The solo piano music of selected contemporary Canadian women composers: database, audio samples, and annotated bibliography
Women's contributions to the history of Canadian music can be traced back to the late nineteenth century. However, women's achievements then, and still somewhat now, are often overlooked and as a result, piano solo works by Canadian women composers are largely unknown. The purpose of this study is to promote the wealth of solo piano repertoire composed by Canadian women, and to report the results in an accessible and comprehensible format for students, teachers, and performers at all levels. The research focuses on the most recent piano music by female composers born in or after 1950 whose compositions are available through the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) library. Brief biographies of included composers note their accomplishments, compositional output, and style characteristics. Annotations for the 103 works studied, written by twenty-six composers, include information about harmonic schemes, meters, tempos, durations, dates of the composition, CMC call number, level of difficulty, commissions, musical excerpts, premieres, and style characteristics. The style characteristics section includes composer's notes, technical challenges, musical characteristics, pedagogical values, and other pertinent information about a given piece. Since the goal of this project is to stimulate the awareness of music composed by Canadian women in a truly global sense, the research paper is supplemented by a website--www.canadianwomencomposers.com--that contains all the information found in the written portion of the annotations. This website also offers short audio samples of the compositions. The writer wishes to encourage all students, performers, and teachers to explore this resource, which reveals the richness of solo piano repertoire written by Canadian women composers.