University of Oregon

Index for this guide:

Guides to Women in Music Research
Searching the Library Catalog
Indexes for Searching Articles
Journals on Women in Music
Biographical Sources
Lists of Music by Women Composers
Lists of Recordings of Women's Music
Publishers of Women Composers' Music
Web Resources
Other Library Resources

Research Guides

A Checklist for Research


I. Take a tour of the library.


Contact the Music Librarian, Ann Shaffer, at x6--1850 or by e-mail at


    II. Define your topic:


    General Music Encyclopedias


    The New Grove dictionary of music and musicians. 2nd ed.
    Edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. 2001. 29 vols.
    [MUSIC REF. ML100 .N48 2001]
    [On the UO Library's web at Title = Grove Music Online
    Note: For a look at the 500+ women composers included in this resource, follow the search path through: Biographies; Composers; then Women composers. These are arranged by era, as well as in an alphabetical listing to the right.

    The New Grove dictionary of American music.
    Edited by H. Wiley Hitchcock and Stanley Sadie.
    New York: Grove's Dictionaries of Music, 1986. 4 v.
    [MUSIC REF. ML101.U6N48 1986]

    The New Grove dictionary of jazz.
    Edited by Barry Kernfeld.
    New York: Grove's Dictionaries of Music, 2001. 3 v.
    [MUSIC REF. ML102.J3N48 2001]
    The latest edition is also incorporated in the Grove Music Online
    (Look for the Jazz symbol next to the article's title in the index.)

    The New Grove dictionary of opera.
    Edited by Stanley Sadie
    New York: Grove's Dictionaries of Music Inc., 1992. 4 v.
    [MUSIC REF. ML102.O6 N5 1992b + incorporated in the on-line Grove Music Online]


    Women in Music-specific Encyclopedias


    Booker, Mary.
    The work of women composers from 1150 to 1995.
    Ilfracombe: Arthur H. Stockwell, 1996.
    [MUSIC REF. ML105 .B67 1996]

    Burns, Kristine H.
    Women and music in America since 1900: an encyclopedia.
    Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002.
    [MUSIC REF. ML82 .W625 2002 v.1 -v.2]

    Claghorn, Charles Eugene.
    Women composers and hymnists: a concise biographical dictionary.
    Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1984.
    [MUSIC REF. BV325.C58 1984]

    Cohen, Aaron I.
    International encyclopedia of women composers. 2nd ed., rev. and enl.
    New York: Books & Music, 1987. 2 v.
    [MUSIC REF. ML105.C7 1987]

    Fuller, Sophie.
    The Pandora guide to women composers: Britain and the United States, 1629- present.
    London: Pandora, 1994.
    [MUSIC REF. ML390 .F94 1994]

    Grattan, Virginia L.
    American women songwriters: a biographical dictionary.
    Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993.
    [MUSIC REF. ML106.U3 G73 1993]

    Jezic, Diane.
    Women composers: the lost tradition found.
    2nd ed. edited by Elizabeth Wood.
    New York : Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1994.
    [MUSIC REF. ML390 .J37 1994]

    Laurence, Anya.
    Women of notes: 1,000 women composers born before 1900.
    New York: R. Rosen Press, 1978.
    [MUSIC REF. ML105.L28]

    The Norton/Grove dictionary of women composers.
    Edited by Julie Anne Sadie & Rhian Samuel.
    New York: W.W. Norton, [1995], 1994.
    [MUSIC REF. ML105 .N38 1995]

    Olivier, Antje.
    Komponistinnen aus 800 Jahren.
    [Germany]: Sequentia, 1996.
    [MUSIC REF. ML128.W7 O45 1996]

    Komponistinnen von A-Z.
    Dusseldorf: Tokkata-Verlag, 1988.
    [MUSIC REF. ML105.O49K81 1988]

    Placksin, Sally.
    American women in jazz: 1900 to the present: their words, lives, and music.
    New York: Seaview Books, 1982.
    [MUSIC ML3508.P58 1982]

    Stern, Susan.
    Women composers: a handbook.
    Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1978.
    [MUSIC REF. ML105.S7]


    Consult the following research guides and handbooks:


    Pendle, Karin.
    Women in Music: a Research and Information Guide.
    New York: Routledge, 2005.
    [MUSIC ML128 .W7 P46 2005]

    Zaimont, Judith.
    The Musical Woman: An International Perspective: 1983/ 1984/85; 1986/90.
    Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1984; 1987; 1991.
    [MUSIC ML 82 .M8- latest year in Music Reference]


      Read about your topic in

    III. Search the Library's on-line catalog for books on Women:




    • by Subject:

      The following are some of the subject headings used for resources on women and music:
      Feminism and music; Gender identity in music; Women Musicians; Women Composers; Women Rock Musicians; Women Jazz Musicians; Women country musicians; Music by Women Composers; Women Music Patrons; and names of individual women (last name first)


    • by Author:

      Use the Composer's or performer's name

    • by Title (if you know it!)

