    • Access to free perusal scores of Amy Beach

Search tips

See our blog post about locating online scores. The blog post includes a link to a video tutorial demonstrating how to access online perusal scores through certain music vendor websites. 

Location and contacts

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Music Library Staff
Contact:
Elizabeth Wirth Music Building
3rd floor - 527 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1E3
514-398-4692
Website
Subjects: Music

Resource key

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

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