"Classical" is a loose expression for formal or art music. There
is no accurate term to describe this tradition of music. For the
purpose of documenting women's roles therein, "classical" will be
divided into early or church music; salon music; opera; and music
for the concert hall. This section is sort of a pathfinder within a
pathfinder because of the breadth of Duke's collection in this
Classical Reference Works
- Claghorn, Charles Eugene. Women Composers and Hymnists : A
Concise Biographical Dictionary. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow
- The first and only comprehensive biographical dictionary of
women hymnists and composers of church and sacred music covering
Protestant denominations as well as Roman Catholic and Jewish
traditions. With 155 composers and 600 hymnists. Divinity Reference
-- CALL NUMBER: 783.026092 C584, W872, 1984
- Cohen, Aaron I. International Encyclopedia of Women
Composers. New York: Books & Music (USA), 1987.
- A two volume set, this is the first work of international scope
on the topic. With 6,000 composers from over 70 countries. Also
contains numerous extra sections on quotations, a statistical
breakdown of the book, every conceivable index, notable facts and
more. Music Reference -- CALL NUMBER: 780.92 C678, I61, 1987
- Sadie, Julie Anne and Rhian Samuel, ed. The Norton/Grove
Dictionary of Women Composers. New York, London: W.W. Norton,
- Just published in 1995, this is the last in the subject
dictionaries related to the 20 volume New Grove Dictionary
compiled because the parent dictionary had only modest coverage of
women. Contains entries on nearly 900 composers writing in the
Western Art Tradition. Music Reference -- CALL NUMBER: 780.92082
- Epstein, Selma. A Guide for Researching Music by Women
Composers. United States: Chromattica USA, 1990.
- The "author" of more than a dozen sound discs of women's
classical music, Epstein compiled this list of organizations, major
international libraries (of which Duke is a member),
bibliographies, reference works, journals, and biographies of women
in formal music. Music Reference -- CALL NUMBER: 016.78092 E64,
- Frasier, Jane. Women Composers : A Discography.
Detroit, MI: Information Coordinators, 1983.
- A list of art music composed by women and neglected in music
history. With a composer list, record company index, title index
and genre index including chamber music, choral music, electronic
music, stage works, and vocal music among others. 337 women and
1030 discs listed. Music Reference -- CALL NUMBER: 016.78 D483,
This music was generally composed between 750 BC and 1600 AD and
includes sacred as well as secular music.
- Flanagan, Sabina. Hildegard of Bingen, 1098-1179 : A
Visionary Life. London, New York: Routledge, 1990.
- A biography of a renaissance woman in ten chapters with one in
particular on her music: "Celestial Harmonies", as well as relevant
passages in other parts of the book. A feminist analysis of how
Hildegard got to do what she did which concludes that her status as
a prophet superseded the restrictions she would have encountered as
a woman. Divinity -- CALL NUMBER: 282.092 H642, F583, 1990
- Kendrick, Robert L. Genres, Generations and Gender : Nuns'
Music in Early Modern Milan, c. 1550-1706. Thesis at New York
- Written to fulfill the requirements of a PhD, this tome is
about church music in 16th and 17th centuries Milan, Italy,
specifically the sacred vocal music made by women in religious
orders from counter-reformation to early modern Catholicism. With
insight into intellectual life and theology in the context of early
modern Milan. Music -- CALL NUMBER: 722.220945 K33, G335, 1994
- Anonymous 4. An English Ladymass Medieval Chant and
Polyphony. Los Angeles, CA: Harmonia Mundi France, 1992.
- A Ladymass is a mass to the Blessed Virgin offered daily at the
Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire, England and every Saturday in
most large churches in their ladychapels in the 13th century.
Anonymous 4 is one of the very few women's groups specializing in
the discovery and performance of medieval music. Music Media Center
-- CALL NUMBER: CD 1893
- Hildegard, Saint, 1098-1179. The Lauds of Saint
Ursula. Bloomington, IN: Focus, 1991.
- Selections from the liturgy of Lauds for St. Ursula's Day as it
was celebrated in Hildegard's convent in the 12th century. With a
biographical sketch of Hildegard. Music Media Center -- CALL
NUMBER: CD 1526
- Masterworks Chorale. Choral Music by Women Performers.
[S.l.]: Access Records, 1985.
- Early Italian madrigals and secular choruses performed by six
women: 4 flutes, one percussionist, and one pianist. With
biographical information on the six composers represented. Texts in
English and French. Music Media Center -- LP 126
- Songs of Sappho. New York: The Company, 1988.
