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Music Citations Using the Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.)

This is meant to be a quick reference guide for citing music materials using the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. While for many resources, music is no different than any other subject, it does have particular quirks. For example, in regards to streaming media, Chicago is less than explicit in how to cite these new sources. This guide contains some examples for students to study and emulate.

One common misconception is that you need to cite exactly where you found the resource, and that is not normally the case, though some do find it helpful. In most cases it is extraneous information. Cite the article, not the link to it on JSTOR. Cite the book, not the ProQuest eBook link. Cite the recording, not the Naxos/Spotify/YouTube link. Sources are available in many different ways. Unless the exact method of accessing it is crucial, do not include it in your citation. 

For further information, consult the Chicago manual in print or online. Notre Dame students can access it here

The most important thing to remember when creating a citation is: What information does someone need to find this resource?

Scores are cited similarly to books. Be sure to indicate vocal or mini score and include the name of the editor. If the score includes both the foreign title and English translation, include both. For compilations, use the editor as the author.

Resource Citation
Tristan und Isolde : Handlung in drei Aufzügen, WWV 90, 1857-1859 / Richard Wagner ; nach dem Text der Richard Wagner-Gesamtausgabe herausgegeben von Egon Voss. Published : Mainz : Schott, 2013. 1 vocal score (399 pages) Wagner, Richard. Tristan und Isolde: Handlung in drei Aufzügen. Vocal score. Edited by Egon Voss. Mainz: Schott, 2013.
Le sacre du printemps = The rite of spring / Igor Stravinsky. Published : New York : E.F. Kalmus Orchestra Scores, [c1933] 1 score (139 p.) Stravinsky, Igor. Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring). New York: E. F. Kalmus, 1933.
The Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology. Tenor. Volume 4 / compiled and edited by Richard Walters. Published : Milwaukee, Wis. : Hal Leonard Corp., [2005]. Walters, Richard, ed. The Singer's Musical Theatre Anthology. Tenor, Vol. 4. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard, 2005.

A libretto is cited exactly like a book. Use the librettist as the author, normally identified as "Book by" or "Lyrics by"--if it is not clear who was responsible, cite all authors equally.

Resource Citation

Spring Awakening / book and lyrics by Steven Sater ; music by Duncan Sheik. Published : New York : Theatre Communications Group, 2007.

Sater, Steven. Spring Awakening. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 2007.
In the Heights : the complete book and lyrics of the Broadway musical / music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda ; book by Quiara Alegría Hudes ; conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Published: Milwaukee, WI : Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, 2013. Hudes, Quiara Alegria, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. In the Heights: The Complete Book and Lyrics of the Broadway Musical. Milwaukee: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, 2013.
A Chorus Line / conceived, choreographed, and directed by Michael Bennett ; book by James Kirkwood & Nicholas Dante ; music by Marvin Hamlisch ; lyrics by Edward Kleban. Published : New York : Applause, c1995.

Kirkwood, James, Nicholas Dante, and Edward Kleban. A Chorus Line. New York: Applause, 1995.



Sound and video recordings need to include the composer/author, primary performers, recording company, an identifying number, copyright date, recording date, and the type of media. Chicago does not have an established order or format for this information. Present it in a clear and logical way, using the examples below as guides.


Resource Citation
South Pacific / [music by Richard Rogers ; lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Published : New York, NY : Columbia, c1987, Recorded 1949. Compact disc. Original Broadway cast, starring Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza ; with other soloists, chorus, and orchestra ; Salvatore Dell’Isola, musical director. Number on disc: CK 32604 Rodgers, Richard and Oscar Hammerstein II. South Pacific. Salvatore Dell'Isola, musical director. Starring Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza. Recorded 1949. Columbia CK 32604, 1987, compact disc.
The 9 symphonies / Ludwig van Beethoven. Published : New York : Sony Classical, p1992. Adele Addison, soprano ; Jane Hobson, mezzo-soprano ; Richard Lewis, tenor ; Donald Bell, baritone ; Cleveland Orchestra Choir (last work) ; Cleveland Orchestra ; George Szell, conductor. Recorded in Severance Hall, Cleveland, between 1958 and 1968. Number on case: SB5K 48396. Beethoven, Ludwig van. The 9 Symphonies. Cleveland Orchestra and Choir. George Szell, conductor. With Adele Addison, Jane Hobson, Richard Lewis, and Donald Bell. Recorded 1958-1968. Sony Classical SB5K 48396, 1992, compact discs.

