Women Composer Database
December 16, 2017 9:12 AM   Subscribe

Women Composer Database In an era where the music of women composers continue to be underrepresented and programmed too infrequently, this is such a great resource for discovering the music of women composers, both living and dead.

This was shared with me through social media channels with a strong encouragement to share it as widely as possible. Credit goes to Rob Deemer, Emily Joy Sullivan, Sierra Woj, Sam Giacoia, Immanuel Mellis, and Sean Penzo for their incredible work on this. The database also includes a link to submit any composers that might be missing. The creators have indicated they are planning to improve the interface in the coming months.
posted by bkpiano (8 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
I'm in this database. I have slightly mixed feelings about it, because it feels a little like being in a binder full of women, but on the whole I think it's a good thing and I'm thankful to Rob Deemer et. al.
posted by daisystomper at 9:53 AM on December 16, 2017 [6 favorites]

Hey bkpiano !

There's also this resource, courtesy of Google Books:*

Title International encyclopedia of women composers, Volume 2
International Encyclopedia of Women Composers, Aaron I. Cohen, ISBN 0961748524, 9780961748524
Author Aaron I. Cohen
Edition 2
Publisher Books & Music USA, 1987
Original from the University of Michigan
Digitized Dec 21, 2006
Length 1151 pages
Subjects Music
› History & Criticism

*I'm unusure if both volumes were digitized; ntl, perhaps you or someone you know is referenced. And, FYI, there's a companion Discography of Women Composers out there also; all volumes pre-date digital music.
**via Bookfinder, a complete set is available for ~$200.
posted by GhostRider at 10:57 AM on December 16, 2017

I often work with a regional association dedicated to the performance and promotion of works by female composers; I'm going to send them the link to this database in case they're not aware of it. Thanks, bkpiano!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:20 AM on December 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh, this is good! I teach music theory classes and get a lot of use out of this analogous website: http://musictheoryexamplesbywomen.com/.
posted by phetre at 11:27 AM on December 16, 2017 [5 favorites]

Thank you!
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 3:34 PM on December 16, 2017

Also: Many, Many Women The focus of this index is on women in contemporary/post-classic composition, free improvisation and avant jazz, electronic/electroacoustic music, sound art, sound installations, radio art.... the focus is on experimental/avant garde music
posted by abhardcastle at 6:13 AM on December 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

daisystomper, the list does feel weird, I agree, but I'm thankful to Rob, too--I programmed my entire last concert from that list, all women composers, and found some really great music I wouldn't have found otherwise, and it opened up a lot of terrific discussions with my students through those rehearsals. I hate that I needed a list, that I don't know as many living women composers just off the top of my head as I should, but am thankful that resource exists so that I can both remedy my own deficiencies as well as better model for my own students.

It reminded me of Dan Harmon's experience being made to hire a writers' room that was half women for Community: there are plenty of great, women creatives out there, you just have to look a little harder at first, because one of the more invisible and insidious parts of longitudinal sexism is that young women don't often have the same, casual and social accessibility when professional connections are forming (i.e., college), and so don't become the "I know someone" for as many colleagues as one's cohort moves forward professionally.

That wasn't clearly articulated, shorter version is: it's crappy that we need this database, but because we need it, it sure is a great tool to have. It's a useful tool that helps me to consistently provide more diverse models of creative work and professionals, to future creative professionals.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:15 AM on December 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

(also, thanks for the fantastic additional links, all!!!)
posted by LooseFilter at 9:15 AM on December 17, 2017

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