- A 25 minute color videotape by the chorus of the New York Greek
Drama Company. Six poems performed in six different pastoral scenes
with the chorus singing to Sappho as well as Sappho singing to the
chorus. Also with dancing and period dress. In Ancient Greek with
English Subtitles. An excellent way to see the role of music in the
lives of these women of ancient history. Lilly A-V Video cassette
-- Call Number: 3490
- Jane Berdes Papers
- Research archives (49,000 items) relating to classical music
including women in Baroque music and Venice, Italy as a center for
this music. Contains manuscripts, monographs, and other
publications, notes, clippings, articles, music manuscripts, audio
cassettes, video cassette, microfilm, and slides. Collection guide
available. Rubenstein Library -- CALL NUMBER: X
Salon music was music composed and performed in the 17th, 18th,
and 19th centuries by women in their homes sometimes with no
expected audience, but more often in groups, or salons, of women.
The Salon was nearly the only context in which women were free to
express their art during this period of history.
- Tick, Judith, ed. Women Making Music: the Western Art
Tradition, 1150-1950. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois
- Six essays about women musicians with the best explanation and
description of the Salon Movement. Also with a history and critical
commentary on the periods before and after it. With illustrations,
bibliographic references, and a comprehensive index. Music -- CALL
NUMBER: 780.88042 W872, 1986
- La Flute Enchantee, French Pieces for Flute and
Orchestra. Colchester, England: Chandos Records, 1990.
- One flute with the City of London Sinfonia perform pieces of
six composers including Cecile Chaminade, an important French Salon
composer. Her Concertino is an excellent example of the genre.
Music Media Center -- CALL NUMBER: CD 987
- Lieder by Women Composers. United States: Musical
Heritage Society, 1989.
- Nine composers are represented here in 22 pieces interpreted by
two singers and a pianist. With a biographical sketch of the
composers and a short discussion of Salon Music. Lieder were a
favored form by women of the Salon Movement. Music Media Center --
CALL NUMBERS: CD 98
Opera is a dramatic performance set to music, in which words are
sung in the form of recitatives, arias, and ensembles, usually
accompanied by orchestra and generally performed with sets and
- ClÃ©ment, Catherine, translated by Betsy Wing. Opera, or,
The Undoing of Women. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota
- This controversial book was written by a non-musician on the
subject of women's roles in opera. A feminist criticism of opera
music which leads to the rejection of opera as a form in which "men
and women can live freely and openly together" as women always sing
their undoing. Music -- CALL NUMBER: 782.109 C626, O61, 1988
- Kestling, Jurgen. Maria Callas. Boston, MA:
Northeastern University Press, 1993.
- A recent biography which attempts to assemble, sort and
interpret facts and fictions of this legendary Diva. A chronicle of
her life and career from her apprenticeship with Elvira de Hidalgo
to her travels around the world and the price she paid for success.
With a glossary, discography, bibliography, black and white photos
of stage performances, and a description of her recordings. Music
-- CALL NUMBER: 782.1092 C156, K42, 1993
- Matheopoulos, Helena. Diva : Great Sopranos and Mezzos
Discuss Their Art. Boston, MA: Northeastern University Press,
- Interviews with contemporary women opera singers in which they
discuss their repertoire and the art of singing. The artists
analyze some of the roles for which they are best known, trace
their vocal development, comment on operatic life, and offer advice
to young singers. Compiled as a companion book to Bravo, a
book about male opera singers. Music -- CALL NUMBER: 782.1092 M426,
- The Prima Donna's Album : A Collection of 41 Celebrated
Cavatinas and Arias (in their original keys) Extracted from Famous
op.G. New York: Schirmer, 19--?
- Musical score consisting of excerpts from operas such as
Barber of Seville by Rossini, Don Giovanni by
Mozart, and Tosca by Puccini. With English translations of
lyrics and piano music accompaniment. It's interesting to see what
the Diva sees (and to know what she's saying!). Duke Off-Site
Stacks -- CALL NUMBER: M782.1 P952 1900z
- Diva. New York: MGM/UA Home Video, 1983
- A romantic thriller set in Paris, this movie is about a diva's
fan making a recording of her performance without her knowledge or
consent for which he is stalked by thugs who plan to blackmail her.
