This guide provides a first step to research on music from diverse voices. "Diverse" in this guide is defined as voices from underrepresented communities in music literature and scholarship, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; LGBTQ+ folks; Deaf and disabled people; women; international cultures; and music outside of the "Western" tradition. It is not comprehensive and does not attempt to represent every community. Instead, it provides a few research strategies along with some key resources.
It is important while starting such research not to tokenize the musicians and scholars you learn about. Instead, ask yourself why you are looking for these voices. A couple of reasons to seek diverse scholarship and literature include: amplifying underrepresented viewpoints and art; gaining viewpoints different from your own; and gaining a fuller understanding of a musical tradition by studying literature by scholars who represent the community being discussed. Remember these scholars and musicians are all individuals whose contributions should be viewed as such.
The following guide created by George Mason University Libraries outlines the research challenges scholars confront while searching for marginalized voices within problematic information systems, illustrates strategies for how to find diverse voices both inside and outside of traditional library systems, and highlights resources that start researchers on their journey:
The following guide provides general information and research resources on anti-Black racism, anti-racist learning and practice, the Black Lives Matter movement, and related activist movements:
Tips for searching for music by diverse composers:
Flute Music by Women
Latin American Composers
Chinese Art Songs
The following websites provide information on music and composers from underrepresented backgrounds, including BIPOC, women, and LGBTQ composers.
Tips for finding scholars from diverse backgrounds:
You can find information on specific groups through encyclopedias, dictionaries, and bibliographies. In the library catalog and database, search for a specific identity and music keyword, such as women in music or black composers. Then filter your results to "reference." Here are a few examples to get you started:
Mason Libraries have several databases featuring streaming music from American and international cultures. A few are listed below:
There are many local and national organizations that support underrepresented communities in music. Other national organizations have committees, pages, and resources for specific communities. Check out your own professional organizations to see if they have such groups or committees. If not, it might be time to start one!
Here are a few examples: