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Citing Music Materials According to Chicago: Sound Recordings

This guide provides examples of how to cite various music materials according to the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed.

Liner Notes:

Unsigned Liner Notes (no author listed):

Footnote:

1. Jean-Philippe Rameau, Les Indes Galantes, liner notes, Harmonia Mundi France HMC 901367.69, p1991, 3 CDs.

Bibliography:

Rameau, Jean-Philippe. Les Indes Galantes. Liner Notes. Harmonia Mundi France HMC 901367.69. p1991. 3 CDs.

How Do I Find the Information That I Need to Cite?

If you have never written citations for sound recordings, you might not know where to look to find the information that you need. The images below show you where to find common elements, such as the title, performers, label and label number, and date, on a compact disc recording.

Elements of a Sound Recording Citation:

The following elements are standard parts of a sound recording citation:

  • Composer 
  • Title of Work
  • Performer(s) and conductor
  • Label and label number
  • Date 
  • Format

Example: How to Cite "For Stefan Wolpe:"

Scenario 1 - You are writing a review of the entire sound recording. The bibliographic citation would look like this:

For Stefan Wolpe: Choral Music of Morton Feldman and Stefan Wolpe. Choir of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. Harold Chaney, conductor. New World Records 80550-2, 2000, compact disc.

The footnote would look like this:

For Stefan Wolpe: Choral Music of Morton Feldman and Stefan Wolpe, Choir of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, conducted by Harold Chaney, New World Records 80550-2, 2000, compact disc.

Scenario 2 - You are writing a listening guide on the work Christian Wolff in Cambridge. In this case, you would treat this in the same way as you would a single chapter or essay from a book, and your footnote would look like this:

Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff in Cambridge, on For Stefan Wolpe: Choral Music of Morton Feldman and Stefan Wolpe, Choir of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, conducted by Harold Chaney, New World Records 80550-2, 2000, compact disc.

Scenario 3 - You are citing page 7 of the liner notes for this CD. Your footnote would look like this:

Steven Johnson, liner notes, For Stefan Wolpe: Choral Music of Morton Feldman and Stefan Wolpe, Choir of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, conducted by Harold Chaney, New World Records 80550-2, 2000, compact disc, 7.

 

What If I'm Citing Something Other Than a CD?

There are a number of different formats for sound recordings. Some common format designations are listed below:

  • 33 1/3 rpm = long playing record (LP)
  • 45 rpm = smaller records (7 in. in diameter), typically used for singles
  • 78 rpm = older sound recordings, often designed to be played on the Victrola
  • reel-to-reel tape = magnetic tape; reel-to-reel was a popular medium for recording live performances, including many at the Blair School of Music
  • cassette tape