Community Cleanup suggestion: Women's Composer Database

I have a suggestion for a future Community Cleanup project: have MusicBrainz cover every composer and work listed in the Women Composers Database. As a stretch goal, work with the editors of that database to add an MBID link back here to every entry in that database.

There exists a “Women Composers Database”. It is exists as a Google Docs spreadsheet. It contains (as of this writing) 3097 entries for women composers, living and dead. It also has 36 works by a few of those composers. This works list could clearly be greatly expanded; it covers only works for wind band, and only for 3 composers.

I think this database is significant because it makes women composers more visible, in a field of music which has not been good about giving women that visibility. For more on this, read the MusicBox article A Tool For Change: The Women Composers Database, by Rob Deemer, 24 January 2018.

For each composer, the database has name, web link (to official homepage, Wikipedia article, IMSLP, or other), date of death where applicable, Area (city, province, country), genres of compositions, and ethnicity. For works, the database has title, composer, instrumentation, link to publisher, links to recordings, instrumentation, and school-grade level of the work. Obviously, some of these details are easy to fit into the present MusicBrainz schema, and some would fit only into annotations. I do think we could ensure that there is an entry and an MBID in MusicBrainz for each Artist and Work in this database.

MusicBrainz aspires to be “The universal lingua franca for music by providing a reliable and unambiguous form of music identification, enabling both people and machines to have meaningful conversations about music.” I believe the Women Composers Database would benefit from including MBIDs, as reliable links to a broader web of information about its subjects. But for that to happen, MusicBrainz needs to have entries for everything in the database. The task is large enough to be worth a community effort, but modest enough that we can expect to actually finish it in a reasonable time.

So I’ll just leave this proposal here. When next we talk about Community Cleanup #5 or #6 or whatever, let’s take a look at this again.


This might motivate me to try out some classical editing :o


It might not be classical editing, more like adding a lot of Artist records, and doing them right.

I have so far completed 1/3097 of the project: Anahita Abbasi (Iranian composer, artist/aedc6f10).


I really like this idea - I was trying to do the same once with stuff like this:

But having more sources would be great :slight_smile: Whether it’s an official one-month cleanup or a separate “BrainzProject Female Composers” (like Wikipedia has WikiProjects), it’s definitely something we should deal with :slight_smile:

Hint: a start would be to make sure we add all the CDs of works by women in the hyperion catalogue during the current cleanup :wink:


This is a great idea!!
Dibs on doing the ones from Norway!

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I won’t be involved.
But, if you are going to be editing female entries, one thing I found that needs looked at… NAMES.

Sure, men will change their names to “stage names”. But women, unlike men, also change their names when they get married. I have seen maiden names and married names each having their own entry because someone didn’t realize they were the same person.


Tweeted to them, in case they’re interested in adding MBIDs :slight_smile:


@CatQuest had a suggestion which I think is interesting - rather than making this a one-month cleanup thing and then it’s done, which might work well for a specific composer (because it’s easy to just subscribe to it later for future additions) but not so well for a more open-ended task like this, it would be nice to make it a “BrainzProject”, for lack of a better name, in the same format as Wikimedia’s WikiProjects.

Basically, have a thread for the project here, where we can discuss, coupled with a collection of artists to keep track of the work. Sadly, I think right now there’s no way for more than one user to be able to add composers to a collection… but it should be possible for many people to subscribe to the same public collection and get notified of edits, so it basically just means one person should be the “collection owner” and add the relevant composers to the collection.

I think this is the kind of project which would benefit from this approach, and it has a chance to also create a few bridges with other external projects about the same issue, starting with this database itself :slight_smile:


Other links that might be useful:

and some links in:

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Looking at this again, do we need any code-implementations to get this going? Other than perhaps “collection that anyone can edit” but for now @reosarevok’s “collection owner” concept would work.

But; for our needs, do we fork the googlesheet document so that we can edit it? (i.e. be able to add useful links and especially mbids when we’ve done a composer so people don’t duplicate eachother’s work and whatnot)
And then later link back our worked-on googledoc to them and say “here you can use this data we collected and added to add to your database!” ?

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Why not do it with a tag? Or do people want notifications?
Tag could be:
(something like that… but better :wink: )

Tags might work for finding stuff that needs cleaning up, but it does not allow subscribing, which makes it harder to keep cleaned up stuff cleaned up in the future :slight_smile: That + a public collection might do for now though.

I just looked at the spreadsheet, they’ve moved to a dedicated website:

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Well, that site is still obviously still under construction and has no content yet, so perhaps still a google spreadsheet?

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Seems to be working here on Firefox 60.

My ad blocker is only blocking one ad, but the page loads when I turn it off.

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I don’t see any data sheets in the spreadsheet.

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A post was split to a new topic: Project Composer Diversity (ex Women’s Composer Database)