Updated 7 November 2014


Compiled from various style manuals, memoranda, and editing decisions of Notes editors, with members of the editoral staff, since 1999.

Authors should also consult "Information for Contributors" published in each Notes issue.

Jane Gottlieb, The Juilliard School, Notes editor 2010–
James P. Cassaro, University of Pittsburgh, editor 2004–2010
Linda Solow Blotner, University of Hartford (emerita), editor 2000–2004
Richard Griscom, University of Pennsylvania, editor

Style Sheet prepared for the Web and edited 1999–2008 by Darwin F. Scott, Brandeis University
Style Sheet edited 2012– by R. Michael Fling, Indiana University (emeritus)

(comments and feedback to the journal or style-sheet editor are always welcome)

Copyright ©1999–2014 Music Library Association. All rights reserved.



Jonathan Bellman. A Short Guide to Writing about Music. The Short Guide Series. New York: Longman, 2000.
The Chicago Manual of Style. 14th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.

The Chicago Manual of Style. 15th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.


The Chicago Manual of Style. 16th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.

GPO Style Manual
The U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual. 30th ed. (2008). Site offers a search screen and browsing of the style manual contents.
Grove Music Online
Grove Music Online. Subscription required for access.
The Harvard Dictionary of Music. 4th ed. Ed. Don Michael Randel. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003.
David Hiley. Western Plainchant: A Handbook. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993. Particularly the "Index of Text and Music Incipits," pp. 631–37.

D. Kern Holoman. Writing about Music: A Style Sheet from the Editors of "19th-Century Music." Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.


D. Kern Holoman. Writing about Music: A Style Sheet. 2d ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.

Demar Irvine. Irvine's Writing about Music. 3d ed. Rev. by Mark A. Radice. Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 1999.
Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. 2d ed. Ed. Ludwig Finscher. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1994–2008. Sachteil, 9 vols. & index; Personenteil, 17 vols. & index.


Joseph Gibaldi. MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. 3d ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2008.
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. 11th ed. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 2003.

New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Ed. Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. 29 vols. London: Macmillan, 2001.

RILM Manual

How to Write about Music: The RILM Manual of Style. 2d ed. Ed. James R. Cowdery. New York: RILM, 2006.

RISM Sigla

RISM-Bibliothekssigel: Gesamtverzeichnis. Munich: G. Henle, 1999.


Kate L. Turabian. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 8th ed., rev. by Wayne C. Booth, et al. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013. Also 4th ed. (1973), 5th ed. (1987), 6th ed. (1996), and 7th ed. (2007).

Webster's 3d
Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1993.


NOTE: See also Musical Compositions for examples in context, and Digital Technology for technological abbreviations.
  • Use small caps. with periods for A.D.  (not  A.D. or AD) and B.C. or B.C.E. (use author's preference). Notes is not changing to AD, BC, BCE per CMS16, 9.35.

  • Use A.D. 618–907 (not 618–907 A.D.)

  • Common abbreviations of music sets, e.g., collected editions (when used extensively in an article or review) are in italics: NBA  not  NBA (for Neue Bach-Ausgabe; see CMS16, 14.54)

  • Common abbreviations of music series, e.g., LC class M2 (when used extensively in an article or review) are in roman: CMM not CMM (for Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae)

  • Use numerals for liturgical days and weeks; thus 12th Sunday after Trinity (not Twelfth)

  • Avoid beginning a sentence with an abbreviation or acronym

  • Do not use abbreviations in running text except:

    • ca. for circa (not c.); keep roman

    • D.M.A. (Doctor of Musical Arts) not DMA (as in CMS16, 10.20)

    • fl. for floruit (i.e., flourished) (not fl.); keep roman

    • illus. for illustration(s) or illustrated in physical descriptions

    • m., mm. for measure, measures (do not use "bar," "bars"). Note that "mm" (for millimeters) is not followed by a period.

    • M.A. (Master of Arts) not MA (as in CMS16, 10.20)

    • no., nos. for number, numbers (for titles of musical works)

    • op., opp. for opus, opera (when part of the title of a musical work, such as Beethoven's String Quartets, op. 18; but spell out as opus when no other title is mentioned: Beethoven's opus 18)

    • Ph.D. not PhD (as in CMS16, 10.20)

    • rpm (revolutions per minute) not r.p.m.

  • Use the following abbreviations in parenthetical citations (most in CMS16, 10.40, including many additional scholarly abbreviations):

    • abbrev. for abbreviation (not abbr.)

    • acc. for accompanied or accompaniment

    • arr. for arranged

    • avail. for available

    • bk. for book

    • bks. for books

    • b&w for black and white

    • CD for compact disc in discographic citations (but prefer spelled out in running text)

    • chap. for chapter [Holoman 2.71 uses ch.; Holoman2 2.71 gives option of ch. or chap.]

    • crit. for critical

    • diss. for dissertation

    • distrb. for distributor (not distr.)

    • ed. for edited/editor

    • eds. for editors

    • ex. for example

    • exx. for examples [Holoman 2.71 uses exs.; Holoman2 2.71 gives option of exs. or exx.]

    • fig. for figure

    • fol. for folio (not f.; for recto & verso, use r, v, or r/v on the text line (not superscript): fol. 34r; fol. 55r/v)

    • fols. for folios (CMS16, 10.43)

    • illus. for illustration(s) or illustrated

    • introd. for introduction (not intro.)

    • mvt. for movement

    • MS, MSS for manuscript, manuscripts

    • n. for note (i.e., footnote); formulation: p. 1 n. 4 [no comma]

    • no. for number

    • nos. for numbers

    • n.p. for "no place" (not s.l.) and for "no publisher" (not s.n.) in bibliographic citations.

      When neither place nor publisher can be ascertained, a single n.p. may serve for both (CMS16, 10.43).
      Use lower-case n. for notes (in running text or footnotes), and capital N. only in bibliographies (where N. follows a period)—examples: (Boston: n.p., 1889); (n.p., 1840); Watson, Henry. Song of the Guilded Hand. N.p., 1840.
    • p. for page

    • pp. for pages (except in citations at the head of reviews, which use p. alone; and for the formulation p. 479ff.)

    • par. for paragraph

    • pl. no. for plate number on engraved music (do not use to refer to a numbered plate containing a facsimile or other illustration)

    • pt. for part

    • pub. for published, publisher (not publ.)

    • sez. for sezione

    • suppl. for supplement (not supp.)

    • syst. for system (not sys.)

    • trans. for translated/translation/translator

    • vol. for volume

    • vols. for volumes

    • 2d for 2nd (CMS16 prefers 2nd; Notes follows CMS14, 8.4)

    • 3d for 3rd (CMS16 prefers 3rd; Notes follows CMS14, 8.4)

  • Smith discusses the opera at length in chapter 6.

  • Smith's discussion of the opera (chap. 6) is lengthy.

  • Handel's opus 3 is his most frequently recorded orchestral work.

  • Handel's first set of concerti grossi (op. 3) is his most frequently recorded orchestral work.

  • Do not abbreviate the following:

    • reprint not repr.

  • Geographical abbreviations:

    • For states: Use the two-letter postal abbreviations in headings, footnotes, and bibliographic citations. In running text, however, spell out the names of states, territories, and possessions of the United States when standing alone, and when following the name of a city (see CMS16, 10.28); thus Concord, New Hampshire, in running text, not Concord, NH. But use D.C. (not DC or District of Columbia) and U.K. (not UK or United Kingdom) in running text (CMS15, 15:31, option 1). Notes no longer uses the older state abbreviations.

  • Languages:

  • Eng. (English)
     Ger. (German)
    Hung. (Hungarian)
    It. (Italian)
    Lat. (Latin)
    Rus. (Russian)
    Sp. (Spanish)
    Gk. (Greek)


  • English-language titles are capitalized headline-style.

    The following general guidelines are adapted and summarized from ModLangAssoc, 3.7.1–9; CMS16, 8.154–97 (English capitalization); and CMS16, chapter 11 (foreign-language capitalization):

    In English: Capitalize (1) the first word of a sentence; (2) the subject pronoun “I”; (3) the names of persons; (4) names of months and days of the week; (5) titles that immediately precede a person’s name, in which case the title becomes part of the name (Professor of Musicology Peter Burkholder; President Abraham Lincoln), but not when the title is used separately (Burkholder is a professor of musicology; Lincoln was the sixteenth president); (6) other proper nouns, including names of organizations, and most adjectives derived from proper nouns.
    In titles & subtitles: Capitalize first and last words, and all principal words (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, subordinating conjunctions), including those that follow hyphens in compound terms (i.e., headline style). Do not capitalize articles (a, an, the), prepositions (in, of, to, etc.), coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, etc.), the “to” in infinitives (“to be”).

    In French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian (Cyrillic or roman alphabet): Capitalize as in English, with the following exceptions. Except at the beginning of a sentence, Do not capitalize (1) the subject pronoun in the language for “I”; (2) names of months and days (exception: names of months are capitalized in Portugal); (3) adjectives derived from proper nouns; (4) titles preceding personal names (the duc de Bourbon, el dottor Bartolo; exception: "Don" is capitalized in Italian, but not "dònna"; thus Don Giovanni, but dònna Anna); (5) names of languages and nationalities; (6) words meaning “street,” “square,” etc., in most place names (exception: these are capitalized in Brazil).
    In titles & subtitles: Capitalize only the first word (including if it is an article), and other words that are normally capitalized (i.e. sentence style: “La musique et l’amour”). In French, do not use the alternative style in which the first substantive (noun or noun form) and any preceding article are both capitalized (“La Musique et l’amour”), as used in some journals such as the French Review.
    Examples: Poulenc, Les mamelles de Tirésias; Puccini, La fanciulla del West; Ravel, L'heure espagnole; Ponce, Tema variado y final; Petrov, Kontsertino-buff.

    In German: Capitalize all nouns (including other parts of speech when used as nouns), and the pronoun Sie (you), its possessive Ihr (your), and their inflected forms. Note: German nouns that appear in MW11 or Webster's 3d are considered to be Anglicized, and are not capitalized or italicized in running text; thus lieder, not Lieder; gesellschaft, not Gesellschaft. Do not capitalize (1) the subject pronoun ich (I); (2) the names of languages and days of the week when used as adjectives, adverbs, or complements of prepositions; and (3) adjectives and adverbs formed from proper nouns, except when the proper nouns are names of persons, and the adjectives and adverbs refer to the persons’ works or deeds.
    In titles & subtitles: Capitalize the first word, and all words normally capitalized in running text. Examples: R. Strauss, Die schweigesame Frau; Emanuel Bach, Clavier-Sonaten und freye Fantasien nebst einigen Rondos; Schoenberg, Einst hat vor deines Vaters Haus.


