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Citing music: MLA style

Tips!

Publication info. for a sound recording is often on the back of the CD case (or LP jacket), as well as on the disc itself.  List the recording either under the composition, or under the name of the composer or performer, depending on which is more relevant to your discussion. Remember:  if you can't find the publication info, check to see what the online catalog lists!

Citation for CDs/LPs. B=bibliography N=footnote

The basic order of information:  composer and work; essential performers such as soloists, conductor, ensemble; publishing information; medium; date.  Remember to consult your professor to be certain you are including all desired information.

B: 
Composer last name, First.  Name of musical work,*
                performer First Name Last.  Record label (followed
                by) CD identifying number. Format. Year.
ex:  Beethoven, Ludwig van.  Piano Sonata no. 29,
                Rudolph Serkin. ProArte Digital CDD 270. CD. 1992.
               
N:   ¹Composer First Name Last, Name of musical work,*
performer First Name Last, Record label (followed by)
CD identifying number, format, Year.

ex: ²Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Sonata no. 29,
Rudolph Serkin, ProArte Digital CDD 270, CD, 1992.

*If the musical work is a format, such as Symphony, Sonata, or Prelude,
then do NOT italicize the name of the musical work.

See Chicago Manual Online: 14.276 Musical recordings

 

How to cite MP3s B=bibliography N=footnote

B:  Composer last name, First. Name of work, 
                performer First Name Last.  Record label.
                Format. Year.

ex:  Beethoven, Ludwig van.  Piano Sonata no. 29,
                Rudolph Serkin. ProArte. MP3. 1992.              

N:   ¹Composer First Name Last, Name of musical
                work, performer First Name Last,
                Record label, format, Year.

ex: ²Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Sonata no. 29,
                Rudolph Serkin, ProArte, MP3, 1992.

See Chicago Manual Online: 14.274 Audiovisual materialselements to include

Liner Notes B=bibliography N=footnote

To cite signed liner notes, insert the name of the notes author and the words "liner notes to," followed by the album title. Following is the rest of the sound recording citation.

Example:
B: Yaple, Carol. Liner notes to Black Angels.
          Kronos Quartet.
Elektra Nonesuch
          9 79242-2. CD. 1990.

N:  Carol Yaple, liner notes to Black Angels, Kronos Quartet, Elektra Nonesuch 9 79242-2, CD, 1990.

For unsigned liner notes, cite the recording and add “Liner notes” at the end.See Chicago Manual of Stlye 14.276 for citations of musical recordings.