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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
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.
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.
Check out these additional guides from other music libraries for more links and repertoire lists for specific instrumentation
JMU Libraries "Diversity Your Repertoire"
Contains links to diversity and equity projects, choral, instrumental, and orchestra resources.
McGill Libraries BIPOC musicians references
This guide includes repertoire lists for specific instruments and ensembles as well as additional resources and references.
McGill LGBTQ+ music guide
This evolving research guide targets scholars interested in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Two-Spirit (LGBTQ+) research on music, musicians, and repertoire.
University of Toronto Guide to BIPOC musicians and related literature
This guide supports research on the musical traditions and scholarship of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) individuals and groups.
University of BC Indigenous Music and Dance
This Research Guide provides strategies and information for researchers searching for Indigenous artists, dance and music performances. It provides resources like books to begin research from, search terms, music and dance videos, current news, ways to find Indigenous artists on websites like YouTube, and a list of local BC artists to add to your music playlists.
Camosun College Indigenous Music Guide
Find links to websites/streaming platforms of a selection of Indigenous musicians. Wherever possible, we have listed basic information about each artist as quoted or paraphrased from their website. This list is growing.
McGill Women Composers Guide
Use this guide to discover information sources about women composers and their artistic and compositional output. This evolving guide facilitates access to important resources, documenting the impact of women composers on all musical cultures.
Searching in the Catalog
When searching in the catalog for repertoire specific subject headings can be used to help locate music by diverse composers:
- Music by African American composers
- Music by African American women composers
- Music by Black composers
- Music by Jewish composers
- Music by women composers
Use the advanced search function in the classic catalog and search with these subjects making sure to choose as a phrase and select subject in the dropdown area box and using quotes around the terms.
Select music score from the Type dropdown box.
Add your instrumentation to the second search box and browse your results!
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 Amanda DuBose 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
Miriam Stewart Green Collection
This is the Miriam Stewart Green Collection. Herein you will find musical scores created by women composers and originally collected by Miriam Stewart Green, a musician and professor of music at the University of Kansas. This online collection is a small portion of the physical collection, which is comprised of almost 1,400 scores and housed in Baker University's Department of Music & Theatre.