  • "American Music since 1910" (lowercase "since"; in CMS16, 8.157)

  • In titles, lowercase the words "to" and "as" in any grammatical function (CMS16, 8.157, rule 5):
    A Guide to Composing Music as Good as Mozart's
  • Institutions (CMS16, 8.57)

    • the University of Louisville; the university

    • the Cleveland Orchestra; the orchestra

    • the Library of Congress; the library

    • the New England Conservatory; the conservatory

    • head of the Special Collections Department; head of the department

  • Calvin Elliker was head of the Music Library and assistant professor of musicology at the University of Michigan (CMS16, 8.18).

  • Bibliothèque nationale de France; le Conservatoire de musique (CMS16, 11.29: for organizations & institutions, the first substantive is capitalized, but not the preceding article). Note that foreign-language proper nouns are not italicized.

  • Cultural Periods and Styles

  • Middle Ages (but medieval era), Gregorian chant, Gothic, antiquity, Renaissance, baroque, classical, classicism, colonial, romantic, romanticism, impressionism, neoclassicism, modernism, postmodernism, Viennese school (CMS16, 8.70–73, 8.78; and MW11. Holoman, 2.37, on the other hand, recommends capitalizing all commonly used periods of music history).

  • For Latin titles of modern journals, series, etc., follow CMS16, 11.59 ("Renaissance and modern works or works in English with Latin titles are usually capitalized in the English fashion"). Examples:

    Acta Musicologica (not Acta musicologica); the series Musica Britannica (not Musica britannica).


  • Captions are explanatory material that appear usually below an illustration. Captions are capitalized sentence-style (CMS16, 8.164). Do not end captions with periods if they consist solely of incomplete sentences. In captions consisting of one or more complete sentences, each element has closing punctuation.

  • Captions are better placed before figures/tables/illustrations that occupy more than one page.

  • Captions, along with their associated figures/tables/illustrations, should be submitted as separate files, not inserted into the article's manuscript at the desired location. A parenthetical "(fig. 3)" in the text, for example, should indicate the approximate desired location.


Visual by


Topics in This Section

Complete Works


  • When citing dissertations, put titles in quotes, not italics. Use the format: 
    Adelyn Peck Leverett, "A Paleographical and Repertorial Study of the Manuscript Trento, Castello del Buonconsiglio, 91 (1378)" (Ph.D. diss., Princeton University, 1990), 32–37.

    Cited in running text: (Adelyn Peck Leverett, "A Paleographical and Repertorial Study of the Manuscript Trento, Castello del Buonconsiglio, 91 (1378)" [Ph.D. diss., Princeton University, 1990], 32–37).

Edition Statements

  • For the edition statement, use only the edition number. Do not include descriptive adjectives related to the edition, such as "rev. ed." unless they are necessary to distinguish differences between the same numbered edition:
  • Aaron I. Cohen, Women in Music: An Encyclopedic Biobibliography, 2d ed. (New York: Books & Music, 1987).

E-Mail Correspondence

  • Use this format (based on CMS15, 17.208)
    "...whether fiction or faction, poetry or prose, journalism or criticism" (Simon Warner, e-mail message to Tracey Rudnick, 29 March 2004).
    (Paul L. Ranzini [managing editor, Recent Researches in American Music, A-R Editions, Inc.], e-mail message to Bob Gilmore, 15 January 2002).

Footnote (or Endnote) Citations

  • For footnote (or endnote) citations, use: p. vii n.1 (no comma).

Future Publications

  • When a projected date of completion is known, use "forthcoming."

  • When a projected date of completion is unknown, use "in preparation."

Grove Music Online / The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians / Other Grove Dictionaries

  • Printed 2d ed. (The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed.):
    • Imogen Fellinger, "Periodicals," in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed. (London: Macmillan, 2001), 19:436.
    • Note: Do not include the total no. of vols. (i.e., 29 vols.) in citing this resource, and omit "New York: Grove" from the publisher information.
  • Electronic version (Grove Music Online):
  • Note: Grove Music Online comprises the combined full text of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed., edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell (2001), The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, edited by Stanley Sadie (1992), and The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2d ed., edited by Barry Kernfeld (2002). Articles updated since their appearance in print are date-stamped in the upper right corner of the screen; include this revision date in the citation and omit the original publication year. If the article from The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is unrevised, use the date (2001) after the title Grove Music Online. To distinguish the electronic forms of articles in the opera and jazz dicitionaries from parallel articles in the larger dictionary, use the qualifiers [Opera, 1992] or [Jazz, 2002] and omit the 2001 date as noted below.
    •  In footnotes:
      • One author for the entire article: Imogen Fellinger, "Periodicals" (rev. 29 July 2003), Grove Music Online, (accessed 30 May 2013), at II/2/ii: "United States of America." (Note: this is a revised article.)
      • Author has written only a portion of the article: David Hiley, "Organum and Discant," sec. IV of "Sources, MS," Grove Music Online (2001), (accessed 30 May 2013), at 2: "Winchester Troper." (Note: this article is unrevised.)

      • Parallel article in the opera or jazz dictionaries: Imogen Fellinger, "Periodicals," Grove Music Online [Opera, 1992], (accessed 30 May 2013), at I/3: "The 19th Century."
      • Example of a different article on the same person in all three component dictionaries:
        Richard Dyer and Norbert Carnovale, "Schuller, Gunther (Alexander)" (rev. 26 November 2003), Grove Music Online, (accessed 25 May 2004). (Note: 2001 date, i.e. Grove Music Online (2001), is dropped because article is revised.)
        Mark Tucker and Barry Kernfeld, "Gunther (Alexander) Schuller," Grove Music Online [Jazz, 2002], (accessed 30 May 2013).
        Austin Clarkson, "Schuller, Gunther (Alexander)," Grove Music Online [Opera, 1992], (accessed 30 May 2013).
    • In running text:
      (Imogen Fellinger, "Periodicals" [rev. 29 July 2003], Grove Music Online, [accessed 30 May 2013], at II/2/ii: "United States of America").
      (Imogen Fellinger, "Periodicals," Grove Music Online [Opera, 1992], [accessed 30 May 2013], at I/3: "The 19th Century").
      There may be some flexibility in form depending upon the context of the citation.
  • Other Grove Printed Dictionaries:
    Follow the basic format used for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed.:
    Fred Steiner and Martin Marks, "Film Music," in The New Grove Dictionary of American Music (London: Macmillan, 1986), 2:118-25.
    Richard Crawford, "Porgy and Bess," in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera (London: Macmillan, 1992), 3:1061–63.
    James Lincoln Collier, "Dixieland," in The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2d ed. (London: Macmillan, 2002), 1:620–23.


  • Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1949-86); or  Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 2d ed. (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1994–2008), Sachteil, s.v. "xxxxxx," by [author name]. Omit the total number of volumes.

  • For citations to a specific column of a lengthy article, use the form: Hartmut Krones, "Musik und Rhetorik," in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 2d ed. (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1994–2008), Sachteil, 6:830.

  • Note: replace "Sachteil" with "Personenteil" as required.

Places of Publication

  • For small English cities, include the county (or shire), abbreviated or spelled out:
  • Farnborough, Hants, Eng.: Gregg International Publishers, 1972 (for Farnborough, Hampshire, England). Note that English county abbreviations may diverge somewhat from the full name, and do not end with a period. For a list of U.K. counties and their abbreviations, see "Postal Counties of the United Kingdom,"

    Publishers in the U.K. are inconsistent in naming the country of publication (Great Britain: England, Scotland, Wales; Northern Ireland). Use whatever form of country name (if any) is used in the item itself, or in the best available OCLC Worldcat record for it.


NOTE: see also Publishing Houses and Presses in the Style Quirks section.
  • Use the full form of a publisher's name, but omit Co., Inc., and Ltd.:

  • W. W. Norton, not Norton G. Henle, not Henle
    Alfred A. Knopf, not Knopf Carl Fischer, not Fischer
    Clarendon Press, not Clarendon


  • Citing foreign-language quotations with translations by the author:
    • Within the text (not blocked, punctuation at end of sentence): "and so be it" (my trans.; original in Libro español, ed. Buzzy Banderas [Madrid: Editorial falso, 2010], 25).
    • Block quotation (no quote marks around, and the punctuation goes at the end of the quotation, not of the block):
        These pieces would take fright at brilliantly lit salons where gather people who do not like music. They are rather "Conversations"  between the Piano and Oneself, in which it is not forbidden to use one's sensitivity from rainy days! (my trans.)


  • The first occurrence of RISM in an article or other non-citation usage should include the full name as well as the acronym, either RISM (Répertoire international des sources musicales) or Répertoire international des sources musicales (RISM). Note: RISM is a series and is therefore in roman (CMS16, 8.2, 8.174, 14.128).

  • If using RISM library sigla (after citing the full name of the library), use the following format: US-Wc (with hyphen separating country abbreviation and library abbreviation), for Washington, D.C., Library of Congress. A directory of RISM library sigla is RISM Sigla.

  • Use "RISM" without full title in notes and for citing RISM numbers. Note the following formats for citing RISM volumes and numbers:

    RISM section, volume, and part nos.: RISM A/I/5, RISM B/IV/5 (use slashes not spaces between the section, volume [roman], and part [arabic] nos.)
    RISM no. from Einzeldrucke vor 1800: RISM A/I: H 4005 (Note: Do not use the form RISM H4005 or RISM H-4005). Beware that a few composers, such as Orlando di Lasso, have a specialized numbering system in RISM.

    RISM no. from Recueils imprimés xvie–xviie siècles: RISM B/I: 156417 (Note: Do not use the form RISM 1564/17).

    RISM no. from Recueils imprimés xviiie siècle: RISM B/II, p. 123

Serial Publications (journals, periodicals, newspapers, etc.)

  • For journal citations, use the following basic format: 

    • Richard L. Crocker, "Matins Antiphons at St. Denis," Journal of the American Musicological Society 39, no. 3 (Autumn 1986): 441–90. Note: seasons are capitalized in source citations (CMS16, 14.80).
    • [Notes uses issue no. and identifying month (spelled in full) or season in all citations.]

    • Stephen Rose, "Music Printing in Leipzig during the Thirty Years' War,"  Notes 61, no. 2 (December 2004): 323–49.

  • For the first series of Notes, use the form: Notes [ser. 1] 8 (August 1940): 64–65.

