Harvard - Music

Music sources

Click below to discover how to reference a wide range of music sources.

Printed music scores

A score should give not only the composer but also the editor, where appropriate. More modern compositions often do not have editors as the composer liaises directly with the publisher. The year is the date of publication of the score.

  • Composer
  • (Publication year)
  • Title.
  • Edited by Editorship.
  • Place of publication:
  • Publisher.

Examples:

Brahms, J. (1963) Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra in D minor, Op. 15. Edited by Paul Badura-Skoda. London: Eulenburg.

Charpentier, M. (2013) Pastoralette 1a: Amor vince ogni cosa [H492]. Edited by Shirley Thompson. Launton: Editions HH.

Handel, G. F. (1970) Nine Sonatas for Two Violins and Basso Continuo [Series 4 Instrumentalmusik, Band 10/1]. Edited by Siegfried Flesch. London: Barenreiter.

Mendelssohn Bartholdy, F. (1983) Six Christmas Pieces, Op. 72. Edited by Howard Ferguson. London: Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

Monteverdi, C. (1999) Vespers (1610). Edited by Jeffrey G. Kurtzman. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

 

Facsimiles of published music

You will need to provide the date of the facsimile edition as well as the date of the original.

  • Composer
  • (Year of creation)
  • Title.
  • Facsimile edition
  • (Year of copy).
  • Edited by Editorship.
  • Place of publication:
  • Publisher.

Examples:

Geminiani, F. (1751) The Art of Playing on the Violin. Facsimile edition (1952). Edited by David D. Boyden. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Marais, M. (1711) Pièces de Viole, Troisième Livre. Facsimile edition (1997). Edited by P. Lescat and J. Saint-Arroman. Courlay: Fuzeau.

 

Online music scores

Sites such as The International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) are a useful resource for providing archives of historical editions and facsimiles that are in the public domain (not subject to copyright restrictions). It is perfectly acceptable to use materials from these sites, but you should include both the information about the edition and also its online location.

  • Composer
  • (Year)
  • Title.
  • Edited by Editorship.
  • Place of publication:
  • Publisher.
  • Available at: URL
  • [Accessed date].

Examples:

Bach, J. S. (1874) Violin Concerto in E Major, BWV 1042. Edited by Wilhelm Rust. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel. Available at: http://conquest.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/c/c1/IMSLP02299-Bach_-_BGA_-_BWV_1042.pdf [Accessed 6 August 2014].

Wagner, R. (ca. 1883) Das Rheingold [The Rhinegold]. Arranged by R. Kleinmichel. Translated by H. and F. Corder. Mainz: B.Schott's Söhne. Available at: http://conquest.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/b/ba/IMSLP33839-PMLP21241-Wagner-WWV86AvsGE1.pdf [Accessed 31 July 2015].

 

Sound recordings

References to sound recordings should appear in a separate discography at the end of your work. You should acknowledge the principal performers and the place and date of the performance where appropriate. Sound recordings are not written/printed material and therefore should not be included in your reference list.

1. Single composer recordings

  • Composer
  • (Year)
  • Title.
  • Performer/Conductor credits.
  • [format]
  • Recorded at: place and date of performance (optional).
  • (Catalogue number).

Examples:

Antheil, G. (2001) Ballet Mécanique. Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Spalding (conductor). [CD] (Naxos 8559060).

Britten, B. (2012) War Requiem. Erin Wall (soprano), Mark Padmore (tenor), Hanno Müller-Brachmann (baritone), City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, CBSO Chorus and Youth Chorus, Andris Nelsons (conductor). [Blu-ray] Recorded at Coventry Cathedral, 30 May 2012. (Arthaus Musik GmbH 108 070).

Cowell, H. (1993) Persian Set. Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Richard Auldon Clark (conductor). [CD] (Koch International Classics 3-7220-2H1).

Dodge, C. (1994) Speech songs. In: Any Resemblance is Purely Coincidental. [CD] (New Albion Records NA043).

Saint-Saëns, C. (2007) Violin Concerto No. 3, etc. Jean-Jacques Kantorow (violin), Heini Kärkkäinen (piano), Tapiola Sinfonietta, Kees Bakels (conductor). [CD] Recorded at Tapiola Concert Hall, Finland, September 2004. (BIS-CD-1470).

Vaughan-Williams, R. (2001) Dona Nobis Pacem and Other Works. London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult (conductor). [CD] (EMI 574782).

Verdi, G. (2003) Il Trovatore. Eva Marton, Dolora Zajick, Luciano Pavarotti, Sherrill Milnes (soloists), Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orchestra, James Levine (conductor). [DVD] Recorded at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, 1988. (Edizioni Del Prado 073 064-9).

