Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Women's History Month: Researching Women in Music

Researching Women in Music

Because women have been involved to some degree in every period and genre of music, researching women in music should start with a general background in the styles of your subject(s). The most famous, and sometimes infamous, women of the period are usually represented in general music history books. Unfortunately, some period histories leave out out women completely. This is where specialized bibliographies and subject-specific search strategies come in.

The keywords for Library of Congress official subjects vary. For biographical books about a specific woman, use her name and "biography" as general keywords. To see all biographies about women musicians or composers (LC differentiates), use these keywords in a subject search:
women and biography and (musicians or composers). For a specific woman, use her name and "biography" in a keyword search.

Databases on BSU's Articles and Databases Music Subject page include online versions of reference books as well as periodical indexes. The Oxford Music Online includes the New Grove online and the Encyclopedia of Popular Music.

Periodical indexes outside of RILM (the main music index) may include articles about women in music because music is part of the broader culture that would be studied as history or feminist studies. Use MultiSearch to search RILM, CardCat, and other databases simultaneously.


Search CardCat for compact discs of Women and Music

Search CardCat for books on Women in Music

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