  • For serials with only a date for identification (no volume or issue nos.), use the form: Saturday Review, 13 March 1954, 36.

  • Journal and newspaper names do not begin with "The" (capitalized and italic) in citations or in running text; use lower case and roman. But the initial article is retained in citations of foreign-language equivalents. (see Titles).

  • the Boston Globe BUTEl país (Spain)
  • Do not use a comma after article titles ending with a question mark or exclamation point (per CMS14, 15.221):
    Richard Griscom, "How Are You Today?" Notes 53, no. 1 (September 1995): 22–23.
    Note: CMS16, 14.178, departs from its former usage, and now adds a comma between the concluding punctuation mark and the concluding quote mark. Notes continues with the older practice (no added comma).
  • For titles in English plus another language, cite initially both titles, separated by "[space]=[space]":
    Mario Milanca Guzman, "Dislates en la obra Teresa Carreno, de Marta Milinowski," Revista de musica latinoamericana = Latin American Music Review 8, no. 2 (1987): 185–215.
    In secondary references and in running text, the English title alone may be used.
  • Soviet journals typically do not contain volume numbers, but merely the year of the volume plus an issue number. The following format is a practical solution:
    E. Dobrynina, "'Konek-gorbunok' Rodiona Shchedrina," Sovetskaia muzyka (1960, no. 6): 111–14.
    When transcribing names and titles from Cyrillic to roman alphabet, use ALA-LC Romanization Tables, If an editiion has dual titles (one in Cyrillic and one in English), use whatever English romanization is used in the edition.

Sound & Video Recordings

Sound Recordings

  • The basic format is: Composer, Title, Ensemble, Conductor, Label name and label no. (date of issue, not of performance), recording medium: Richard Strauss, Don Juan, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, cond. Georg Solti, London 35982 (1982), CD. Or within text: (Richard Strauss, Don Juan, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, cond. Georg Solti, London 35982 [1982], CD).

    If a historic recording, include also the date of the original performance/recording: Jussi Bjoerling at Carnegie Hall, Jussi Bjoerling (tenor), Frederick Schauwecker (piano), recorded live on 2 March 1958, RCA Victor Gold Seal 60520-2-RG (1991), CD.

  • Some citations require modification, however, particularly for citing the performers and the title (if generic, or simply a list of the selections on the recording). If the focus of the recording is a performer (say, a vocal recital), the name of the performer may begin the citation. The composer and/or other components may also be omitted if already stated in the prose preceding the citation. Examples (adapted from actual Notes reviews):

    • Something like 90 percent of Partch's recorded legacy is now commercially available, primarily on the CRI and Innova Recordings labels (for example, the reissued or previously unreleased recordings of performances from 1951 to 1982 available in The Harry Partch Collection, vols. 1–4, CRI CD 751–54 [1997], CD; and performances from 1941 to 1997 in Enclosure 2: Historic Speech-Music Recordings from the Harry Partch Archives, Innova 401 [1995], CD; Enclosure 5: On an Ancient Greek Theme, etc., Innova 405 [1998], CD; and Enclosure 6: Delusion of the Fury, Innova 406 [1999], CD).
    • Today, Georg Philipp Telemann's Passion oratorio Seliges Erwägen des bittern Leidens und Sterbens Jesu Christi is little known outside the small circle of Telemann scholars and devotees, despite an excellent recording by Wolfgang Schäfer with the Freiburger Vokalensemble and L'Arpa Festante of Munich (Amati SRR 8905/1-2 [1989], CD; reissued as Passions-Oratorium, Brilliant Classics 99521/1–2 [2002]).

    • All seven of Bacewicz's acknowledged string quartets, alongside the two piano quintets (1952, 1965), have been recorded by the Amar Corde String Quartet and pianist Waldemar Malicki (The Complete Works for String Quartet, Acte Préalable AP0019-21 [1999], 3 CDs).
    • The Ramones, "Rock 'n' Roll High School," End of the Century, Sire Records SRK 6077 (1980), LP; reissue with additional material: Sire/Warner Bros./Rhino R2 78155 (2002), CD. A different recording of the same song also appeared on Rock 'n' Roll High School: Music from the Original Motion Picture Sound Track,various performers, featuring the Ramones, Sire Records SRK 6070 (1979), LP; reissued on CD in the 1980s: Sire 6070-2.


    Video Recordings

    Formatted essentially like sound recordings, though additional fields may be desirable, such as producer and/or director, presence of subtitles. Examples:

    • Benjamin Britten: A Time There Was: A Profile of Benjamin Britten, dir. by Tony Palmer, Kultur D1158 (2006), DVD; originally issued by Kultur in 1980 on VHS.

      Angela Hewitt: Bach Performance on the Piano, prod. Ludger Böckenhoff & Nico Heinrich, dir. Uli Aumüller, Hyperion Records DVDA68001 (2008), 2 DVDs. Disc 1: Lecture recital (includes optional subtitles in eight languages); disc 2: Angela Hewitt Live in Concert: J. S. Bach's Partita no. 4 in D Major, BWV 828; Italian Concerto in F Major, BWV 971; Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue in D Minor, BWV 903.

Web Sites

  • Notes uses recent "access" dates to verify the validity of Web URLs. These are accessed/verified/provided by the journal's editors late in the editorial process. Editors: For URL access dates: at manuscript stage, use an advance date near the ending time of the first-proofs review, so that the date will not require revision in first proofs. Editors must again verify URLs at first proof stage.
  • When accessing a paid subscription Web site through a proxy server (the usual setup for getting to Grove Music Online, Music Index, and other music resources provided for a library's users), the URL displayed in the Web browser will not be useful to Notes readers in other locations. Authors should attempt to identify the URL for the site used by private subscribers to the site, such as are provided in this style sheet examples.

    In footnotes:

    • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch: Internet Genealogy Service, (accessed 15 June 2013)

    • The Music Index, (accessed 15 June 2013).

    • RILM Abstracts of Music Literature, (accessed 15 June 2013).

    • International Index to Music Periodicals, (accessed 15 June 2013).

  • In running text:

    There is some flexibility here depending upon the context. Examples:
      • The Library of Congress has acquired several notable collections, available to researchers in the Performing Arts Reading Room. Additional details about these collections may be found at LC's "Special Collections of the Music Division," (accessed 15 June 2013).

      • For a description of selective vs. core coverage in RILM, and a list of journals in these categories, see RILM's "Journal" page at (accessed 15 June 2013). Lists of journals indexed by The Music Index may be found at MI's "Contents List" at (accessed 15 June 2013).

"Tiens peuple, tiens, bon peuple, en veux-tu, en voilà," lithograph by Honoré Daumier (LD 236), Brandeis University Libraries


  • Notes practice is based on CMS16, 9.21–29.

  • A space should follow initial abbreviations (DM, L, etc.) but not initial symbols (£, €, etc.). Always use a period as the decimal point (i.e., replace comma in European currencies with a period). If the amount is a round number, drop the ".00" if included with the amount.


$23, $23.50
€40, €40.25 (euros)
£120 (British pounds)
NGL 340 (Dutch guilders)
Fr 340, Fr 340.60 (French francs)
DM 120, DM 125.50 (German marks)
L 120,000 (Italian lire)

  • For archaic currencies, use lower case and roman type: thaler, not Thaler; gulden, not Gulden.



CMS16, 6.45 and elsewhere, gives date examples in both month–day–year (e.g., May 31, 2013) and day–month–year (31 May 2013) formats. CMS15, 6.46, recommended the former, as being the most commonly used in the United States. CMS16, 9.36, notes, however, “In documentation and in tables, if numerous dates occur, months may be abbreviated, and the day–month–year form, requiring no punctuation, may be neater. . . .” To avoid situational date formats, and for the sake of consistency, Notes prefers day–month–year in all cases.

  • 1560s not 1560's

  • Paris in the 1830s and 1840s not 1830s and '40s (CMS16, 9.34)

Use en dashes (not hyphens) to connect dates and other numbers
  • 18981903 not "from 1898–1903"; the following are also acceptable: from 1898 to 1903, or between 1898 and 1903 (CMS16, 9.59)

  • Use 20002001 not 2000–1 or 2000–01;  2000–2004 not 2000–4 or 2000–04  (see CMS16, 9.60)

  • Use 2001–2 not 2001–02 or 2001–2002;  2001–4 not 2001–04 or 2001–2004  (see CMS16, 9.60)

  • Use the traditional number-range format described in CMS16, 9.60, for ranges of dates, except for birth–death dates, which use all the digits.

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791), not 1756–91.
  • For uncertain birth or death years, use "?" before the year in question.

    John Benet (d. ?1458); Antoine Brummel (ca. 1460?1512/13); Alexander Agricola (?1445/46?1506)

    This differs from CMS16, 6.66, which places the "?" after the year in question.

  • For an open date, use (1999–) (no space after the en dash) not (1999– ) (see CMS16, 6.79)


  • Use all the digits for groups of works, etc.
      Bach's cantatas BWV 812817 -- not Bach's cantatas BWV 81217.

  • Numbers beginning a full sentence are always written out (CMS16, 9.5):
"Two hundred and sixteen [not 216] motets appear in the opening fascicles of the manuscript." But: "There are 216 motets in the opening fascicles of the manuscript."
  • Arabic numerals: Use act 1, scene 2, movement 3, etc., not act I (or Act I), scene II, movement III (CMS16, 9.27).
  • Roman numerals: Use violin I, violin II, etc., not violin 1, 2. Similarly, use choir I, choir II; cantus I, cantus II; Kyrie I, Kyrie II.

  • "In most numerals of one thousand or more, commas are used between groups of three digits, counting from the right" (CMS16, 9.55). Thus, "Out of 1,425 [not "1425"] books from the 'Books Recently Published' columns in 2012, 1,315 [not "1315"] (92 percent) have been used in calculating this year's price trends."

  • Commas are not used in page numbers, line numbers (in poems and plays), music publishers' plate numbers, street addresses, and years.

  • "The letters in ordinal numbers should not appear as superscripts (e.g., 122nd, not 122nd)" (CMS16 9.6). Beware that Microsoft Word defaults to superscript in these instances; use the Fonts menu to highlight and correct these.


  • Use numeral plus "percent," not the percent sign % (see CMS16, 9.18).

50 percent not 50%; 30 to 50 percent not 30 to 50% (also not thirty to fifty percent)


  • Repeat the unit of measurement and use the symbol X rather than "-by-".

  • Use ' for foot/feet, " for inch/inches.

  • Do not use a period after metric abbreviations.

