Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre by Francoise de Troy
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    Women Composers: including Early Music, 19th c., Ragtime & More . . .

Many thanks to Hansjakob Heldstab, G.C. Byrd and all the sequencers whose work made this page possible. Sequencer names follow each entry in parenthesis.

(MIDI FILES CONTAIN THE SCORE. If you have a midi or music-writing program, you can read the actual sheet music, note by note, and watch it play at the same time.)

The compilation below includes a large number of ragtime MIDI by women composers -- use browser search function or scroll alphabetical listing below. For an MP3 women's ragtime album sample, see Fluffy Ruffle Girls. See also CD by Nora Hulse. Search for more MIDI by women composers at vanBasco Midi Search.For links to CD music samples for women's Medieval and Renaissance music, see Medieval & Renaissance Women's Music CD Discography.

Illustration above: French composer Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre (1664-1729) by Françoise de Troy (detail), see full portrait and read more about the discovery of this painting. LINKS to related sites below.

Maria Teresa d'Agnesi (1720-95)
Euphemia Allen (as Arthur de Lulli) (1861-1949, pub. 1877, at age 16)
  • Chop Sticks, aka Celebrated Chop Sticks Waltz
    originally composed by a 16 year old girl named Euphemia Allen! (later Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov and Liszt all wrote variations on the theme, and how about this chopsticks=drumsticks take-off by George Tassara, with a Rumba rhythm!), the midi was sequenced by Bill Bowden.

Pauline Alpert (1900-1988)

Alpert created 500+ piano rolls for Duo-Art, also arranged and composed solos such as "Dream of a Doll," "The Merry Minnow," and "March of the Blues," published by Mills Music Company, New York.

  • The Wedding of the Painted Dolls,
    performed by Pauline Alpert, ("WindPlay" version piano roll transcription)
  • Blue Grass, performed by Pauline Alpert (piano roll transcription by Richard Stibbons)
  • Sunny Side Up, performed by Pauline Alpert (piano roll transcription by Richard Stibbons)
Elisabeth Ahlefeldt (1755-1823)
Anna Amalia von Preussen (1723-87)
Anonymous (A Young Anonymous Lady, 19th c. American)
Anonymous (Elizabethan Song)
(see more on Anne Boleyn & Elizabeth I Music)
  • see Renaissance Music MIDI by Curtis Clark

    An I war a maydyn
    As many one ys,
    For all the golde in England
    I wold not do amysse.

    When I was a wanton wench of
    twelve yere of age,
    Thes cowrtyers with ther amours
    They kyndyld my corage.

    When I was come to
    The age of fifteen yere,
    In all this lond, nowther fire nor bond,
    Methought I had no pere.
Violet Archer (1913-2000)
Caterina Assandra (1570-1610)
May Aufderheide (1888-1972)
Sor Gracia Baptista (16th c.)
Cacilda Borges Barbosa (b. 1914)
Viola Barton (fl. 1922)
  • In addition to Pauline Alpert above, another great piano roll artist was Viola Barton, here performing Toot, Toot, Tootsie, Goo'Bye, words and music by Gus Kahn, Ernie Erdman and Dan Russo, 1922, (scanned by Warren Trachtman)
Renaissance Women's Consort. One of four extant paintings from about 1525 by the "Master of the Female Half Lengths," all depicting three female musicians, and all performing Sermisy's 'Jouissance.'"
Amy Marcy Cheney Beach (1867-1944)
Antonia Bembo (c.1640-c.1715)
Suster Bertken (Bertha Jacobs) (1426/27-1514)
Charlotte Blake (pub. 1905-1909)
Grace M. Bolen (pub. 1898, 1901)
Anna Bon di Venezia (1738-1780)
Sophie von Braunschweig (1613-67)
Kari Brown (Contemporary)
    Rustic (meditation music) MP3
Francesca Caccini (1587-1640)
Teresa Carreño (1853-1917)
Maddelena Casulana (c.1540-ca.1590)
Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944)
    [Chaminade performs Chaminade]
  • Opus 131, Marche Americaine, 1921, MP3, 1.3MB
  • Guitare (Caprice), Opus 32, 1921, MP3, 1.3MB
  • Opus 101, L'Ondine, 1920, MP3, 1.3MB
    Produced (and with notes) by George C. Byrd from MIDI piano roll scan by Terry Smythe. Julian Dyer provided Aeolian Duo-Art piano roll #012brd for scanning and conversion to MIDI. The piano sound font is Warren Trachtman's 1895 Steinway Grand font.
    "The performance of Marche Americaine and 2 other Duo-Art rolls of Chaminade pieces were actually cut by Cécile Chaminade herself on the Ampico recording piano. The practice (and the competition among piano roll production companies) was to engage famous artists to cut piano rolls by performing on a recording piano. Often well known pianists performed works by others as well.

