Using the Database
With this resource, we wish to introduce you to composers who each have a unique and worthwhile musical voice to be discovered. We encourage you to explore and fall in love with the music represented within the database, and hope that you find ways to incorporate the repertoire into your teaching, listening, and concert programming.
This database is a beginning: a beginning to conversations about the lack of representation for many people in concert halls, universities, classrooms, and private studios. And a beginning to encouraging a change in programming that better reflects today’s world.
In utilizing a resource such as the ASAP Database, we run the risk of reducing composers to their surface identity and creating concert programs that ‘tokenize’ them. As you explore the resource, we encourage you to think about the following questions:
What are our motivations for programming or teaching works by underrepresented composers?
How are you programming the works within the larger scope of your concert program or season? (i.e. Are you programming only a single work by an underrepresented composer? Are you choosing a piece or a composer to fill a void? Do you have a programmatic reason for programming the piece?)
And to consider the following issues:
Avoid programming entire concerts of works by underrepresented composers for ‘celebration’ programs;
Form programs that reflect your own geographic area, including composers from where you live (community, city, state/province, for example);
Communicate with the composers whose music you program to better understand them and their compositional voice.
We understand that this database is not a substitution for conversation, but rather a starting point. We hope that you use this resource to enrich your learning, as well as that of your community, your audience, and your students.