  • Examples: 8" X 14"; 7 mm X 12 mm; 10 cm X 14 cm


NOTE: See also Web Sites in the Citation Style section.

Notes capitalizes "Web" when used as an abbreviated form of World Wide Web—a proper noun. (CMS16, 7.76, capitulates to the more populist "web" and "website": "In a departure, Chicago now considers web to be generic when used alone or in combination with other generic terms.") It is perhaps noteworthy that, carrying on with recognition of "Web" as a proper noun, are—in addition to Notes—MW11, the Modern Language Association's style manual, the U.S. Government Printing Office, and the New Yorker magazine (legendary for its fact and style precision).


Title of the Resource

  • Follow the form established by the producer of the resource as the official title of the product (check the company or organization Web site when in doubt). Do not use the name given by the resource provider (such as FirstSearch, EBSCOhost, etc.) if different:

    RILM Abstracts of Music Literature not RILM Music Abstracts (FirstSearch)
  • Maintain the upper/lower cases, spacing, and any other modifications of normal title format established by the company for its product. Sometimes the form used in the banner of a Web site is not identical with the official version found in the body of the text:

    alibris not (banner)
    Abebooks not (banner) not BARNES&
  • Follow the capitalization of the site's title as best as can be interpreted.

Roman or Italic?

  • Encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other full-text reference works: use italic whether or not there is a print model:
    Grove Music Online
    Encyclopedia Britannica Online
    Music Manuscripts after 1600 (RISM A/II)
  • Citation databases: use italic whether or not there is a print model:
    RILM Abstracts of Music Literature
    The Music Index Online
    Beethoven Bibliography Database
    Web of Science
    America: History and Life.
  • Online equivalents of print resources: use italic:
    Ulrich's Periodical Directory
    Books in Print
  • Online library catalogs, including union catalogs: use roman:
    OCLC WorldCat
    Melvyl (catalog of the University of California libraries)
    Hollis Catalog (Harvard Libraries)
  • Aggregators of full-text articles, digital repositories, portals, etc.: use roman:
    IIMP or International Index of Music Periodicals (we are interpreting this resource as a full-text rather than citation database)
    Academic Search Premier
    Public Library of Science
  • Online services (shopping, etc.): use roman:
  • Web sites (that are none of the above): use roman, except for exceptional cases when the site has the appearance of a monograph.

  • Web sites—titles of subpages: use quotation marks.

    Library of Congress [main page] > "Arts & Culture" [subpage] > "The Leonard Bernstein Collection" [sub-subpage]

  • Electronic journals: use italic whether or not there is a print equivalent.

  • Electronic books: use italic whether or not there is a print equivalent.


  • most important composition, but best-known composition (CMS14 p. 221)
  • late-nineteenth-century music, mid-nineteenth-century music, early-nineteenth-century music (CMS16, p. 379), not "late nineteenth-century music"
  • music of the late nineteenth century; music of the early nineteenth century (CMS16, p. 379: "Noun forms [of centuries are] always open.")
  • but music of the mid-nineteenth century (CMS16, p. 383; "mid" forms a closed compound); similarly, in mid-August, in mid-1944.
  • F clef (roman, no hyphen). NGD2 uses F clef (italic, no hypen); NHD uses F-clef (roman, with hyphen)
En Dashes
  • "Use the en-dash to connect dates, pages, pitches, and keys, and in a compound adjective of which one element contains a hyphen or consists of two words" (Holoman2, 2.31; see also CMS16, 6.78–80). En dashes are not found on standard QWERTY keyboards. In Microsoft Word, go to Insert/Symbol to insert an en dash.
    the DbD#Db figure
    G majorG minorG major
    W. S. Gilbertstyle verse
    pitch-classnumber notation
  • Compound adjectives take an en dash when used as the equivalent of to, and, or versus to express a relationship of linkage or opposition (MW11 under hyphen in "Handbook of Style," p. 1607)

      winning (hyphen + en dash)
      WeillLenya Archive
      MozartDa Ponte operas
      text–music (when indicating linkage or opposition)

Em Dashes

"Em dashes are used to set off an amplifying or explanatory element and in that sense can function as an alternative to parentheses, . . commas, . . or a colon—expecially when an arupt break in thought is called for" (CMS16, 6.82).

Ex.: "Especially for the women who wrote only a song or two, they—or their husbands or fathers—frequently published their own songs."

In some publications, an en dash—preceded and followed by a space (i.e., " – ")—is used in place of the em dash. When quoting such a passage, substitute a true em dash (without the spaces).

Quotation Marks
CMS16, 13.28: "Quoted words, phrases, and sentences run into the text are enclosed in double quotation marks. Single quotation marks enclose quotations within quotations; double marks, quotations within these; and so on. (The practice in the United Kingdom and elsewhere is often the reverse: single marks are used first, then double, and so on.)"

For quotation marks, the French, Spanish, and Italians use guillemets (as in «quotation»). German quotations usually take reversed guillemets (as in »quotation«), or split-level inverted quotation marks („quotation").

"Single quotation marks may be changed to double, and double to single. . . . Guillemets and other types of quotation marks in a foreign language may be changed to regular single or double quotation marks" (CMS16, 13.7).

With other punctuation (CMS16, 6.9–11):

  • Periods and commas precede closing quotation marks. (In British style, only punctuation marks that appear in the original text are included inside the quotation marks; all others follow the closing quotation marks.)
  • Colons and semicolons follow closing quotation marks.
  • Question marks and closing exclamation points follow closing quotation marks, unless they are part of the quoted matter.
  • "When single quotation marks nested within double quotation marks appear next to each other, no space [or punctuation] need to be added between the two. . . ."




  • Use letters in roman without intervening spaces or dashes to indicate the musical form of a work or movement:

    ABA,  ABACAB'A, ABaAabAB (note: use a straight apostrophe for the prime sign, not a curved right single quote or apostrophe)


  • "Major" and "Minor" are capitalized when part of a title of a musical work: Nocturne in D Minor; D-Minor Nocturne; D-Minor Violin Concerto; C-Minor Symphony. But not capitalized in the context of a pitch, key, or chord: the movement begins in D minor; the D-major triad (CMS16, 7.67).


  • For pitch designations, use the system

    C2 C C   c  c c2  c3 c4, with middle C as c.
  • Generic pitch names are capitalized: middle C, a high D (CMS16, 7.67).

  • Generic pitch names use roman, not italic typeface. An exception may be made to clarify text.

    The author needs to name the pitch a below middle C.
  • Musical symbols (flat, sharp, and natural signs) are preferred when referring to the key or pitch of a note or movement (ex. "Mozart wrote a D in the manuscript, not E♭"). Use the word for the key or pitch as the prose demands it (ex. "in this edition, there is a sharp in the key signature"), and use the word when referring to the title of a work (Beethoven's Bagatelle in B-flat Major).

  • Plurals: Ds (not D♯'s), Ds (not D♭'s)

    Because musical symbols are not available in most word-processing programs, it is preferable to spell the words in the submitted manuscript, and the copy editors will code as is appropriate for the symbols to replace the words during production.

Note types

  • Hyphenate half-note (English system: minim), quarter-note (crotchet), eighth-note (quaver), sixteenth-note (semiquaver), thirty-second-note (demisemiquaver), sixty-fourth-note (hemidemisemiquaver)

    BUT: whole note (semibreve), double whole note (breve), except when used as adjective


  • Use italic typeface for hexachord and modern syllable names (Irvine, p. 199):

    do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti


  • Dynamics

    • Use regular (i.e., nonbold) italics for abbreviated dynamics: p, f, fff, etc.

    • Use roman for written-out dynamics: piano, forte, fortissimo, etc.

  • Equal sign

    • Notes prefers text over symbol. When this proves cumbersome, as within parentheses, use an equal sign and include spaces on both sides of it. See examples in CMS16, 10.48–49: "Apocalypse ( = Revelation)," "Song of Solomon ( = Song of Songs)."

  • Time signatures

    • Use time signatures (they will be typeset vertically aligned without the fraction line) when referring to the meter of a measure or section if the prose remains clear (ex. "The editor has changed the original time signature of 4/2 to 4/4.")

    • Spell out the time signature when the prose so demands: "This march is in six-eight time" (not "This march is in 6/8" or "This march is in 6/8 time").

Visual by


  • Use roman typeface (including manuscript sigla):

    Berlin P200; Squarcialupi Codex; Bokmeyer Collection (Mus. MS 30211) in Berlin; Pontifical of Aurilloc


  • Beethoven's opus 131 is a fine quartet. ("opus" is spelled out if no genre or title immediately precedes or follows "opus.")  But: Beethoven's String Quartet op. 131 (or Beethoven's op. 131 String Quartet) is a magnificent work. (Genre or title immediately precedes or follows "op.")
  • Do not capitalize op., opus, or no. unless they are capitalized as part of a title in a bibliographic citation (CMS16, 8.191): Symphony no. 41; the op. 67 quartet; Symphony no. 8 in B Minor, op. 47
  • Do capitalize Major and Minor when included as part of a title (see preceding example)
  • Fifth Symphony; Fifth and Sixth symphonies; the Seventh (based on NGD2 practice); the symphony; the Andante of the Fourth Symphony (Holoman 1.9); Beethoven's symphonies nos. 1–5
  • "Eroica" Symphony; "Italian" Symphony; "Diabelli" Variations; "Hammerklavier" Sonata (Holoman2, 1.5; and example in CMS16, 8.190: popular titles are put in roman in quotes)
  • Varied Trio for violin, piano, and percussion (1986–87); Grand Duo for violin and piano (1988)
  • act 3, scene 2 (CMS16, 8.182)
  • prelude to act 3 of Tristan und Isolde; overture to Tannhäuser
  • the Prelude and Fugue in G Minor; the prelude; the fugue
  • No. vs. no.:
    • Use No. (capitalized) when "No. X" represents whatever title the piece, movement, or set piece might have within a larger work or collection; e.g., including two lovely ones by Purcell (Nos. 6 and 37 in Britten's score).
    • Use no. (uncapitalized) when "no. X" qualifies the given title of a work within a collection or a movement or set piece in a large work; e.g., "Ertrage nur das Joch der Mängel" (no. 35).
  • Use "duo" for a performing group, and "duet" for a composition for two performers (MW11).
  • Song titles
    • When part of a larger work and discussed in that context, use quotation marks around the title of the song (the title of the song cycle is always in italic):
        The author contrasts the use of the piano in Schubert's songs "Gute Nacht" and "Der Leiermann" from Die Winterreise.
    • When referring to a song from a song cycle in an isolated context, however, use italics:
        She performed several songs by Schubert, including Der Leiermann, Ellen's erster Gesang, and Stimme der Liebe. Among the French songs on the recital were Gounod's Au printemps, Massenet's Que l'heure est donc brève, and Saint-Saëns's La cloche.
    • When referring to a group of songs, some from cycles (which are noted) and some not, use a consistent format for ALL of the song titles.
        This study focuses on five Schubert songs: "Gute Nacht" and "Der Leiermann" (from Die Winterreise), "Ellen's erster Gesang," "Bei dir!," and "Stimme der Liebe."