    "The surviving piano rolls are the best recordings we have of many well known composers and performing artists of the era. The technology was essentially digital, though it recorded by punching holes in paper instead of flipping magnetic domains on spinning disks or magnetic tapes like we do today. In that sense it was much more faithful to the actual performance, and far more noise free than the analog wax disk recordings of the day.

    "We all owe piano roll preservationists like Terry Smythe, Julian Dyer and Warren Trachtman great thanks for preserving faithfully these performances in MIDI form (as well as graphical form for making duplicate piano rolls). But for their work these priceless cultural artifacts would fade to oblivion."
  • Opus 50, La Lisonjera (The Flatterer)
    MP3, 1.6MB (George C. Byrd)
    Pianist: Yolanda Merö (1887-1963), recorded about 1920? from MIDI piano roll scan by Terry Smythe. Deluxe Welte (Welte lincensee) roll #2540W from Terry Smythe batch 12
  • Opus 53, Arlequine
    MP3, 1.2MB (George C. Byrd)
    Pianist: Yolanda Merö (1887-1963), recorded about 1920? From MIDI piano roll scan by Terry Smythe. Smythe Cat. #2539; Roll Type: Red T100 Welte
  • Callirhoi - Air de ballet, Op.37 No.4 (P.Wolfe)
  • Etude Op.35 No.5 - Autumn (P.Wolfe)
  • Lolita - Caprice Espagnol, Op.54 (P.Wolfe)
  • Concertino for Flute and Piano (S.T.Chambers)
  • Automne (seq. unknown)
  • Dance Creole in Eb min (J.Cowles)
  • Scarf Dance (F.Raborn)
Chapman, Lylian M. (pub. 1903)
Lily Coffee (pub. 1915)
Emily A. Cornell (pub. 1874, 1877)
Frances Cox (pub. 1918)
Elisabeth Creutziger (Wittenberg; c.1490-c.1536)
Sor Juana Inès de la Cruz (1648-1695)
Marian I. Davis (1888- 1970)
Ella Hudson Day (pub. 1912)
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
  • "The Soul Should Always Stand Ajar," lyrics by Emily Dickinson, can be sung in tune with the music of the Yellow Rose of Texas (composer & sequencer unknown):

    THE SOUL should always stand ajar
    That if the Heaven inquire
    He will not be obliged to wait
    Or shy of troubling Her

    Depart, before the Host have slid
    The Bolt unto the Door --
    To search for the accomplished Guest --
    Her Visitor, no more --

  • Homage to Emily Dickinson & Robert Frost in
    The Dangling Conversation, 1966, by Paul Simon, sequenced by JDewbre

    It's a still life water color
    Of a now late afternoon
    As the sun shines through the curtain lace
    And shadows wash the room
    And we sit and drink our coffee
    Couched in our indifference
    Like shells upon the shore
    You can hear the ocean roar
    In the dangling conversation
    And the superficial sighs
    The borders of our lives

    And you read your Emily Dickinson
    And I my Robert Frost
    And we note our place with bookmarkers
    That measure what we've lost

    Like a poem poorly written
    We are verses out of rhythm
    Couplets out of rhyme
    In syncopated time
    And the dangling conversation
    And the superficial sighs
    Are the borders of our lives

