Linkssee"Women in Music" article in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
Free PDF DownloadsResources for Locating Works by Female Composers
Quotations and Resources Cited in Foulk's lecture "New Standards: Women in Orchestras in the 21st Century"
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)
Bibliography to Foulk's "Works for Horn and Piano by Female Composers:
An Annotated Guide"
In June 2012 Lin Foulk co-hosted the International Women’s Brass Conference: Why IWBC 2012?
Recommended ReadingAmmer, 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 art.
Borroff, Edith. “Women Composers: Reminiscence and History.” College Music Symposium 15 (1975) : 26-33.
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.
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) : 27-34.
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, 1991.
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 in music.
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 by men.
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.