Visual by


  • Notes generally uses name forms of musicians and nonmusicians as given in Library of Congress Authorities ( N.B.: this differs from previous Notes practice (before 2014) of depending primarily upon musican names as found in NGD2. Note, however, that if LC uses only initials for given names (as is common in Soviet-era publications, for example), full names may be spelled out for clarity. Some exceptions are noted in the Words, Names, and Phrases section.

  • As a general practice, Notes drops patronymics from Russian names: Aleksandr Borodin, not Aleksandr Porfir'evich Borodin (as in LC Authorities). One common exception, however, is Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky (use full name as in LC Authorities).
  • Any exceptions to the above are listed under Words, Names, and Phrases.

  • Full names of composers, musicologists, editors, and all other personages should appear at the first occurrence of the name in a text. Note, however, that first names may be dropped when preferable for stylistic reasons.

    Example:  Many performers now reject editions of Bach cantatas with editorially imposed dynamics.

  • Russian publications often use only initials for authors’ and composers’ given names, and they often are authorized this way in Library of Congress Authorities. Given names may be spelled out in running text (they usually are found in parentheses in the authority file), but use only the initials if quoting a bibliographic citation.

  • Notes regards the name of a chamber music performance organization as a personal noun, and the name of a large ensemble as an impersonal noun.

  • Examples:  Emerson Quartet, for whom the work was written; Chicago Symphony Orchestra, for which the work was written
  • Use RISM Sigla volume or institutional Web site as the authority for the correct names (including upper/lower case) of libraries and other institutions. Note that names of foreign organizations are not italicized: Schwerin, Mecklenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv, not Mecklenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv.

  • For geographical names, use MW11, but use English form when it differs from that cited in MW11 (e.g., Cracow, not Kraków).


Text for all submitted articles and reviews should be double spaced. This includes indented quotations, and endnotes (do not submit with footnotes, which can become displaced during editing).

Add no extra spacing between paragraphs; use normal double spacing. Exception: Add extra space before and after indented quotations.


  • Use only ONE SPACE after all periods (CMS16, 6.12). Authors who learned to compose academic papers during the Tyrany of Turabian (pre-5th edition) sometimes have trouble moving past the earlier rule to "Leave . . . two spaces after exclamation points, question marks, and periods ending sentences" (Turabian, 4th ed. [1973], 13.22). Word processing and proportional spacing have since eliminated the need to add extra space between sentences, as now is recognized by both Turabian and CMS.

  • A space follows periods in initials: D. W. Krummel not D.W. Krummel (CMS16, 10.12).

  • No spaces precede or follow periods in URLs and e-mail addresses (CMS16, 14.11).


  • Serial commas (CMS16, 6.18): "Items in a series are normally separated by commas. . . . When a conjunction joins the last two elements in a series of three or more, a comma . . . should appear before the conjunction" (emphasis added).

    "In addition to operas, he composed sonatas, concertos, and symphonies" (comma before "and").

    Use semicolons between items in a series if one or more of the items themselves include internal commas (CMS16, 6.58; ModLangAssoc, 3.4.2.b).

  • Use a comma after "In" (or "in") + year at the start of a sentence or independent clause: "In 1770, Beethoven was born." (CMS16, 6.30)

  • Use a comma following a state name: "He was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on 14 September 1956." (CMS16, 6.17)

  • No comma precedes Jr. or Sr. in names: Harry Connick Jr. (CMS16, 6.47)


  • One space follows colons in sentences.

  • In a sentence, the first word following a colon is lowercased unless (1) it is a proper name, (2) it introduces an extract or a direct question, or (3) it introduces two or more sentences (CMS16, 6.61).

  • No space precedes or follows a colon in URLs (CMS16, 14.11)

  • In bibliographic citations, if "the volume number is immediatedly followed by a page number, the abbreviation vol. is omitted and a colon separates the volume number from the page number with no invervening space" (CMS16 14.121). See the citations above of articles in NGD2 for examples of this.

  • No space follows a colon in a biblical citation (Psalm 3:5), or a ratio.


  • Notes uses three spaced periods for ellipsis points, sometimes preceded or followed by other punctuation. Beware: Some word processors will autocorrect a spaced ellipsis to an unspaced one. This can be revised manually.

  • Notes uses the "three-or-four-dot method" (CMS16, 13.48–56)

    • Three dots indicate an omission within a quoted sentence, with spaces before the first dot and after the third dot.

    • A fourth dot is added before an ellipsis to indicate the omission of the end of a sentence. The first dot is a true period, with no space between it and the preceding word.

    • A comma, colon, semicolon, question mark, or exclamation point may precede or follow three ellipsis points. Placement of this punctuation mark depends on whether the omission precedes or follows the mark.

    • Example: The one chosen for the April 1720 version in volume 1 is particularly interesting, as it is "a unique example of a draft prompt copy; it has annotations in ink in two hands, which show entrances, . . . indicate a surprising number of supernumeraries, . . . list props, . . . and confirm the existence of the bridge. . . . Any modern producer should find it a rewarding study" (p. xvii).


Notes uses U.S. English spellings when they differ from British English ones. You know this already, but here are some of the differences:

  • In British English, words that end in "-re" often end in "-er" in U.S. English: theater, not theatre
  • In British English, words that end in "-our" usually end in "-or" in U.S. English: color, not colour; favor, not favour
  • In British English, some nouns that end with "-ogue" end with "-og" in U.S. English: catalog, not catalogue; dialog, not dialogue
  • In British English, some nouns that end with "-ence" are spelled with "-ense" in U.S. English: defense, not defence
  • In British English, verbs that can end with either "-ize" or "-ise" always end with "-ize" in U.S. English: magnetize, not magnetise

A spell checker tuned to American-English usage should catch these.

When in doubt, consult MW11 or Webster's 3d. A handy online cheat sheet is "Comprehensive List of American and British Spelling Differences" at, which lists about 1,800 word roots and derivatives in parallel columns of U.K. vs. U.S. spellings.

Cyrillic romanization: For romanization of Russian names (if not found in Library of Congress Authorities []), titles, and other text, use ALA-LC Romanization Tables ( If citing an edition with dual title pages (say, Russian & English), use the romanization printed on the edition.

There are multiple systems for romanizing the Russian language. Besides the ALA-LC system used by Library of Congress and in Notes, the "British Standard 2979:1958" system is used by many British publishers, including Oxford University Press and (apparently) in New Grove Dictionary (note, however, that the British Library has used ALA-LC romanization since 1975). The only significant differences are the following three characters (note the use of ligatures or ties over the letters in the ALA-LC system):

ю = i͡u (ALA-LC) = yu (British Standard)
я =  i͡a (ALA-LC) = ya (British Standard)
ц =  t͡s (ALA-LC) = ts (British Standard)

During manuscript preparation, place the macro “[arc]” before the two letters to be tied:

[arc]IUri Shaporin becomes I︡Uri Shaporin

Shostakovich, Simfon[arc]ia no. 3 "Pervomaiska[arc]ia" becomes Simfoni͡a no. 3 "Pervomaiskai͡a"

Quicksand (traps for music editors): Here are some spelling traps set for the weary and unwary music author and editor!

 Eulenburg (publisher)  Eulenberg (a common misspelling)
 fuge (American hymnody)  fugue
 galant (style)  gallant

Doubling Consonants (from GPO Style Manual):

"5.14. A single consonant following a single vowel and ending in a monosyllable or a final accented syllable is doubled before a suffix beginning with a vowel: bag, bagging; red, reddish; format, formatting; rob, robbing; input, inputting; transfer, transferred. But total, totaled, totaling; modal, modaly; travel, traveled, traveling."

"5.15. If the accent in a derivative falls upon an earlier syllable than it does in the the root word, the consonant is not doubled: refer, reference; prefer, preference; infer, inference."

(from CMS16):

"5.138. . . . In words of more than one syllable, the final consonsnt is doubled if it is part of the syllable that is stressed both before and after the inflection {prefer–preferred} but not otherwise {travel–traveled}."

These are not hard and fast rules. British English typically doubles consonants in all instances when adding a suffix (but we're not writing British English), and the New Yorker magazine does likewise (go figure). Using double consonants in these cases is not "wrong" (MW11 often gives both spellings), but a vigilant Notes copy editor will discard the second consonant for stylistic consistency.

German Eszett

(sometimes known as "scharfes S")

While it is unlikely that Notes authors and reviewers will be composing text in German, it is important to be vigilant when transcribing titles, proper names, quotations and the like when it comes to the German character Eszett (ẞ: a modernized typographical rendering of how “sz” appeared in traditional Gothic script). German orthography reform of 1996—an attempt to simplify the spelling of the German language—sought to do away with the Eszett (substituting “ss”), but this reform was obligatory only in schools and public administration. The reform was controversial and unpopular, and many German-language publishers, magazines, and newspapers refused to go along (for a summary and timeline of the reform, see Thus, the Eszett lives on in published works and proper nouns, such as in the name of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin—Preuẞischer Kulturbesitz (not "Preussischer"). The task for the Notes author, reviewer, or editor is simple: in quoted text, use whatever spelling is in the original; for proper nouns, use the version at the organization's Web site or in its publications.

There is no uppercase version of this character. Thus, if a word with ẞ must be rendered entirely in capital letters, change the ẞ to SS.

The German Eszett (ẞ) should not be confused with the Greek small-letter beta (β), which it closely resembles (capital-letter beta is the same as roman B). Both characters are available from the Insert/Symbol table in Microsoft Word (where the beta symbol is clearly labeled "Greek small-letter beta"; the Eszett symbol, inexplicably, has no label at all, though the symbols surrounding it are labeled). Beware: Substitution of beta for Eszett is a common error in printed texts; ModLangAssoc, 3.3.6, for example, errs in using β (beta) to represent ẞ (Eszett) in its discussion of this topic!!

The primary difference between ẞ and β in most typefaces is that the β (beta) reaches below the line, while ẞ (Eszett) normally does not.

