Women in Publication: A Sampling
This year for Women’s History Month we wanted to do something useful! When you work in publishing, it quickly becomes clear that one of the greatest barriers to making women’s music more widespread is the lack of easily available published or printed resources. This is especially true for larger scale works, particularly orchestral and chamber music. Of course, you can find printed music by women – Rebecca Clarke, Clara Schumann & Fanny Mendelssohn are all available from larger scale publishers. For so many more, it is difficult or even impossible to find print scores, particularly women from further back in history.
As a small contribution to the wider effort, we’ve put together a list of the of some of the women composers whose work is available to order in a retail setting. If you don’t see something you’re looking for, don’t be discouraged! There’s so much more out there – you can always send us an email or phone in with a request and our staff will do what they can to help. Most of the links below only offer a small selections of titles which are currently on our website. Its likely that there are often other titles available by inquiry. We hope to continue to improve this list as we go so of course, we welcome suggestions!
“I’ve been a woman for a little over 50 years and have gotten over my initial astonishment. As for conducting an orchestra, that’s a job where I don’t think sex plays much part.”
– Nadia Boulanger
Anthologies & Collections:
Composers by Chronology:
Here is a tiny sampling of the female composers working before 1800 – there are many more which we haven’t listed, simply because of a lack of availability of published works!
- Francesca Caccini – 1 volume of vocal works available (composed possibly the first staged work by a woman!)
- Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre – keyboard & instrumental works available
- Marianna Martines – some works available from Furore Verlag on request
- Maria Teresia von Paradis – her Sicilienne for cello (of royal wedding fame!) is available
- Barbara Strozzi – some vocal works available
- Cecile Chaminade – works for piano, solo instruments, chamber ensembles & voice available
- Louise Farrenc – works available for chamber ensembles (wind nonette seems to be particularly popular!)
- Fanny Mendelssohn – works for piano, voice, chamber ensemble available
- Clara Schumann – available works
- Ethel Smyth – selection of chamber & piano works available
- Pauline Viardot – vocal works available
- Grażyna Bacewicz (a staff favourite!) – string quartets, songs & violin sonata available – likley more works on request
- Amy Beach – vocal repertoire, piano, chamber music available
- Lili Boulanger (another favourite!) – vocal, chamber, keyboard, choral works available
- Nadia Boulanger – art song, solo instrumental works available
- Rebecca Clarke – works for piano, voice, strings & chamber ensembles available
- Madeleine Dring – works for voice, piano, recorder & oboe available
- Elisabeth Lutyens – website lists works for oboe, choir & double bass – most of her work is published by Yorke Editions and is available by request
- Elizabeth Maconchy – vocal, piano, chamber & instrumental works available
- Florence Price – small selection of works currently available, more are scheduled to be released in the next year or so!
- Priaulx Rainier – some titles available for strings, woodwinds & chamber – many more titles available on request as majority of her works are available from Schott
- Germaine Tailleferre – works for piano, violin, voice & chamber ensembles available
And on to the women who are composing today! Here’s a tiny sampling that we will continue to update. Of course, this list only includes women whose music is published commercially – lots of living composers are self-published or publish through Composer’s Editions as well.
- Sally Beamish – chamber music, choral repertoire, instrumental available – more by request
- Cheryl Frances-Hoad – a few scores available, voice, piano & chamber music
- Betsy Jolas – wide variety of music available
- Cecilia McDowall – wide variety of choral material, other scores also available in print or in digital download
- Thea Musgrave – works for voice, solo instruments & choirs available – other scores available by request
- Kaija Saariaho – some works on the website now but many, many more available by request!
- Joan Tower – instrumental, chamber, keyboard works available
- Errollyn Wallen – wide variety of works available
- Judith Weir – wide array of materials available
Contact us with additions, suggestions or feedback!