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Music Research Guide

Welcome Music Students and Faculty! Use this guide to discover what resources and services the Elihu Burritt Library offers.

Citing Your Sources

The citation style used by academics writing about music history or theory is usually. Turabian/Chicago Manual Style. However, it is always a good idea to consult your syllabus and/or speak with your professor to make sure you are using the correct citation style for your assignment.

For general information on how to cite sources according to the Chicago Manual Style, visit our research guide on Citing Sources: Chicago Style or the Chicage Manual Style page on the Purdue OWL Website.

Style Guides

You can consult these manuals when you need help understanding how you should cite sources within your paper as well as when you need help understanding how to create a works cited list or annotated bibliography. As a reminder, make sure you are using the citation style indicated by your professor.

Citing Musical Sources: Turabian

Chapter 17.8 in the eighth edition of A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate L. Turabian provides citation information for sources in the visual and performing arts. Below are examples on how to sort some of the more common sources specific to music research.

Bibliographic style information and examples found in chapter 17.8 include the following sources:

  • artworks and graphics
    • paintings, sculptures, and photographs
    • graphic arts
  • live performances
  • movies, television, radio, interviews, advertisements, videos, and podcasts
  • sound recordings
  • texts in the visual and performing arts
    • art exhibition catalogs
    • plays
    • musical scores
Musical Scores

According to Turabian

"Cite a published musical score as you would a book."


Notes: 1. Gieuseppe Verdi, Giovanna d'Arco, dramma lirico in four acts, libretto by Temistocle Solera, ed. Alberto Rizzuti, 2 vols., Works of Giuseppe Verdi, ser. 1, Operas (Chicago: University of Chicago Press; Milan: G Ricordi, 2008).

Bibliography: Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. Sonatas and Fantasies for the Piano. Prepared from the autographs and earliest printed sources by Nathan Broder. Rev. ed. Bryn Mawr, PA: Theodore Presser, 1960.

Sound Recordings 

According to Turabian 17.8.4:

"To cite a recording, include as much information as you can to distinguish it from similar recordings, including the date of the recording, the name of the recording  company, the identifying number of the recording, the copyright date (if different from the year of the recording), and the medium. Titles of albums should be in italics; individual selections should be in quotation marks except for musical works referred to by genre (see Abbreviate compact disc as CD. Recordings consulted conline should include an access date and a URL (see"


Notes: 11. Billie Holiday, "I'm a Fool to Want You," by Joel Herron, Frank Sinatra, and Jack Wolf, recorded February 20, 1958, with Ray Ellis, on Lady In Satin, Columbia CL 1157, 33 1/3 rpm.

Bibliography: Shostakovich, Dmitri. Symphony no. 5 / Symphony no. 9. Conducted by Leonard Bernstein. Recorded with the New York Philharmonic, October 20, 1959 (no. 5), and October 19, 1965 (no. 9). Sony SMK 61841, 1999. CD.

Writing about Music

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