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Citing and referencing: Music scores/Recordings

A guide to the styles recommended by Monash schools and departments for students and researchers

Warning

Warning symbolThis guide is no longer being maintained as the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook has been replaced by the 8th edition. Only use the 7th edition under direction of your lecturer or tutor. Please click here to go to the MLA 8th library guide.

Tips from the MLA Guide

In general, italicize titles of recordings (Kind of Blue). You may wish to indicate both the year of issue and the date of recording.

Music scores and recordings

Score in print 

Composer Lastname, Firstname. Title of Score. Date of composition (if year is unknown, write N.d.). Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication consulted. Series (if applicable).

Example

Donizetti, Gaetano. Don Pasquale: An Opera in Three Acts with Italian-English Text. 1842. New York: Belwin, 1969. Print. Kalmus Vocal Scores.

In text citation

In Act Two, Ernesto sings of his desire to journey to distant lands where nobody knows his story (Donizetti 70).
or

Donizetti's Ernesto declares his love for Norina (24).

Score in a Complete Works Edition

Last, First. Work Title. Ed. First Last. Complete Works Edition Title. Series X, vol. X. Place: Publisher, date. Medium. Series.

Example

Bach, Johann Sebastian. "Passacaglia." The complete organ works in eight volumes. Vol. 7. New York: Edwin F. Kalmus, 1968.
Print. Kalmus study scores.

Excerpt from score anthology

Lastname, Firstname. “Song Title.” Anthology Title. Ed. First Last. Place: Publisher, date. pp-pp. Medium.

Example

Rudel, Jaufre. "Quan lo rius de la fontana (Troubadour Vers)." Anthology of Medieval Music. Ed. Richard H. Hoppin. New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1978. 79-80. Print.

Libretto

Librettist Lastname, Firstname. Title of Score. Composed by Firstname Lastname. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication consulted. Series (if applicable).

Example

Sterbini, Cesare. The Barber of Seville: Opera in Three Acts. Composed by Gioacchino Rossini. New York: G. Schirmer, 1962. Print.

In text citation

Rosina describes Figaro as "clever and resourceful" (Sterbini 11).

or

Sterbini's Figaro is both "clever and resourceful" (11).

Recording with emphasis on composer

Composer Lastname, Firstname. "Song Title." By Performer Firstname Lastname. Title of Collection. Publisher, Year of publication.  Medium of Publication.

Example

Haydn, Joseph. “Symphony no. 97 in C major." Philharmonia Hungarica. The symphonies nos. 96-104, Decca, 1991 1972. CD.

Recording with emphasis on performer 

Performer Lastname, Firstname. "Song Title." By Composer Firstname Lastname. Title of Collection. Publisher, Year of publication.  Medium of Publication.

Example

Mitchell, Joni. “Goodbye pork pie hat.” By Charles Mingus. Mingus. Asylum, 1979. CD.

Track from a recording

Composer Lastname, Firstname. "Title of Track." Title of Recording. Label, date. Medium.

Example

Davis, Miles. "Blue in Green." Rec. 2 Mar 1959. Kind of Blue. Columbia, 1997. CD.

Liner Notes 

Author Lastname, Firstname. Liner notes. Title. Composer/Artist. Date recorded. Label, date. Medium.

Example

Hentoff, Nat. Liner notes. Sketches of Spain. Music by Miles Davis. Rec. 1960. Columbia, 1997. CD.