Hello banjo friends

There were many female composers of ragtime piano - Irene Giblin, May Aufiderheide, Sadie Koninsky to name a few - and many of these tunes were then played on the banjo however, I am curious as to whether any female composers actually wrote compositions specifically for the banjo.  There were so many banjo compositions by the likes of Herbert J Ellis, Joe Morley, Emile Grimshaw and I would love to know who the female composers were.  Thanks in advance.  

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That is a good question.

SSS published works by Edith Secor and Ada McClelland but it is all in A notation.  I am currently drawing a blank for later compositions (post 1899).

Hi Carrie, during my expeditions into Ragtime Land, I've not yet come across a dedicated banjo arrangement by any of the female composers although I have added some of my own to the library based on their piano scores. At the moment I have a number of compositions by female composers on my to do list to which I will most probably add to over time. If you haven't yet seen this, have a look at the following website which contains a comprehensive list and access to their scores.


All the best....Steve.

Thanks Joel and Steve.  There were certainly many female composers of ragtime piano but we seem to be drawing a blank for compositions specifically for the banjo.  I do find that strange given that the banjo was a hugely popular instrument for both men and women. (I did come across a nice tune by Claribel Jeffrey called 'Loyal Leader' in the Stahl 'New Method for Plectrum Banjo' book - a banjoist called John Bunge posted an mp3 of this on Banjo Hangout a while ago).  I wonder if Shirley Spaulding ever composed for the banjo?   

I have friends who knew Shirley, I'll ask them, but I am doubtful.  Later in life she turned her attention to becoming an expert in early American tinware.  She had stopped playing banjo but attended ABF rallies.

Well, Carrie, it looks like you have the chance to create history by writing the first classic-banjo tune by a female! 

Well, that's a challenge - if I composed more than two I would be prolific!  Still can't believe we can't unearth any female composers for banjo.  Am sure a jewel will emerge....

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