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Music Research Guide

This guide provides resources for Music Performance, Music in the Liberal Arts, Music Production and Recording Arts, & Music Education

Citation style guides for Music

The most often used citation styles for Music are the Chicago Manual of Style and MLA Handbook for Writers, both of which are located at the library service desk. For more assistance, please consult a librarian or your professor.

You may also want to look at How to write about music : the RILM manual of style (James R. Cowdery, editor), call number: 808.06678 H741wr.

Music Research: a handbook includes detailed instructions on how to cite music sources in Chicago and MLA style

Chicago style

Cite a score as you would a book in Chicago style:

Composer last name, first name. Title of score. Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication (or n.d. if there is no date).

For example:

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. The piano sonatas and fantasies. New York: E. Kalmus, 1968.

(From The Chicago Manual of Style)

Cite a music recording in Chicago style:

Composer last name, first name. Title of musical recording. Essential performer(s) first name, last name. Record label CD identifying number. Year. Format.

--Essential performers can include soloists, conductor, or ensemble

For example:

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. Piano sonatas. Christoph Eschenbach. Deutsche Grammophon 463 137-2, 1999. CD.

MLA style

Cite a score as you would a book in MLA style:

Composer last name, first name. Title as it appears on title page (italicized and capitalize the abbreviations No. and Op.). Date of composition (or N.d. if there is no date). Place of publication: Publisher, Date of publication. Print (or Online). If the score is part of a series, include the series name.

For example:

Donizetti, Gaetano. Don Pasquale: An Opera in Three Acts with Italian-English Text. 1842. New York: Belwin, 1959. Print. Kalmus Vocal Scores.

(From MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing)

Zotero Citation Manager

The zotero Citation Manager is a free, easy to use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.

Follow these steps to start building your own Zotero Library:

ZoteroBib: the quickest way to build an accurate bib

Zotero now has a quick and accurate tool to create a bibliography entry!

  • go to
  • enter a URL (website), ISBN (book), DOI (online article), PMID (PubMed), arXiv ID (author), or title
  • click on the Cite button
  • select a Bibliography style
  • copy to clipboard to paste into your document
  • formatted citations are stored in your browser until you delete them

Writing about music

Annotated bibliographies

Writing Center

The Writing Center offers online, real-time appointments. Students can make appointments as usual via and meet with a consultant via video and text chat. Appointments will be available during the usual hours and all appointments will be scheduled for eastern standard time. For more information:

Elon's Writing Center will help you understand an assignment, as well as brainstorm, draft, revise, edit & document sources.