Be aware, however, that substitution of German ẞ as a surrogate for Greek β once was common when describing beta-test versions of programs in older operating systems, since the available charcter sets did not support use of Greek letters.


A ligature is a pairing of letters that are joined in print: Æ and æ in Danish, Norwegian, and Old English; Œ and œ in French; and ß in German (see Eszett, above).

In English-language contexts, and for words adopted into English, do not join the letters except in direct quotations: oeuvre, aesthetic, trompe l'oeil, not œuvre, æsthetic, trompe l'œil.


In German words, do not replace umlauts with the letter e. Use ä, ö, ü, rather than ae, oe, and ue. This applies to initial capitals as well as lower-case letters. Common practice must be observed, however, for personal names: use the forms/spellings found in Library of Congress Authorities ( The following names merit special note:

  • George Frideric Handel (originally Georg Friedrich Händel)
  • Arnold Schoenberg (originally Schönberg)
Though these composers Anglicized (Handel) and Americanized (Schoenberg) their names, German & Austrian publishers have refused to go along, and editions emanating from these countries resolutely spell these names with umlauts. Notes review headings for such editions quote the names as they appear on the title pages, but use the composers' preferred (revised) spellings in running text.


  • For quotations in the main body of the text, follow CMS16, 13.66.

    Example: According to Hunter, "Handel is much better than Bach" (p. 23).

    Also: How could Hunter possibly claim that "Handel is much better than Bach" (p. 23)?

  • For block quotations, follow CMS16, 13.68. Note that page reference follows the final punctuation of the quotation:

    Despite the writings of other scholars, Hunter stands firm:

    Handel is much better than Bach. His vocal writing shows a masterful knowledge of the voice and its capabilities. The instrumental character of Bach's vocal parts makes them difficult for all but the most talented singers to perform. (p. 123)
  • Use p. 22ff. (not "pp. 22ff.")

  • Complete bibliographical citations appear in parentheses and brackets within the text:

    • (Richard L. Crocker, "Matins Antiphons at St. Denis," Journal of the American Musicological Society 39, no. 3 [Autumn 1986]: 441–90)

    • . . . from the Library of Congress's Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings (5th ed. [Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, 1996])

    • (Nan Cooke Carpenter, Music in the Medieval and Renaissance Universities, Da Capo Press Music Reprint Series [Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1958; reprint, New York: Da Capo, 1972], 98)

    • (Paris: Cognard, 1732; reprint, Geneva: Slatkine, 1971)

  • For a subsequent reference to a source already cited, use author's last name and page number; in cases of ambiguity (e.g., two or more works by the same author are cited), include also a short title.

  • Example: (Crocker, 442); or (Crocker, "Matins Antiphons," 442).
  • For citations in running text with both a volume and a page number, use the format 1:314, not vol. 1, p. 314, or vol. 1:314.
  • For Grove Music Online in running texts, see subsection on running texts under Grove in the Citation Style.
  • Sound recordings:

    • Full citation: (Richard Strauss, Don Juan, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, cond. Georg Solti, London 35982 [1982], CD).
    • But usually the citation can be shortened because some of the descriptive material is in the prose; or the composer or performer is reflected in the title or unnecessary for the citation:
      • The commercial recording of the first five pieces (Mauricio Kagel 5, Audivis Montaigne MO 782017 [1994], CD) presents a bewildering array of ideas.
      • The earliest of these works is Opus 1991: Konzertstück für Orchester, which Kagel calls his first piece of "absolute" or "autonomous" music in the notes to the commercial recording (Col Legno AU 31826 [1991], CD).


  • Series titles should be in roman with headline title capitalization (CMS16, 8.174).

  • Abbreviated series titles (RISM, etc.) should be in roman.

  • Titles (and title abbreviations) of all closed sets (whether yet complete or not) should be in italics when the title appears in prose (CMS16, 14.130). Note: This rule includes titles for composer complete works—examples:
    • The first symphony is published in Das Erbe deutscher Musik, but the second one is published in the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe, vol. 4/11/1 (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1984).
    • The appearance of the full score in volume three of the New Edition of the Complete Works (known as the New Berlioz Edition or NBE) is a cause for celebration.

Visual by


Topics in This Section

Citing Notes
  • When citating Notes, use issue no. and the month (spelled in full): Notes 57, no. 2 (December 2000): 347–423.

  • Use Notes as journal title in the body of articles and in footnotes. The subtitle Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association is unnecessary.

Title as Singular
  • "A title, which is considered to be a singular noun, always takes a singular verb" (CMS16 8.164). Examples:

Yet Ruffo's Sacrae cantiones vulgo motetto is important for what it reveals.

The Easy Duets on Folk Themes for two violins (1945) is a delightful example of the teaching pieces so desperately needed after the war.

Digital Technology
  • Files names
    • Use JPEG (for Joint Photographic Experts Group), not jpeg

    • Use MPEG (for Moving Picture Experts Group), not mpeg

    • Use MP3 not mp3

  • Kilobits (kbps) and Kilobytes
    • Stephen Davison provides the following explanation from the Webopedia:

      • Use kbps (kilobits per second) as a measure of data transfer speed. Modems, for example are measured in kbps. Data transfer rates are measured using the decimal meaning of K (thus one kbps is 1,000 bits per second). Technically, kbps should be spelled with a lowercase k to indicate that it is decimal, although almost everyone spells it with a capital K. The correct abbreviation for bit is "b."

      • Data storage, however, is measured using the powers-of-2 meaning of K (thus one KB is 1,024 bytes). "B" is the abbreviation of "byte." Thus:

        kbps = 1000 bits per second 
        KBps = 8192 bits per second 
          kBps = 8000 bits per second 
         Kbps = 1024 bits per second 

        although only the first (kbps) is actually used.
  • System requirements

    • Treat the system requirements as if it were the collation statement:

      • "Minimum system requirements: Macintosh System 7.1 or higher, Windows 95/98/NT4 or higher, 8–16 MB RAM minimum (32 MB recommended), 20MB hard disk space (plus 20MB disk space for documentation)."

"Editions" vs. "Prints"
  • Substitute "edition" (or "issue") where an author uses "print" for early printed music, following Stanley Boorman's glossary in Music Printing and Publishing, edited by D. W. Krummel and Stanley Sadie (New York: W. W. Norton, 1990):
"Print. In current usage, the term refers to a copy of a work of art taken from a plate (or other surface) by printing. The former use of the word, to refer to a printed book or journal, is now obsolete; the habit among musicologists of referring to printed music as 'musical prints' should be discouraged."
Foreign Words and Terms as English Words (Italic vs. Roman)
  • As a general principle, if a foreign word or phrase is in MW11 or Webster's 3d, regard it as Anglicized and use roman (CMS16, 7.52); also, German nouns, if in MW11, are not capitalized:

"In the allegro section, the accelerando reinforces the violin's crescendo into the forte passage."

gesellschaft, not Gesellschaft; lied, lieder, not Lied, Lieder

  • Otherwise, treat the word or phrase as foreign and use italic:

"In addition to the più lento tempo, the violins also play sul ponticello over pizzicato notes in the cellos."

  • When using foreign words and phrases within the context of a sentence, use italics:

The passage should be played allegro ma non troppo.

  • When quoting foreign words and phrases, however, do not italicize, but put the word or phrase in quotes:

These parts are marked "Stimmen"; the prelude is marked "allegro ma non troppo."

Music Theater vs. Musical Theater (thanks to Eunice Schroeder)
  • The Library of Congress uses both music theater and musical theater as subject entries.

  • The scope note for music theater is based on the NHD definition:

"Here are entered musical works, often small in scale and primarily of the 20th century, that combine elements of music, drama, and sometimes dance in unconventional ways that result in works distinct from traditional forms."

  • The scope note for musical theater reads:

"Works on the broad area of music in the theater including opera, musical comedy, pantomime, revues, etc., and works about more than one such type." Thus,  musical theater includes more than just musicals (i.e., musical comedy) by this definition.

  • The HDM4 does not have an entry for musical theater but uses the term in its definition of musical (comedy): "A popular form of 20th-century musical theater." This implies the same use of musical theater as practiced by the Library of Congress.

  • The New Grove Dictionary of American Music also lacks an entry for music theater, but defines musical theater as: "A type of stage entertainment that combines drama and music, but does not necessarily have a unifying plot." A broad definition that is pretty close to LC's.

  • The New Grove Dictionary of Opera has an entry for music theatre: "A term often used to characterize a kind of opera and opera production in which spectacle and dramatic impact are emphasized over purely musical factors, but first used specifically in the 1960s to describe the small-scale musico-dramatic works by composers of the postwar generations. . . . " This is basically the same as LC and the HDM4.

  • The NGD2 does not have an entry for musical theater but, like the HDM4 uses the term in its definition of musical: "The major form of popular musical theatre of the 20th century."

  • A pattern seems to be emerging here. Musical theater, according to these sources, is a broad term meaning any type of music in the theater, as in LC's scope note. A musical, then, is a genre of popular musical theater (others are operetta, burlesque, vaudeville). Music theater seems to have a more narrow definition, designating a rather specific genre, as in LC, the HDM4 and the New Grove Dictionary of Opera.

Publishing Houses and Presses
  • Regard publishing houses as singular rather than plural.

    • "Breitkopf & Härtel issued its own edition in 1943"—not "Breitkopf & Härtel issued their own edition in 1943."

    • "Boosey & Hawkes has offices in London and New York"—not "Boosey & Hawkes have offices in London and New York."

  • When a publishing house uses different names in different countries, include both locations and names only when the publication is so marked.
    • Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Omit the name of the U.S. state where a publisher is located when the state name is part of the publisher's name.

    • Berkeley: University of California Press; Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.

    • but: Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.

Repertoire vs. Repertory
  • MW10 implies that repertory is a preferred use for repertoire except for specific uses. In music, however, there is often a subtle difference between repertoire and repertory. Context often determines the choice between which form to use.

  • Repertoire

    • "A list or supply of dramas, operas, pieces, or parts that a company or person is prepared to perform" (MW11).

    • The complete list or supply of dramas, operas, or musical works available for performance. (MW10). Generally more restrictive than repertory (see below).

  • Repertory

    • A large body of works in a certain genre or style performed at a cathedral, a court, or in a geographical area, such as the the Venetian repertory of concertato Masses and Vespers at St. Marks, the repertory of Italian opera at the Mannheim court, or the repertory of English consort music. In general, repertory implies works performed over a less distinct and usually longer period of time than a repertoire. Thus the context of "repertory" is broader, less specific than "repertoire." (Darwin Scott)

    • A company that presents several different plays, operas, or pieces usually alternately in the course of a season at ONE theater (MW11).