    • by Call Number:


      ML 82 is the call number for generic books about women in music;
      ML 410 is the call number for biographies;
      ML134 is the call number for bio-bibliographies of composers (arranged by their last name's initial)
      ML419-420 are the call numbers for performers.
      Note: Other topics that include an emphasis on gender or women in their areas will be shelved with the books on that area.


    IV. Search the following periodical indexes for articles on your topic:


    Music-Specific Indexes:


    Music Index
    1979 - present on the UO Library's web at Articles, Databases & Indexes
    Paper index from 1949 - 2001; Last ten years on Music Index table; previous years on Music Reference shelves
    [MUSIC REF. ML 118 .M84]

    RILM (1967 to present)
    Paper index: 1967 - 1995.
    [MUSIC REF. ML 118 .R4]


    General Indexes that may include articles about women musicians/composers:


    Academic Search Premier
    Available on the UO Library's web catalog under Articles, Databases & Indexes
    A full-text index to online articles, including many about gender and music.

    Dissertation Abstracts International
    (1861 - present; includes some master's theses)
    Also available in paper form in the Knight Library.
    [KNIGHT Z5055.U5A53]

    an electronic archive of the most important journals in musicology and the humanities, going back to the beginning of each journal.
    To search this source, click on the Browse button, and then Music button to see which journals are represented.
    To do a subject search, click Search, then fill in the blank with your topic.

    MLA: a directory of periodicals: a guide to journals and series in languages and literatures.
    1960 - present on the UO Library's web site, under Articles, Databases & Indexes
    In paper form in Knight Library, from 1978 - 1999.
    [KNIGHT P 1 .A1 M62a]

    ATLA Religion
    Available in paper as Religion index one: Periodicals.
    1949- 1998 in paper
    1949 - present on the UO Library's web site.
    [KNIGHT Z 7753 .A5]


    Women Studies-Specific Indexes


    Feminiae: Medieval Women and Gender Index
    Published on the web by Haverford College, this index includes all things medieval, including articles about Hildegard of Bingen, as well as courtly love, etc.

    ViVa: A Bibliography of Women's History in Historical and Women's Studies Journals
    With connections to the world wide web, this is an interesting resource to trace Gender and Music issues.

    Gender Studies Database
    1972 to the present. Combines the Women's Studies International and Men's Studies databases


    Journals of Special Significance to researching
    Women in Music:


    Note: Unless noted, the latest issues of these are on the Music Services Current Periodicals shelf, across from the Music Reference Desk.
    To determine if we own any of these online, go to the Library's web site under Journal Titles and type your title into the box. This will also help you order journal articles for those journals we don't own-or for which our collection is incomplete.

    The International Congress on Women in Music newsletter.
    [MUSIC ML26.I54]

    International League of Women Composers ILWC Journal
    Continued by the IAWM Journal

    IAWM Journal.
    [MUSIC ML 82 .I28]

    Paid my dues.
    [MUSIC ML1.P1052]

    Pan pipes: Sigma Alpha Iota quarterly.
    [One of the first resources that listed women composers' performances.]
    [MUSIC ML 1 .P1055]

    The Triangle of Mu Phi Epsilon.
    [Another important resource listing music by women composers.]
    [MUSIC ML 1 .T52]

    Women & Music: a journal of gender and culture.
    [MUSIC ML 82 .W62 + internet web site]

    Women Of Note Quarterly
    Housed in pamphlet boxes on Music Index table


      V. Search the following biographical resources for information on your composer:


      Source Readings:


      Barkin, Elaine and Lydia Hamessley, eds.
      Audible traces : gender, identity, and music.
      Zurich : Carciofoli, 1999.
      [MUSIC ML82 .A93 1999 + Doug Circ COMPACT DISC CX5506]

