Musical Representations of Disability

Blake Howe (editor)

This database, updated occasionally with contributions from its users, includes musical works that feature a representation of disability or a disabled person. The expansive nature of this list—covering diverse composers, genres, and time periods—demonstrates the pervasiveness of disability within musical discourses. The database is part of the Music and Disability Interest Group (SMT) and Study Group (AMS).

We include musical works according to the following guidelines:

Many works included here participate in the cultural stigmatization of disability; sometimes they subvert it or neutralize it. To group similar disabilities together, the database uses mostly medical terminology (impairments), and in many instances this compresses a complex representation of bodily difference to one reductive label. This is an inherent problem in typologies such as this; users should consider these entries as starting points for their research, not as concrete diagnoses.

The database depends on its users to continually expand, emend, and improve its content. Please SUBMIT a new entry or EMEND an existing entry.

Click on any column to sort the table alphabetically or numerically.

260 entries. Last updated 4/20/2018.