School of Music


Master of Arts in Music Education (MA)


Samantha Miller


American female composers, composers, women, vocal composers, undergraduate vocal repertoire, women




American female composers create music that is pedagogically valuable and should be included in the repertoire commonly used by undergraduate vocal students. The purpose of this research is to provide awareness of the existence and the contribution that American female composers have made to standard vocal repertoire and their pedagogical value. The essential question answered as part of this research is: how have the American women composers contributed to the development of standard vocal literature? Additional sub-questions addressed in this research include: 1) What historical factors (culturally, economically, etc.) have influenced the rise of female composers in America beginning in the late 1800’s to the present? 2) What women were prolific vocal composers and how were they recognized? and 3) How much of their music is included in many of the standard vocal literature anthologies that are published and used by collegiate undergraduate students? The works of American female composers can provide just as much pedagogical value as the works of their male counterparts. American female composers are frequently left out of commonly use textbooks and vocal anthologies. The lack of knowledge, recognition, and inclusion of American female composers in undergraduate vocal repertoire can affect how these students view composers and can limit their understanding of voice repertoire that is available.

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