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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.

Getting started

The Sofia Discovery search tool is a great place to begin your search for information about women composers. The search tool provides access to a wide range of sources in both print and electronic formats, including books, articles, music scores, recordings, videos, and archival materials.

Video tutorial

Search tips

Searching by name

Enter the name of the composer or musician into a general keyword search to discover sources either by or about the individual.


Suggested Subject Headings 

To search by subject heading in the Sofia search tool, go to “Advanced Search” and choose “Subject” from the dropdown menu.

Below are examples of some useful subject headings. Click on the hyperlinked subject headings to access the search results directly.

Music by Women composers 

Women in Music  

Women in opera 

Women musicians (and its various subcategories of nations e.g. Women musicians Canada, Austria, France, etc.) 

African-American women musicians 

Women composers 

Women conductors 

Women singers 

Women rock musicians 

Women blues musicians 

Women jazz musicians 

Women jazz singers 


General call number ranges for books about women in music 

Women as musicians, women in the performing arts    ML82 

Women in music bibliography                                            ML128.W7

Women composers and musicians discography              ML156.4.W6

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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