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How Do I Find Diverse Repertoire?
This is a challenging process, as most of our information systems do not tag creators specifically for their demographics or identities. Also, what is considered "diverse" is contextual and can be different for each searcher/consumer of the music.
This page provides search strategies for locating music from creators who are part of one or more of the following groups:
- LGBT identities
- people of color
- musicians outside of the Western European musical tradition
Suggest a Resource!
Find a website or other source that was helpful to your research? Submit it to the Music Librarian below! It will be reviewed and potentially added to this guide.
Locate Lists of Composers/Artists/Works on Websites
Use some of the online and print resources below to identify composers and compositions from diverse identities.
Once you have found the title of a piece of music, look it up in Summon (the SU Libraries catalog) to find a score or a recording. If we do not have it, you can request it through interlibrary loan, or send a purchase request to your music subject librarian Rachel Fox Von Swearingen firstname.lastname@example.org.
Composer Diversity Database
Searchable database of title information for musical works; focuses on Western art music; includes limiters for gender, ethnicity, and geography.
Chamber Music America's Composer's Equity Project
List of living chamber music composers who are African/Black, Latinx, Asian/South Asian, Arab/Middle Eastern, Native American, women, or gender non-conforming
A Seat at the Piano
For promoting inclusion in piano repertoire; they spotlight pianists and piano composers from diverse backgrounds and are currently developing a searchable database
Repertoire - Women's Philharmonic Advocacy
Links to various resources for identifying women composers of orchestral music
World Music Central.org
Check out the artist index
for biographical entries, some discographies and bibliographies, for contemporary world music artists.
Metadata (i.e. citation information) for millions of sound recordings across all genres
1) In the upper right, change the search dropdown to "area" and enter a country or geographic area.
2) select the desired geographic area
3) click on the Artists tab, and browse genders (unfortunately, there's no way to sort or limit by gender)
Wikipedia: Browse Category Lists
Search Wikipedia for a specific type of musician (LGBT musicians; African-American female singer-songwriters) or browse through the category tree.
Look under "musicians" to find songwriters; look under "composers" to find others
Locate Lists of Composers/Artists/Works in Books
Lists of musical works are published in books called bibliographies or as part of journal articles. Browse the websites below to find the titles of bibliographies on your desired topic. Then, look up book or article titles in the library catalog Summon, or request on interlibrary loan.