      Magrini, Tullia, ed.
      Music and gender : perspectives from the Mediterranean.
      Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2003.
      [MUSIC ML3838 .M949 2003]

      Moisala, Pirkko and Beverley Diamond, eds.
      Music and gender.
      Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000.
      [MUSIC ML82 .M74 2000]

      Neuls-Bates, Carol, ed.
      Women in music : an anthology of source readings from the Middle Ages to the present. 2nd ed.
      Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1996.
      [MUSIC ML82 .W65 1996]

      Pendle, Karin, ed.
      Women & music : a history. 2d ed.
      Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001.
      [MUSIC ML82 .W6 2001]


      Indexes to Women Musicians in reference sources:


      Hixon, Don L. and Don Hennessee, comps.
      Women In Music: An Encyclopedic Biobibliography.
      2 vols. 2nd ed. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1993.
      [MUSIC REF. ML105 .H6 1993]
      [v.1 is on the UO Library's web site, available by search Title.]


      Indexes to articles about women musicians:


      Block, Adrienne Fried and Carol Neuls- Bates.
      Women in American music : a bibliography of music and literature.
      Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1979.
      [MUSIC REF. ML128.W7 B6]

      Ebel, Otto, comp.
      Women composers; a biographical handbook of woman's work in music.
      Brooklyn: F. H. Chandler [1902]
      [SCA Rare Bks ML105.E15]

      Ericson, Margaret.
      Women and music : a selective annotated bibliography on women and gender issues in music, 1987-1992.
      New York: G.K. Hall; London: Prentice Hall International, 1996.
      [MUSIC REF. ML128.W7 E75 1996]

      LePage, Jane Werner.
      Women Composers, Conductors, And Musicians Of The Twentieth Century: Selected Biographies. Vol. I - III.
      Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1980, 1983, 1988.
      [MUSIC ML 82 .L46]

      Skowronski, JoAnn.
      Women in American music : a bibliography.
      Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1978.
      [MUSIC REF. ML128.W7S6]


      Guides to Individual Composers


      (These usually include a bibliography, a discography, and a biographical section on the composer.)


      Bailey, Walter B. and Nancy Gisbrecht Bailey.
      Radie Britain: a bio-bibliography.
      New York: Greenwood Press, 1990.
      [MUSIC REF. ML134.B845 B3 1990]

      Bortin, Virginia.
      Elinor Remick Warren : a bio-bibliography .
      Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993.
      [MUSIC REF. ML134.W32 B7 1993]

      Citron, Marcia J.
      Cecile Chaminade, a bio-bibliography.
      New York: Greenwood Press, 1988.
      [MUSIC REF. ML134.C425 C6 1988]

      Cody, Judith.
      Vivian Fine : a bio-bibliography.
      Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002.
      [MUSIC REF. ML134.F477 C63 2002]

      Hartig, Linda Bishop.
      Violet Archer : a bio-bibliography .
      New York: Greenwood Press, 1991.
      [MUSIC REF. ML134.A68 H3 1991]

      Hayes, Deborah.
      Peggy Glanville-Hicks : a bio-bibliography .
      New York: Greenwood Press, 1990.
      [MUSIC REF. ML134.G52 H4 1990]

      Heintze, James R.
      Esther Williamson Ballou : a bio-bibliography.
      New York: Greenwood Press, 1987.
      [MUSIC REF. ML134.B16H4 1987]

      Hixon, Donald L.
      Thea Musgrave: A Bio-Bibliography.
      Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1984.
      [MUSIC REF. ML134.M967H6 1984]

      Schlegel, Ellen Grolman.
      Emma Lou Diemer : a bio-bibliography.
      Westport, CT : Greenwood Press, 2001.
      [MUSIC REF. ML134.D28 S35 2001]

      Shapiro, Robert.
      Germaine Tailleferre : a bio-bibliography .
      Westport, CT : Greenwood Press, 1994.
      [MUSIC REF ML134.T18 S5 1994]

      Note: Another source of information about specific composers is found in the Music Service Reference Area's
      List of Composer's Pamphlets at


        VI. Search the following lists of music by women composers for information on particular instrumental pieces:


        Boenke, Heidi.
        Flute Music By Women Composers: An Annotated Catalog.
        Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1988.
        [MUSIC REF. ML128.F7 B6 1988]

        Booker, Mary.
        The Work of Women Composers from 1150 to 1995.
        Ilfracombe: A. H. Stockwell, 1996.
        [MUSIC REF. ML105 .B67 1996.