 

2. Compilation recordings

A disc may have a collection of several recordings made at completely different times and places and/or with completely different performers. This is especially common with historical recordings/re-releases. Each distinct recording should be listed like chapters in an edited collection. You only need to list those mentioned in your work.

Examples:

Messiaen, O. (2007a) Les Offrandes Oubliées. Orchestre de l’Association de Concerts Gabriel Pierné, Roger Désormière (conductor). [Vinyl 78rpm] Recorded in Paris, 8 December 1942. In: Les Rarissimes de Olivier Messiaen [sic]. (EMI France 0946 385275 2 7).

Messiaen, O. (2007b) 'Regard de l’esprit de joie' (No.10) from Vingt Regards sur L'Enfant-Jésus. Yvonne Loriod (piano). [Vinyl 78rpm] Recorded at Studio Albert, Paris, 19 June 1946. In: Les Rarissimes de Olivier Messiaen [sic]. (EMI France 0946 385275 2 7).

 

Notes

The year given in brackets is that of the disc consulted, not the date of recording, and definitely not the year the work was composed.

Catalogue numbers listed in online library catalogues or online shopping sites (e.g. Amazon) are often their internal reference numbers not the catalogue number of the disc assigned by the record company. Always check the disc itself.

Studies of early recordings will often have additional information, such as the original record company, original catalogue number and matrix numbers (these identify which wax master was used). Sometimes information for all subsequent re-releases will also be given.

 

Live performances (musical)

1. Performances

Reference performances you attended.

  • Artist(s)
  • (Year)
  • Concert Title.
  • Place of performance,
  • Day and Month.

Example:

O'Connor, S. (1992) Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert. Madison Square Garden, New York, 16 October 1992.

 

2. Programme notes

These are often written by academics who should be identified in the programme. If the author of a note is not identified it is likely to be a more generic note and so less useful. In those cases, you would use the title in place of the author’s name.

The date is the year of the concert and the title is the title of the piece unless the programme note has its own title.

Concert programmes tend not to have any publication information. Where possible, give the concert name or series title, and otherwise give the venue and place (town or city) and date of the concert.

  • Composer
  • (Year)
  • Title.
  • [programme note]
  • Concert name, location and date (optional).

Example:

Lewis, A. (2006) Penmon Point. [programme note] Soundings Festival, Reid Concert Hall, Edinburgh, 3 February.

 

Music downloads

iTunes is not a database: it is a shop with an associated piece of software that allows you to manage what you have bought in the shop. In the same way that you would not include HMV when referring to a CD you bought there, you do not need to mention iTunes as such. You would use the normal discography details which iTunes provides: right click on the track and select "Get info". However, iTunes does not give you the catalogue numbers, so you may need to do more research on the recording company's website. This applies to any recording where you do not physically have the CD just the mp3/aac (or other format) sound file.

  • Artist(s)
  • (Year)
  • 'Title of track'.
  • Performer/Conductor credits.
  • In: Album Title.
  • [electronic download]
  • Distribution company.
  • Available through: URL
  • [Accessed date].

Example:

Victoria, T. L. de (1996) 'Lauda Sion Salvatorem'. Westminster Cathedral Choir, James O’Donnell (conductor). In: Victoria: Missa Dum complerentur. [electronic download] Hyperion Records. Available through: http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dw.asp?dc=W6875_66886&vw=dc [Accessed 28 July 2016].

 

Streamed music

Spotify doubles as a shop and a database in that, unlike iTunes, you can listen to complete tracks without buying them.  If you have only accessed the track through live streaming, then the format will be identical again but with an indicator of which service you streamed it from and a different "type of material" indicator at the end. If you can access it via a website, give a URL (and use 'Available at:'); but Spotify has its own interface software so use the format below.

  • Artist(s)
  • (Year)
  • 'Title of track'.
  • Performer/Conductor credits.
  • In: Album Title.
  • [audio stream]
  • Distribution company.
  • Available through: URL
  • [Accessed date].

Example:

Victoria, T. L. de (1996) 'Lauda Sion Salvatorem'. Westminster Cathedral Boys Choir, Stephen Cleobury (conductor). In: Allegri: Miserere. [audio stream] Decca Eclipse. Available through: https://www.spotify.com/uk/ [Accessed 17 July 2013].

 

CD/DVD notes

  • Composer
  • (Year)
  • Title.
  • In: Recording Title.
  • [CD/DVD note]
  • Distribution company.
  • (Catalogue number).

Example:

Berio, L. (1998) The Sequenzas. In: Berio Sequenzas. [CD note] Ensemble Intercontemporain. (Deutsche Grammophon 457038-2).