With twisty subplots and edge-of-the-seat action as well as
excellent music. In French with English subtitles. Lilly A-V Video
cassette -- CALL NUMBER: 224
- Simms, Jessie. Papers
- Chiefly a diary kept by Simms while touring with the Andrews
Opera Company throughout the United States. It contains the
complete itinerary of two of the Company's tours. Diary entries
describe the places they visited, sightseeing, and Opera Company
members. The volume also contains about 100 pages of mounted
ephemera, including magazine photographs, theater programs, maps,
and news articles as well as a few pages of autographs. Rubenstein Library -- CALL NUMBER: X
Concert Hall Music
Music for the concert hall is composed and performed for an
audience. It can take the form of chamber music, or music for a
small ensemble, as well as orchestral music, or music for a large
group of musicians.
- Green, Mildred Denby. Black Women Composers : a
Genesis. Boston, CN: Twayne Publishers, 1983.
- An examination of five women, Florence Price, Margaret Bonds,
Julia Perry, Evelyn Pittman, and Lena McLin, about whom little was
previously written. These composers blended jazz, blues, and
spiritual elements with traditions of Western European music to
create an original style. Included in this work are their words,
music, a bibliography, discography, and a catalog of musical works.
Music -- CALL NUMBER: 780.92 G797, B627, 1983
- Jenkins, Walter S. The Remarkable Mrs. Beach, American
Composer. Warren, MI: Harmonie Park Press, Detroit Monographs
in Music, n.13, 1994.
- A biographical account of this composer and philanthropist
whose symphonies, Mass, and concerto were widely performed in the
U.S. and abroad particularly between 1893 and 1914. Based on her
diaries, letters, newspaper clippings, and personal reminiscences.
She is one of the first women composers to have achieved wide
respect and popularity. Music -- CALL NUMBER: 781.09 D483 n.13,
- Jezic, Diane Peacock. Women Composers : The Lost Tradition
Found. New York: Feminist Press at the City University of New
- Short biographies of women in music from Medieval and Baroque
Periods, Classical and Romantic Periods, early 20th century, and
six living composers. International in scope with photos, musical
examples, a selected list of works, a discography, and a
bibliography. Music -- CALL NUMBER: 780.92 J59, W872, 1994
- Reich, Nancy B. Clara Schumann, The Artist and The
Woman. Ithica, NY: Cornell University Press, 1985.
- A biography of this influential 19th century composer
re-examines old sources and an introduction of new information.
Includes the story of her life and the people she knew, along with
a chronology, bibliography, and illustrations. Accessible to
students of both music and women's studies! Music -- CALL NUMBER:
786.1092 S392, R347, 1985
- Zaimont, Judith Lang. Contemporary Concert Music by Women :
A Directory of the Composers and Their Works. Westport, CN:
Greenwood Press, 1981.
- A Bio-bibliography in directory format of concert music by
women of the last two centuries. With an extensive discography and
numerous illustrations to give the reader an feeling for these
women and their work. Music Reference -- CALL NUMBER: 780.92 Z21,
- Epstein, Selma. Women Composers, An International
Sampler. Chromattica USA, 1988.
- A recording on cassette of piano music by Epstein on which she
interprets the music of composers such as Amy Beach, Fanny Ralston,
and Maria Theresia von Paradis as well as other women composers
from around the world. Music Media Center -- CALL NUMBER: SC
- Epstein, Selma. Works By Women. Chromattica USA,
- Another cassette of Epstein playing the piano music of women
composers from France, Britain, Germany and other countries mostly
in Western Europe. A nice way to hear different musical traditions
which co-exist so closely together. Music Media Center -- CALL
NUMBER: SC 25
- The Women's Philharmonic: Lili Boulanger, Clara Schumann,
Germaine Tailleferre, Fanny Mendelssohn. Westbury, NY: Koch
International Classics, 1992.
- This disc comprises 66 minutes of music with program and
biographical notes of the four composers whose music is performed.
The music consists of overtures, concertos for harp and piano, as
well as orchestral music. Music Media Center -- CALL NUMBER: CD
- Viola Hill Papers
- African American coloratura soprano of Philadelphia, Pa. About
600 letters, most addressed to Hill, and notes, postcards,
annotated sheet music, clippings, programs, and other material. The
collection presents a detailed record of Hill's assiduous efforts
to market her musical skills, and includes materials on her
performances in many locations including Raleigh, N.C., and other
activities in black music circles. Rubenstein Library --
CALL NUMBER: X