Publishing music of women composers, past and present.

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Margaret Bonds

1913 - 1972

Margaret Allison Bonds (1913-72) stands as one of the more remarkable composers in twentieth-century music. Her mother was a musician who studied at Chicago Musical College; her father, a doctor who also authored one of the first published books for Black children and the lexicon Noted Negro Women: Their Triumphs and Activities (Jackson, Tennessee, 1893). She grew up in a home that, while on the segregated Black south side of Chicago, was relatively affluent and a cultural mecca for musicians and other artists of color. By the age of eight she had been taking piano lessons for several years and written her first composition, and by the time she entered Northwestern University in 1929 she had studied piano and perhaps composition with Theodore Taylor of the Coleridge-Taylor Music School and Will Marion Cook, as well as (reportedly) Florence Price. In 1933 and 1934, respectively, she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano from Northwestern University, where she had to study in the basement of the library because of her race.By 1967 her renown was so great that Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley proclaimed January 31 of that year as the city’s official Margaret Bonds Day. Having traveled between New York City and Los Angeles for many years for her career, she decided to relocate to Los Angeles after the death of her longtime friend and collaborator Langston Hughes in 1967. She remained based there, composing, collaborating, and concertizing, until her death in 1972.

Our Margaret Bonds Signature Series was launched in 2021. Hildegard Publishing is honored to be able to offer a varied collection of Bonds' previously unpublished music for today's musicians to enjoy, learn and perform.

Works in Our Collections:

Works Available on Rental:


for Soprano and Baritone Soloist, SATB Chorus and Orchestra
Instrumentation: S solo, Bar solo, SATB, orch: 2 Fl/Pic, 2 ob, 2 Bsn, Cbn, 2 Hn, 2 Tpt, 3 Tbn, Tuba, Timp, Perc, Harp, Vln.I, Vln. II, Vla., Vc., Cb
Duration: 23'

Montgomery Variations

for Orchestra
Instrumentation: 2 Fl., 2 Ob., Engl. Hn., 3 Cl., B Cl., 2 Bsn., Cbsn., 4 Hn., 3 Tpt, 4 Tbn, Tuba, Timp, Perc, Hp, Vln I, Vln II, Vla, Vc, Cb
Duration: 28'