Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy, vol. 6

Table of Contents

List of Classroom Resources on Music by Women Composers

Cara Stroud, Michigan State University

Editor’s Note: This resource accompanies Cara Stroud’s article “Transcending the Pedagogical Patriarchy: Practical Suggestions for Including Examples from Women Composers in the Music Theory Curriculum”

Note: I have intentionally limited this list to resources that I found helpful in my own teaching preparation—it is not intended to be comprehensive. This list focuses more on pedagogical musical examples, such as would be helpful for a typical undergraduate classroom. I did not delve into the world of published monographs and edited collections that present scholarly analytical explorations, such as the recently published monograph by Judith Lochhead (2015) and the collection of essays edited by Laurel Parsons and Brenda Ravenscroft (2016).

Written Theory Textbooks and Accompanying Anthologies with Examples from More Than One Woman Composer

Benward, Bruce and Marilyn Saker. 2015. Music in Theory and Practice. 9th ed. McGraw-Hill Education.

Burstein, L. Poundie and Joseph N. Straus. 2016. Concise Introduction to Tonal Harmony. W. W. Norton and Co.

Clendinning, Jane Piper and Elizabeth West Marvin. 2016. The Musician’s Guide to Theory and Analysis. 3rd ed. W. W. Norton and Co.

Kostka, Stefan, Dorothy Payne, and Byron Almén. 2012. Tonal Harmony. 7th ed. McGraw-Hill Education.

Roig-Francolí, Miguel. 2011. Harmony in Context. 2nd ed. McGraw-Hill.

Published Stand-Alone Anthologies

Briscoe, James R., ed. 1997. Contemporary Anthology of Music by Women. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

This anthology can be a starting place for twentieth-century music. Works are organized alphabetically by composer. Many works in the anthology are selections or excerpts from a larger work; if you find something in the anthology that fits your curriculum, you might need to order a full score.

Briscoe, James R., ed. 2004. New Historical Anthology of Music by Women. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Entries are arranged in chronological order and selections from each composer are prefaced by a brief biographical sketch. Contains examples from Sappho through Augusta Read Thomas. Most examples are short, complete works. Accompanying recordings are available.

Schleifer, Martha Furman and Sylvia Glickman, eds. 1996–2006. Women Composers: Music through the Ages. New York: G.K. Hall.

An eight-volume resource. Volumes are divided by time period and performing forces (vocal music, piano music, etc.), and most examples are complete works.

Straus, Joseph. 1993. Music by Women for Study and Analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

This anthology is now out of print, but it is a very helpful resource of excerpted examples organized by topics in diatonic and chromatic harmony. Since the anthology is limited to short excerpts that primarily illustrate the harmony topic at hand, it would not be useful for a form course. Instructors will need to find recordings of the examples or perform them in class.

Online Resources


An extensive list of composers with filters for various demographic categories, genre specialties, etc. Composer entries often link directly to the composer’s website.


List of resources on music composed by women.


A list of names of many women composers. IMSLP-hosted scores and recordings in the public domain can be easily accessed from this list.


Killam’s MTO article contains an appendix outlining a supplemental assignment list for an undergraduate course in twentieth-century music.

https://smtcswbibliography.wikispaces.com/Bibliography+on+Women+%26+Gender+in+Music (Editor’s Note: This website is no longer hosting this content)

A wide-ranging bibliography covering many topics relating to women and gender in music. I would encourage you to download this if you are able--Wikispaces will not be hosting content for much longer (as of June 2018).


List of resources maintained by SMT’s Committee on the Status of Women.