Review Bylines
  • Never use author's title or "the"  before the name of a university:
Ohio State University
The Ohio State University

Review Headings (Title-Page Transcription vs. House Style)

  • Names and publishing information follow the form on the title page of the edition being reviewed, not Notes house style when there is a conflict. Thus:

    • Georg Friedrich Händel (from a volume of the Hallische Händel-Ausgabe), not George Frideric Handel (from LC Authorities)

    • Herausgegeben von, not Hrsg. von

      (if spelled in full on title page)

Specialized Musical Words Not Found in Webster's 3d but Acceptable to Use in Notes

contrafacted (Grove Music Online)
soloistic (Grove Music Online)
timbral (Grove Music Online)


Note: See also the sections Musical Compositions for titles of musical works and Series Titles
  • Within the text of an article or review, follow CMS16, 8.167–68:

  • the Musical Quarterly the New York Times
    published in Le monde in his book A Short History of Music
    • NB: This rule does not apply to the titles of books and musical compositions:

      Stravinsky's The Firebird and Debussy's La mer

    • But when syntax makes the initial "the" impractical, omit it:

    • the Firebird premiere

  • "Since" in titles: Capitalize if a conjunction but use lower case if a preposition.

  • In running text, omit the initial article for English-language titles of books if it does not fit the surrounding syntax (CMS16, 8.167), but retain it for foreign-language titles of newspapers and periodicals (CMS16, 8.168).

  • For titles within titles: If the title is in roman (for example, the head citation for a review), use italics for the internal title; if the title is in italics, surround the internal title with quotation marks.

    • Book title in a review heading: Stravinsky and A Rake's Progress or Book title in a footnote: Stravinsky and "A Rake's Progress"

  • Numbers and ampersands (&) in titles (see CMS16, 8.163):

    • For periodical titles, Notes generally follows the forms preferred by the publishers:

      • 19th Century Music, not Nineteenth-Century Music (spine title), or 19th (keep th on the line, not superscript), or 19th-Century Music (no hyphen).

      • Music & Letters, not Music and Letters

  • For titles of hymntunes, use upper case with small caps after initial letter:

  • This hymn melody is commonly called DYING STEPHEN. (not "Dying Stephen")

  • Titles of medieval and Renaissance works are in italics unless the piece (such as a madrigal, motet, or chanson) is part of a larger collection also mentioned in the review or article; then use quotation marks:
  • This anthology includes Machaut's motet De bons espoirt / Puis que la douce / Speravi and chanson De tout flours, Josquin's motet Absolom fili mi, and Merulo's twelve-voice motet "Salvum fac populum tuum" from his Sacrorum concentuum . . . liber primus.

  • For titles of movements, capitalize the first word, and in most cases use roman type:
    • Allegro con brio; Adagio con moto.
    • The Andante cantabile of Veronica Ciachettini's Sonata op. 4, no. 2.


  • CMS16, 11.6, recommends that English-language translations of foreign-language titles (when needed) be given in parentheses, capitalized sentence style. Notes, however, uses regular English-language title capitalization (headline style) for the translated title. Use the following as examples:

    • Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) for books/works

    • "An die Musik" ("To Music") for song titles given in quotation marks

    • "wahres Rasen" (truly raving) for translations of quoted phrases

    • campane (bells) for translations of terms (CMS16, 7.50)

  • When using foreign words and phrases within the context of a sentence, use italics:

  • The passage should be played allegro ma non troppo.
  • When quoting foreign words and phrases as appellations, however, do not italicize; use quotation marks instead (cf. CMS14, 6.76).

    • These parts are marked "Stimmen"; the prelude is marked "allegro ma non troppo."

    • Antoine Mahaut's appellation "sonate da camera" in the title of his VI sonate da camera a tre is perhaps misleading.

  • To indicate translations into other languages of a city name, term, etc., use the following form:
    now mostly in Bratislava (Hung. Pozsony; Ger. Pressburg)

