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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

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 

Format

Composer Last Name, First Name, composer. Title of Score. Date of composition. Series, Publisher, Year of Publication.

Example

Donizetti, Gaetano, composer. Don Pasquale: An Opera in Three Acts. 1842. Kalmus Vocal Scores, Belwin, 1969.

Boyd, Anne. Black Sun. 1989. U of York Music Press, 2003.

Explanation

If series information is not available, omit that portion of the citation.

If date of composition is is unknown, omit that portion of the citation.

Music publishers before the twentieth century did not often provide a date of publication. If you find the missing date from a reliable external source, cite the date in square brackets: See 2.61 of the MLA Handbook. If you supply an approximate date, begin with circa: [circa 1888]. If you are uncertain about the accuracy of the the date, add a question mark: [1888?]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Score in a Complete Works Edition

Format

Composer Last Name, First Name, composer. "Individual Piece Title." Collection Title, vol. no., Publisher, Year, Page range.

Example

 

Bach, Johann Sebastian, composer. "Passacaglia." The complete organ works in eight volumes, vol. 7, Edwin F. Kalmus, 1968, pp. 102-6.

Explanation

If the collection is "edited" (arranged) by a particular individual, list them before the volume number.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from score anthology

Format

Composer Last Name, First Name, composer. “Song Title.” Anthology Title, edited by First Name Last Name, vol. no., Publisher, Year, page range.

Example

Rudel, Jaufre, composer. "Quan lo rius de la fontana (Troubadour Vers)." Anthology of Medieval Music, edited by Richard H. Hoppin, W. W. Norton, 1978, pp. 79-80.

Giordani, Tommaso, composer. "Caro mio ben." 30 Italian songs and arias of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, edited by Roger Nichols, translated by Sarah Nichols, Medium-low voice ed., Peters, 2007, pp.130-35.

Explanation

If a page range starts with a number over 100, don't repeat the first number: e.g. 145-52 not 145-152.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Libretto  / Lyrics

Format

Librettist / Lyricist Last Name, First Name. Title of Score, composed by First Name Last Name, Publisher, Year of Publication.

Example

Sterbini, Cesare. The Barber of Seville: Opera in Three Acts, composed by Gioachino Rossini, G. Schirmer, 1962.

Piave, Franceso Maria. La Traviata: Libretto in tre atti, composed by Giuseppe Verdi, Sesto San Giovanni, 1916.

Explanation  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recording with emphasis on composer

Format

Composer Last Name, First Name, composer. "Piece Title." Title of Collection, performance by Performer's First Name Last Name, Publisher or recording label, Year.

Example

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

Whitacre, Eric, composer. "Cloudburst." The Music of Eric Whitacre, performance by Rutgers Wind Ensemble, Brigham Young University Singers and University of Miami Chorale,  Mark Custom, 1997. 

Explanation

Aside from a composer whose name appears at the start of the reference, other people may be credited in the source. Note the "performance by" description.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recording with emphasis on performer 

Format

Performer Last Name, First Name. "Song Title." Title of Collection, composed by First Name Last Name, Publisher, Year of publication.

Example

Mitchell, Joni. “Goodbye pork pie hat.”, Mingus, composed by Charles Mingus, Asylum, 1979.

Ma, Yo-Yo. "Elegy for cello and orchestra." Yo-Yo Ma plays the music of John Williams, composed by John Williams, Sony Music Entertainment, 2002.

Explanation

Aside from a composer whose name appears at the start of the reference, other people may be credited in the source. Note the "performance by" description.

The song or other piece of music on an album uses quotation marks, and the whole album is in italics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Track from a recording

Format

Composer Last Name, First Name. "Title of Track." Title of Recording, Label, Year.

Example

Davis, Miles. "Blue in Green." Kind of Blue, Columbia, 1959.

Explanation

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Liner Notes 

Format

Author Last Name, First Name. Title. Composed by Composer/Artist First Name Last Name, Publisher or Record label, Year. Liner notes.

Example

Hentoff, Nat. Sketches of Spain. Music by Miles Davis, Columbia Records, 1997. Liner notes.

Explanation

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