Horowitz at Carnegie Hall ; May 9, 1965. Published : New York : Columbia, [1965] 2 sound discs : analog, 33 1/3 rpm, stereo. ; 12 in. Vladimir Horowitz, piano. Number on disc: M2S 728

Horowitz, Vladimir. Horowitz at Carnegie Hall: May 9, 1965. Columbia, M2S 728, 1965, 33⅓ LP.

Internet resources are still the most troubling items to cite due to the ever-changing nature of the web. Common sense is your best friend here. Remember: you are trying to show people where the information came from and where you found a piece of information so that they can investigate for themselves. A creator and update date is essential. Only give an access date if there is no update date.

Keep in mind also that while anything can be cited, it doesn't mean that it should be cited. Only a small fraction of the web is archived regularly by The Internet Archive , which means that you should be careful what sources you rely on. Find the most reliable, creditable, and authoritative source you can. For example, if a video on YouTube is also posted on the composer's website, cite that. If a piece of information you read on Wikipedia is credited from a news article, cite the news article.

Resource Citation
Archives of the New York Philharmonic online. Title on website: "New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives" No creation date or last modified date is given. New York Philharmonic. New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives. Accessed September 8, 2014.

A blog post from NPR's music blog Deceptive Cadence "Enduringly Dramatic Italian Soprano Magda Olivero Dies At 104" by Tom Huizenga September 08, 2014 4:31 PM ET. 2014/09/08/160886605/ enduringly-dramatic-italian-soprano-magda-olivero-dies-at-104

Huizenga, Tom. "Enduringly Dramatic Italian Soprano Magda Olivero Dies at 104." Deceptive Cadence (blog). September 8, 2014. deceptivecadence/2014/09/08/160886605/enduringly-dramatic-italian-soprano-magda-olivero-dies-at-104.
YouTube video posted by "Lin-Manuel Miranda and More Talk About "tick, tick...BOOM!" Published September 9, 2014. Total duration: 4:20. "Lin-Manuel Miranda and More Talk About "tick, tick...BOOM!" YouTube video. 4:20. Posted by "Broadwaycom" September 9, 2014.

Citation Managers

New RefWorks™ is the latest version of the RefWorks citation management software designed to help you save, organize and format bibliographic citations that you find in databases such as the ND Catalog, OneSearch, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and more.

RefWorks’ Write-n-Cite software allows you to add and format citations in Word documents in a wide variety of citation styles. It is the officially supported citation and research manager software at the University of Notre Dame.

EndNote™ is reference management software with features to keep all your references and reference-related materials in a searchable personal library. Endnote also synchronize your references between up to three of your personal computers, an online library, and your iPad, through EndNote sync. (You must be the owner and user of all three computers.)

Endnote shares your references with collaborators through EndNote sync. EndNote also uses your references in word-processing documents to create formatted citations and bibliographies or independent reference lists.

Mendeley™ is a citation management software designed to help you save, organize and format bibliographic citations that you find in databases such as the ND Catalog, OneSearch, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and more. Mendeley is a desktop- and web application combining Mendeley Desktop, a PDF and reference management application (available for Windows, OS X and Linux) with Mendeley Web, an online social network for researchers.

The simplest way to get started is to Create a Mendeley account and open the web interface or download and install the desktop client for OS X or Windows.

Zotero™ is a citation management software designed to help you save, organize and format bibliographic citations that you find in databases such as the ND Catalog, OneSearch, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and more.

Zotero is a Firefox addon that collects, manages, and cites research sources. It's easy to use, lives in your web browser where you do your work, and best of all it's free. Zotero allows you to attach PDFs, notes and images to your citations, organize them into collections for different projects, and create bibliographies. It automatically updates itself periodically to work with new online sources and new bibliographic styles.