Visual by

Tower of Babel


a cappella (italic) a cappella (roman)
accelerando (roman) accelerando (italic)
acknowledgment acknowledgement
act 3 (etc.) Act 3, Act III
African American (even when adjectival) African-American, Afro-American ("Leave open most compounds that include proper nouns, including names of ethnic groups. . . ." but:)
Afro-Brazilian, Afro-Cuban Afro Brazilian, Afro Cuban ("If . . . the first term is shortened, use a hyphen": Turabian7, 20.3.2)
Agnus Dei Agnus Dei, "Agnus Dei"
Alleluia Alleluia, "Alleluia"
Alleluia Pascha nostrum Alleluia Pascha nostrum, "Alleluia Pascha nostrum"
Alma redemptoris mater [Hiley] Alma Redemptoris mater, "Alma redemptoris mater"
alternatim (italic)
alternatim (roman)
Anonymous 4 (medieval theorist, or musical group) Anonymous IV
antiformulist anti-formulist
Les Apaches [20th-cent. French composers, musicians, etc.] les apaches, Les apaches
appendices appendixes
arabic numeral Arabic numeral
attacca (roman) attacca (italic)
Ave Maria [Hiley] Ave Maria, "Ave Maria"
Ave regina coelorum [Hiley] Ave Regina Coelorum, "Ave Regina Coelorum"
bariolage (roman) bariolage (italic)
barline bar line or bar-line
baroque Baroque
bass line bassline, bass-line
basso continuo (roman) basso continuo (italic)
basso sequente (italic) basso sequente (roman)
Beach, Amy Marcy (Amy Marcy Beach) Mrs. H. H. A. Beach, Amy Beach, Amy Marcy Cheney Beach
bel canto opera (leave open--CMS15, p. 304) bel-canto opera
Benedictus Benedictus, "Benedictus"
benefitted benefited
biblical Biblical
bibliographic bibliographical
Bibliothèque nationale de France Bibliothèque nationale, Bibliothèque Nationale
bicinium, bicinia (roman) bicinium, bicinia (italic)
black Americans Black Americans
Borodin, Aleksandr Aleksandr Porfir'evich, Alexander
Breitkopf & Härtel Breitkopf und Härtel
breve (roman; Eng. form), brevis (italic; Latin) breve (italic), brevis (roman)
C clef C-clef
cambiata (roman), cambiatas (pl.) cambiata (italic), cambiate
Cantor (specific title); cantor (generic use) used in Jewish and Latin-Christian liturgical music. See also Kantor
cantus firmus, cantus firmi (roman) cantus firmus, cantus firmi (italic)
catalog catalogue
Catholic Church Catholic church
CD (only in parenthetical references and bibliographic citations) compact disc
cello violoncello, 'cello
cellos celli, violoncelli
checklist check-list, check list
chiavette (italic) chiavette (roman)
choirbook choir book, choir-book
Frédéric Chopin Fryderyk Franciszedk
classic era Classic Era, classical era, Classical Era
clausula (roman), clausulas (pl.) clausula (italic), clausulae (pl.)
Clemens non Papa (use: Jacobus Clemens non Papa) Clemens non Papa
codices codexes
coedited co-edited
col legno (italic) col legno (roman)
compact disc / compact discs (in prose text) CD / CDs / CD's
concertos concerti
concerto grosso / concerti grossi (roman) concerto grosso / concerti grossi (italic)
conductus / pl. conductus or conducti (roman; either plural is acceptable, but prefer conductus) conductus / conductus or conducti (italic)
conjunto (italic) conjunto (roman)
contemporaneous (i.e., happening at the same time) contemporary
cornett, cornetts cornetto, cornetti
Cracow Kraków
Credo Credo, "Credo"
cross section cross-section
crossroad cross-road
Cummings (E. E. Cummings) (CMS15, 8.6) e. e. cummings (but retain lower case if in cited titles, quotations, etc.)
Debussyan (MW11) Debussian
Denkmäler (roman) Denkmäler (italic)
des Prez (Josquin des Prez) Josquin des Pres, Desprez, Despres
dialogue dialog
Divine Office divine office
divisi (roman) divisi (italic)
dominant seventh chord dominant-seventh chord
Dorian dorian
double bass double-bass, contrabass
double stop double-stop
Dufay (Guillaume Dufay) Guillaume Du Fay, du Fay
Dunstable (John Dunstable) John Dunstaple
Dur, Moll (i.e., C-Dur, c-Moll: Ger., major/minor) dur, moll
electronic mailing list discussion group, listserve, listserv, mail list
e-mail (CMS15, p. 305) E-mail, Email, email
equal temperament equal-temperament
etude (but étude in French titles) étude
fêted feted
field work field-work, fieldwork
firsthand first-hand
The Five [19th-cent. Russian composers] the five, The five
flûte d'amour (roman) flûte d'amour (italic)
flutist flautist
flutter tonguing flutter-tonguing
folk rock, folkrock
folk song folk-song, folksong
fortepiano forte-piano, forte piano
Frederick II of Prussia Friedrich II of Prussia
French horn french horn
frottola (roman), frottolas (pl.) frottola (italic), frottole (pl.)
fulfill fullfill
full text (noun); full-text (adj.) full-text (noun); fulltext (noun or adj.)
Gebrauchsmusik (roman) Gebrauchsmusik (italic); gebrauchsmusik
Gesamtausgabe (roman); Gesamtausgaben (pl.) Gesamtausgabe (italic); gesamtausgabe
Gesamtkunstwerk (roman) Gesamtkunstwerk (italic); gesamtkunstwerk
Gesellschaft (roman) Gesellschaft (italic); gesellschaft
Gloria Gloria, "Gloria"
Glière (Reinhold Glière) Reinhold Moritsevich
Gluck (Christoph Willibald Gluck) Christoph Willibald Ritter von Gluck
Gounod (Charles Gounod) Charles-François
Great Depression; the depression (CMS14, 7.68) the Depression; the great depression
half century (as noun; CMS14, p. 227) half-century
half note (as noun; half-note as adj.) half-note
Hapsburg Habsburg
a historic an historic
historic timbres historical timbres
home page homepage
hundred: two hundred songs two-hundred songs
hymntune hymn tune, hymn-tune
Isaac, Heinrich (Heinrich Isaac) Henricus Isaac
indexes indices
Ingenta ingenta
inquiry enquiry
instrument maker instrument-maker
Internet (CMS15, 7.81) internet
italianate Italianate
Jacobus Clemens non Papa Clemens non Papa
Javascript (generic) JavaScript (particular product)
JavaScript (particular product) Javascript (generic)
judgment judgement
Kantor (the head musician of a German Protestant church, e.g., J. S. Bach at church of St. Thomas in Leipzig) see also Cantor
Kapellmeister (roman) Kapellmeister (italic), kapellmeister
kbps (kilobits per second; measure data transfer speed) KBPS, Kbps
Klangsfarbenmelodie (italic) Klangfarbenmelodie (roman)
Kleinmeister (italic) Kleinmeister (roman), kleinmeister
Kritischer Bericht (midsentence) kritischer Bericht
Kyrie Kyrie, "Kyrie"
lacunae lacunas
Lamentations (musical setting) lamentations
ländler Ländler, Ländler
Lasso (Orlando di Lasso) Orlandus Lassus; Orlande de Lassus; Lassus
Lauds lauds
late-nineteenth-century (adjective) late nineteenth-century (adjective)
late nineteenth century (noun) late nineteenth-century (noun)
leitmotif, leitmotifs leitmotiv, leitmotivs
Léonin Leoninus, Magister Leoninus, Leonius
Leuven Louvain
librettos libretti
lied, lieder Lied, Lieder
liedeken (italic) liedeken (roman)
litany; Litany of Loreto Litany; litany of Loreto
literati (roman) literati (italic)
longstanding long-standing
longtime long-time
loose-leaf loose leaf, looseleaf
maestros maestri
Magnificat Magnificat, magnificat, "Magnificat"
maître de chappellemaître de musique (italic) maître de chappelle; maître de musique (roman)
maker, making (preceded by a music word, e.g., music making, violin maker) Always open as a noun; closed as an adjective preceding a noun: guitar-making career, but career as a guitar maker) as a noun, do not close (musicmaking) or use hyphen (violin-maker)
makeup make-up
manuscript of the composition manuscript for [or to] the composition
Mass, Masses (rite) mass, masses
Matins matins
MB (megabyte) Mb, mb
". . . media are . . ." (plural) ". . . media is . . ." (singular)
medieval Medieval
Medtner (Nikolay Medtner) Nikolai, Nikolay/i Karlovich, Nicholas Medtner, Metner
method methodology
mezzo-soprano mezzo soprano, mezzo
midcentury mid-century
Middle Ages middle ages
Mixolydian mixolydian
more important more importantly
motive motif
MS Ms. or ms.
MSS Mss. or mss.
multilevel multi-level
music analysis musical analysis
music examples musical examples
music making musicmaking, music-making
music manuscript musical manuscripts
music sources musical sources
music training musical training
Musica Britannica (series) Musica britannica, Musica britannica
musica ficta (roman) musica ficta (italic)
musical culture music culture
musical heritage music heritage
musical instrument music instrument
musical life music life
musical structure music structure
musical style music style
musical text music text
musical tradition music tradition
music making musicmaking, music-making
naïve; naïveté naive; naivete, naiveté
neoclassicism Neoclassicism, neo-classicism
norteño (italic) norteño (roman)
note value note-value
note-head note head, notehead
Nunc dimittis (per MW10) Nunc Dimittis, Nunc dimittis
obbligato (roman), obbligatos obbligato (italic), obbligati
oboe d'amore (roman) oboe d'amore (italic)
offbeat (such as "offbeat rhythms") off-beat
Office (rite); Office of Matins office
ondes Martenot ondes martenot, Ondes Martenot, ondes Martenot
online on-line
oeuvre (sing. unless referring to more than one composer; spell out "oe" in English prose--use ligature only for French titles and quotations) oeuvres, oeuvre (italic)
onward onwards
opera buffa (sing.; roman); opere buffe (pl.; italic) [but if in the same paragraph/article/review, use italics for both] opera buffa (sing.; italic); opere buffe (pl.; roman)
opéra comique (italic) opéra comique (roman)
opera seria (sing.; roman); opere serie (pl.; italic) [but if in the same paragraph/article/review, use italics for both] opera seria (sing.; italic); opere serie (pl.; roman)
opera omnia; Opera omnia (if title) Opera Omnia
Ordinary (liturgy) ordinary
ostinatos ostinati
page turn page-turn, pageturn
Paris Conservatoire; the Conservatoire; the conservatory Paris Conservatory; the conservatoire; the Conservatory
Paris Opéra; the Opéra Paris opéra; the opéra; Paris Opera; the Opera
partbook part book, part-book
part writing part-writing
passage-work passage work
passim (roman) passim (italic)
Passion (musical work) passion
pedalboard (to parallel keyboard) pedal-board, pedal board
Pérotin Perotinus, Perotinus Magnus
per se (roman) per se (italic)
perpetuum mobile (italic) perpetuum mobile (roman)
Petrarch Francesco Petrarca
Petrucci (Ottaviano Petrucci) Ottaviano dei Petrucci, Ottaviano de' Petrucci
pitch class pitch-class
post-neoclassical style post neoclassical style; post-neoclassical-style
postromantic Postromantic, post-Romantic, post-romantic
premiere première
present-day present day
problematic problematical
program programme
Prokofiev (Sergey Prokofiev) Sergei Prokofiev, Prokofieff
proofread proof read, proof-read
Proper (liturgy) proper
psalm; Psalm 21 Psalm; psalm 21
quarter tones quarter-tones
Rachmaninoff (Sergei Rachmaninoff) Sergey Vasilyevich, Sergey or Serge, Rachmaninov or Rakhmaninov
raison d'être (roman, with circumflex) raison d'etre, raison d'être (italic)
re-bar, re-barring rebar, rebarring
reevaluate re-evaluate
reexamine re-examine
Regina caeli [Hiley] Regina caeli, "Regina caeli"
Requiem (roman) Requiem (italic)
reprint repr. (do not abbreviate)
rerelease re-release
RILM (italic--this is a periodical index and an annual, not a series) RILM (roman)
Rimsky-Korsakov (Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov) Nikolay (or Nikolai) Andreyevich (or Andreievich)
ripieno (roman) ripieno (italic)
RISM (roman--this is a series title, not a set title) RISM
Roman chant roman chant
roman typeface, roman numeral, roman alphabet Roman typeface, Roman numeral, Roman alphabet
romantic Romantic
romanticism Romanticism
Rossini (Gioacchino Rossini) Giachino, Giacchino
Salve regina [Hiley] Salve regina [or Regina], "Salve Regina"
Sanctorale sanctorale, Sanctorale
Sanctus Sanctus, "Sanctus"
scena (roman) scena (italic)
Schoenberg (Arnold Schoenberg, 1874–1951) Arnold Schönberg
Schönberg (Claude-Michel Schönberg, b. 1944) Claude-Michel Schoenberg
scordatura (roman) scordatura (italic)
score of the composition score for [or to] the composition
Scriabin, Aleksandr (Aleksandr Scriabin) Skryabin, Alexander Nikolai[y]evich
scrittura (italic) scrittura (roman)
Seeger (Ruth Crawford Seeger) Ruth Crawford
seicento Seicento
settecento Settecento
semiannual (publishing frequency) biannual
shape note (noun; shape-note for adj.) shape-note, shapenote
shelf mark shelfmark, shelf-mark
Shostakovich (Dmitrii Shostakovich) Dmitri, Dmitry [or Dmitri] Dmitri[y]evich
sic (italic) sic (roman)
siglum / sigla (roman) siglum / sigla (italic)
Siloti (Alexander Siloti)
Alexandr Siloti, Aleksandr Il'yich Ziloti
simile (italic) (musical term) simile
sinfonia (italic) sinfonia (roman)
sinfonia concertante / sinfonie concertanti (roman) sinfonia concertante / sinfonie concertanti (italic)
Singspiel (roman); Singspiele (pl.) Singspiel / Singspiele, singspiel, singspiels
Les Six [20th-cent. French composers] les six, Les six
soca (roman) soca (italic)
sonata-like sonatalike
songbook song-book, song book
song cycle song-cycle
souterliedeken (italic) souterliedeken (roman)
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin--Preußischer Kulturbesitz (N.B.: not "Preussischer") Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Preußischer Kulturbesitz; Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin "Preußischer Kulturbesitz"
Stabat mater (NGD2, MGG2) Stabat Mater, "Stabat Mater"
staff, staves stave, staffs
stagecraft stage-craft, stage craft
Sturm und Drang (roman, and always open, even before a noun) Sturm und Drang, "Sturm und Drang"
style analysis stylistic analysis
sul ponticello (italic) sul ponticello (roman)
sul tasto (italic) sul tasto (roman)
Susato (Tielman Susato) Tylman, Tilman, Teelman
Tchaikovsky (Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky) Piotr, Pyotr; Il'ich, Il'yich, Ilych; Chaikovsky, Chaikovskii
Te Deum Te Deum, "Te Deum"
Temporale temporale, Temporale
tempos tempi
Tenebrae Tenebrae, tenebrae
text incipit text-incipit
text setting text-setting
theater theatre
[equally] thought-provoking is / are . . . (closed before verbs followed by the modified noun) [equally] thought provoking is / are . . .
time signature time-signature
timpani tympani, tympany
title page title-page, titlepage
topos (roman) topos (italic)
totaling totalling
toward towards
traveling travelling
trecento Trecento
tropicalismo (italic) tropicalismo; Tropicalismo (roman); Tropicalismo
Les Troyens (Berlioz) Les troyens
tunebook tune-book, tune book
twelve-tone row twelve tone row
typesetting type-setting, type setting
typographical error typo
under way (if meaning "in progress") underway
unfocused unfocussed
unicum, unica (roman) unicum, unica (italic)
urtext Urtext, Urtext, urtext
U.S., U.S.A., U.K., U.S.S.R. US, USA, UK, USSR
Vespers vespers
vesper psalms Vesper Psalms, Vesper psalms
viola d'amore (roman) viola d'amore (italic)
violin I, II violin 1, 2
voice leading voice-leading
WAV (Waveform Audio; computer file) WAVE, Wave, wav, .wav
Web (for World Wide Web) (CMS15, 7.81) web, WWW
Webmaster webmaster, Web master, web master
Web page (CMS15, 7.81) Webpage, web page, webpage
Web site (CMS15, 7.81) Website, web site, website
Web zine Webzine, web zine, webzine
whole step whole-step
whole tone (noun) whole-tone
whole-tone scale (adjective) whole tone scale
Wisc. (Wisconsin) (use WI in bibliographic citations) Wis.
word painting word-painting
worklist work list, work-list
World War I (or II) World War 1 (or 2)
worldwide world-wide

The Notes Style Sheet has been consulted  times since 5 January 2006.

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