        Burnsworth, Charles C.
        Choral music for women's voices; an annotated bibliography of recommended works.
        Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1968.
        [MUSIC REF. ML128.V7B87]

        Dees, Pamela Youngdahl .
        A guide to piano music by women composers.
        Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002-
        v. 1. = Composers born before 1900; v.2 = Women born after 1900
        [MUSIC REF. ML102.P5 D44 2002 v.1; MUSIC REF ML700 .D44 2004 v.2]

        Grolman, Ellen K. (Ellen Grolman Schlegel)
        Catalogue of Published Works For String Orchestra And Piano By Twentieth-Century American Women

        Birmingham, AL: Colonial Press, 1992.
        [MUSIC REF. ML120.U5 S35 1993]

        Heinrich, Adel.
        Organ And Harpsichord Music By Women Composers: An Annotated Catalog.
        Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1991.
        [MUSIC REF. ML128.O6 O73 1991]

        Jackson, Barbara Garvey.
        "Say Can You Deny Me": A Guide To Surviving Music By Women From The 16th Through The 18th Centuries.
        Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1994.
        [MUSIC REF. ML128.W7 J3 1994]

        Johnson, Rose-Marie.
        Violin Music By Women Composers: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide.
        Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1989.
        [MUSIC REF. ML128.W7 J63 1989]

        MacAuslan, Janna.
        Guitar music by women composers : an annotated catalog.
        Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997.
        [MUSIC REF. ML128.G8 M33 1997]

        Mayer, Clara.
        KOM : Komponistinnen im Musikverlag : Katalog lieferbarer Musikalien.
        Kassel: Furore, 1996.
        [MUSIC REF. ML128.W7 M3 1996]

        Meggett, Joan M.
        Keyboard Music By Women Composers: A Catalog And Bibliography.
        Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1981.
        [MUSIC REF. ML128.H35M43]

        New York Women Composers, Inc.
        Catalog : Compositions Of Concert Music By New York Women Composers.
        North Tarrytown, NY: New York Women Composers, Inc., 1994.
        [MUSIC REF. ML128.W7 C38 1994b]

        Stewart-Green, Miriam.
        Women composers : a checklist of works for the solo voice.
        Boston: G.K. Hall, [1980]
        [MUSIC REF. ML128.V7S85]

        Walker-Hill, Helen.
        Music by black women composers : a bibliography of available scores.
        Chicago: Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College, 1995.
        [MUSIC REF. ML128.W7 W35 1995]

        Piano Music By Black Women Composers: A Catalog Of Solo And Ensemble Works.
        Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992.
        [MUSIC REF. ML128.P3 W3 1992]

        Zaimont, Judith Lang and Karen Famera.
        Contemporary concert music by women : a directory of the composers and their works.
        Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1981.
        [MUSIC REF. ML105.Z34]

        [Note: For a list of the UO's holdings of scores by women composers, see:Women Composers: A Scoreography, the compilation of the Music Services Dept. score holdings.
        This is available on the web at:]


          VII. Search the following discographies of music by women composers for lists of their recording history:


          Cohen, Aaron I.
          International discography of women composers.
          Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1984.
          [MUSIC REF. ML156.4.W6C6 1984]

          Frazier, Jane.
          Women Composers: A Discography.
          Detroit: Harmonie Park Press, 1983.
          [MUSIC REF. ML156.4.W6F7 1983]

          Laird, Ross.
          Moanin' low : a discography of female popular vocal recordings, 1920-1933.
          Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996.
          [MUSIC REF. ML156.4.W6 L35 1996]

          Leder, Jan.
          Women in jazz : a discography of instrumentalists, 1913-1968.
          Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985.
          [MUSIC REF. ML156.4.J3L44 1985]

          [Note: For a listing of the recordings the UO owns (up to 1998), see: Discography of Women Composers' Recordings at the UO
          This is the compilation of the Douglass Room's Holdings. It is available on the web at


            VIII.Consult Publishers and Sources for Publication Information on Women's Compositions:














            IX. Consult the following web sites on the World Wide Web for further information on women in music:




            Organizations dedicated to Women in Music/Women Composers





            X. Other Research Resources Available on the Music Services' web site:


            For researching women in music in other aspects, see the following Music Services web guides:



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            Created by ashaffer on Jun 18, 2012 Last updated Aug 22, 2012
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