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American Women: Resources from the Performing Arts Collections

Music Literature

Published bibliographies of literature on women and music began to appear in the late 1970s as women's studies programs gained legitimacy. Of particular note among these are Adrienne Fried Block's Women in American Music, which covers the colonial period to 1978, and Margaret D. Ericson's Women and Music: A Selective Annotated Bibliography on Women and Gender Issues in Music, 1987-1992. The explosive growth of writing on women and music is evident in this latter work, which requires four hundred pages to cover five years of publications.

Subject access to cataloged monographs on women and music is provided through Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). Books about individual musicians may be found by searching personal names as subjects. Subject headings that are qualified by sex or ethnic group, such as “Women composers,” “Women musicians,” “African American women musicians,” or “Women jazz musicians,” are used only when the sex or ethnic group is mentioned as a significant aspect of the work. Biographies of Dolly Parton, for example, receive the subject heading “Country musicians--United States--Biography,” whereas Mary A. Bufwack and Robert K. Oermann's Finding Her Voice: The Saga of Women in Country Music receives the subject heading “Women country musicians--United States--Biography” because the fact that the country musicians are women is an integral part of the study. Subject headings such as "Feminism and music" or "Gender identity in music" will help a researcher locate collection material relevant to gender studies in music.

Bibliographies present a curated listing of references to scholarly resources or scores that pertain to a specific topic or genre. The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are provided when available.

Biographical dictionaries and encyclopedia offer brief summaries of biographies or terms. The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are provided when available.

Music history books document and analyze various genres, creative artists, eras, cultures, and musical developments. The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are provided when available.

In addition to history books, scholars have produced a plethora of resources that employ gender studies and feminist musicology to explore our understanding of music by women and woman's experience within the realm of music history. The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are provided when available.

The following books feature interviews with American women composers. Materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are provided when available.