    Yes, we speak of things that matter
    With words that must be said
    "Can analysis be worthwhile?"
    "Is the theater really dead?"
    And how the room is softly faded
    And I only kiss your shadow
    I cannot feel your hand
    You're a stranger now unto me
    Lost in the dangling conversation
    And the superficial sighs
    In the borders of our lives
Geraldyne Dobyns (1907)
Louise Duval (1704-69)
Helen S. Eaton (pub. 1909)
Sarah B. Egan (pub. 1907)
Victorine Louise Farrenc (1804-75)
Irene M. Giblin (1888-1974)
Imogene Giles (pub. 1907)
Teodora Gines (c.1580-1630)
Augusta Gottschalk (pub. 1871, American)
Louise V. Gustin (pub. 1899, 1900)
Laverne Hanshaw (pub. 1914)
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1181)
  • MP3 (2MB) ~ Quia felix pueritia
    from CD "Carmina Sanctorum," performed by Rondellus
  • MP3 (1.5MB) ~ O frondens virga (O Leafy Branch)
    performed by The Sisters, a capella vocal ensemble
Anna Ovena Hoijer (pub. 1650, Amsterdam)
Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre (1664-1729)
Johnson, Alice (pub. 1900)
Miss Verdi Karns (b. 1881)
Anna von Köln (c.1480-1530)
Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704)
Emily Loud (pub. 1851)
Marianne (Maria Anna) Martinez (1744-1812)
Mabel McKinley (pub. 1907)
Helene de Montgeroult (1764-1836)
Kathryn Athol Morton (pub. 1902)
Maria Francesca Nascinbeni (Nascimbini) (1640-80)
Julia Lee Niebergall (1886-1968)
Guadalupe (Guadelupe) Ortiz (fl. 1688-1692)
Hilda Ossusky (pub. 1910)
Maria Theresia von Paradis (1759-1824), attr.
Maria Hester Park (1775-1822)
Mrs. Parker (fl. 1841, American)
Jane Pickering(e)'s Lutebook (ca. 1616)
Muriel Pollock (1895-1971)
Anna W. Poole (19th c.)
Bessie M. Powell (pub. 1915)
Louise/Luise Reichardt (1779-1826)
Julie Rivé-King (1854-1937)
Clara Schumann (1819-1896)
Adaline Shepherd (1883-1950)
Ethel B. Smith (pub. 1905)
Miss Steemson (18th c.)
Emma Roberta Steiner (1850-1928)
  • Chesapeake Waltz (G.C.Byrd) and a second version (G.C.Byrd)
  • MP3 (1.6MB) ~ Letitia (Jollity) (1882) (G.C.Byrd)
  • I Am Such a Cute Devilish Little Devil (1885) (G.C.Byrd)

    Text from the music cover page:
    To Miss Lillie Allen
    I am Such a Cute Devilish Little Devil
    sung with Great success in the Operatic Extravaganza
    "The Sleeping Beauty" by Miss Allen as Mephisto
    Libretto by B.W. Doremus, Music by Emma R. Steiner.
    [...] Copyright 1885 by O.Ditson & Co.


    I am such a cute devilish little devil,
    I gener'ly have ev'rything my way,
    For wickeness is nat'ral to the millions,
    So I'll be just a little devilish if I may.
    If I want a favor done me by the people,
    I have only to beguile them with a smile;
    For we all know in this wicked world of sinners,
    There's no one like the devil to beguile


    Oh I'm so cute.
    Oh I'm so cute.
    To worship me it ought to be no sin.
    I plague the gay,
    Annoy the sport,
    The cheat don't pay because I urge him not,
    Oh! IIIIIIII'm so cute. /* fermata on "I'm" */
    Oh, I'm so cute.
    The fate of many I hold by a thread,
    And with a smile
    The world beguile.
    I'm such a little cute dev'lish devil!

    Second Verse:

    My spirit rules the universe entirely,
    Of that fact I am very well aware,
    For evil is so taking and so pleasant,
    There are but few that for the consequences dare.
    I am welcomed ev'rywhere by ev'rybody
    For if the thing is wrong it's sure to make it
    All the more attractive to the world at large,
    For they all go in with "may the devil take it."

    Second Refrain:

    Oh I'm so cute.
    Oh I'm so cute.
    To worship me it ought to be no sin.
    I lead the weak,
    Make wise men fools,
    They yield to me and then become my fools,
    For IIIIIII'm so cute.
    Oh, I'm so cute.
    They never got the best of me you bet.
    Oaths which they take,
    I make them break.
    I'm such a little cute dev'lish devil!

Nellie M. Stokes (pub. 1906)
Barbara Strozzi (1619-after 1664)
Maria Agate Szymanowska (1789-1831)
Dorothy Ingersoll Wahl (pub. 1915)
Kathryn L. Widmer (pub. 1913)
Sophie Wilhelmine von Bayreuth (1709-1758)
Fannie Bell Woods (1892-1974)

  • Sweetness (1912) (Warren Trachtman)
    Fannie B. Woods was thought to be a pseudonym for Charles J. Johnson
    until 2005 - see the story of the life of Fannie Woods by Bill Edwards.
    (Published in 1912, "Sweetness" is dedicated on the inside to W.J. Mansfield,
    whom Woods subsequently married).
Gladys Yelvington (1891-1957)
Other Interesting Links:
  • Women's Studies Music Resources
  • Wild Women Don't Have the Blues
  • Women Musicians, et al (from Jessica Williams, Jazz Pianist)
  • Ragtime's Women Composers (excerpt from "The Ephemeralist")
  • Nora Hulse, pianist, specializes in Ragtime by Women
  • Bill Edwards Ragtime (see Women Composers)
  • Ragtime Music Page by Colin D. MacDonald
  • Women of Early Jazz & Swing
  • John Roache Ragtime MIDI Library

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