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Citing Music: MLA Citation Style, 8th Edition

GENERAL INFORMATION

MLA CITATION STYLE, 8TH EDITION: OVERVIEW

The eighth edition differs significantly from the 7th edition. 

In the eight edition rather than consulting the handbook for the proper way to document a specific type of source, the writer creates entries by consulting MLA’s list of core elements and compiling them in the recommended order. Core elements are those basic pieces of information that should be common to all sources, from books to articles, from lectures to tweets. The MLA core elements are as follows.  Note punctuation at the end of each element.

List of core elements

Author.
Title of source.
Title of container,
Other contributors,
Version,
Number,
Publisher,
Publication date,
Location.
Optional format/Optional access date.

It is important to note the punctuation at the end of each element above. This punctuation will be used in each citation you create.

If you have included these elements and assembled them in a way that makes sense to your readers, then your works cited entries will be consistent and thorough. 

There are a number of optional elements in the MLA Citation Style, 8th edition, that you might find useful for citing music-related materials.

Source: What's new and different Purdue OWL.

OPTIONAL ELEMENTS USEFUL FOR THE CITATION OF MUSIC-RELATED MATERIALS

Optional elements

The following is a list of select optional elements that should be part of a documented source at the writer’s discretion. When in doubt be sure to check with your professor.

Date of original publication:

If a source has been published on more than one date, the writer may want to include both dates if it will provide the reader with necessary or helpful information.  See music scores below.

City of publication:

The eighth edition states that this is only necessary in particular instances, such as in a work published before 1900. Since pre-1900 works were usually associated with the city in which they were published, your documentation may substitute the city name for the publisher’s name.

Date of access:

When you cite an online source, the MLA Handbook recommends including a date of access on which you accessed the material, since an online work may change or move at any time.

e.g.  Accessed 4 May 2009.

Source: Purdue OWL  

ABOUT CITATIONS AND INDENTATION

Your IN-TEXT CITATIONS should include the author’s name and the page number (or just the page number, if the author is named in the sentence) in parentheses: (Saye 9).  When creating in-text citations for media that has a runtime, such as a movie or podcast, include the range of hours, minutes and seconds you plan to reference, like so (00:02:15-00:02:35).Your goal is to attribute your source and provide your reader with a reference without interrupting your text. Your readers should be able to follow the flow of your argument without becoming distracted by extra information.   Source: Purdue OWL

Your BIBLIOGRAPHY should use hanging indents, which means: If a citation requires more than one line, all lines after the first should be indented.

DOI vs URL

A DOI, or digital object identifier, is a series of digits and letters that leads to the location of an online source. Articles in journals are often assigned DOIs to ensure that the source is locatable, even if the URL changes. If your source is listed with a DOI, use that instead of a URL. Remove any "http://" or "https://" tag from the beginning of the data string.

Source: Purdue OWL 

CITING GROVE: MLA CITATION STYLE, 8TH EDITION

Material Type

In-Text Citation

Bibliography

THE NEW GROVE DICTIONARY OF MUSIC AND MUSICIANS (PRINT)

(Newsom 304)

Newsom, Jon. "Dickinson, George Sherman." The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, edited by Stanley Sadie, 2nd ed., vol. 7, Macmillan, 2001, p. 304.

GROVE MUSIC ONLINE

(Newsom)

Newsom, Jon.  "Dickinson, George Sherman." Grove Music Online, 20 January 2001, Oxford Music Online, doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.07742. Accessed 26 Nov. 2018.

[The DOI (Digital Object Identifier) for an article in Grove Music Online is located immediately beneath the article's title and authors.] 

NOTE: The citation provided by the Grove Music Online citation generator does not match this format.  

MUSIC CITATION BY FORMAT (NON-VISUAL): MLA CITATION STYLE, 8TH EDITION

 

 Material Type

 In-Text Citation

 Bibliography

LINER NOTES/LYRICS: 

from a  sound  recording

(Beatles 1)

Beatles. Booklet. The Beatles, EMI Records, 1968, p. 1. CD

SOUND RECORDING:         BASICS

For more information  see  Purdue OW

   (Composer/Performer 

 last name page number)

Composer/Performer Last Name, First Name, composer. "Piece Title." Title of Collection, performance by Performer's First Name Last Name, Publisher or recording label, Year. Optional to include format.

In addition to composer, others are credited in the source; note the "performance by" description.  The song or other piece of music on an album uses quotation marks, and the whole album is in italics.

Sound recording:

 LP

    (Whitacre)

Whitacre, Eric, composer. "Cloudburst." The Music of Eric Whitacre, performance by Rutgers Wind Ensemble, Brigham Young University Singers and University of Miami Chorale,  Mark Custom, 1997. LP.

Sound recording highlighting performer     (Ma)

Ma, Yo-Yo, performer. "Elegy for cello and orchestra." Yo-Yo Ma plays the music of John Williams, composed by John Williams, Sony Music Entertainment, 2002. CD.

If a performer is being highlighted, place performer's name and role in the beginning of the citation and note "composed by" following the title.  

SOUND RECORDING: (Online) BASICS    (Composer last name)  

Composer/Performer Last Name, First Name, composer. "Piece Title." Title of album, performance by Performer's First Name Last Name if known, Publisher or recording label, Year. Optional access date.

 Sound recording: (Online)

(Bertolozzi)

Bertolozzi, Joseph, composer. "Meltdown." Bridge Music. Delos, 2009. Naxos vassar.naxosmusiclibrary.com/catalogue/item.asp?cid=DE1045. Accessed 27 Nov. 2018.

  Online audio sites.    

      (Rae Morris)

Rae Morris, performer. “Skin.” Cold, Atlantic Records, 2014. Spotify, open.spotify.com/track/0OPES3Tw5r86O6fudK8gxi.

The MLA STYLE Center  has an extensive guide for citing music downloaded from an app such as iTunes.

MUSIC SCORE:   BASICS

  (Composer last name)

Composer Last Name, Composer First Name, composer. Title of score. Date of composition. Series. Publisher, Date of Publication. Medium optional.

Note: The 8th edition of the MLA Handbook no longer requires PLACE of publication. If series information is not available, omit that portion of the citation. If date of composition is is unknown, omit that portion of the citation. Music publishers before the twentieth century did not often provide a date of publication. If you find the missing date from a reliable external source, cite the date in square brackets: See 2.61 of the MLA Handbook. If you supply an approximate date, begin with circa: [circa 1888]. If you are uncertain about the accuracy of the the date, add a question mark: [1888?]

 Music score    (Donizetti)

Donizetti, Gaetano, composer. Don Pasquale: An Opera in Three Acts. 1842. Kalmus Vocal Scores, Belwin, 1969.  Score.

Score in complete edition.    (Bach 224)

Bach, Johann Christian, composer. Amor vincitore. 1774. The collected works, edited by Richard Maunder, vol. 15 Garland Pub., 1984, pp. 3-225.

If the collection is "edited" (arranged) by a particular individual, list them before the volume number.

Score from an anthology    (Rudel 79-80)

Rudel, Jaufre, composer. "Quan lo rius de la fontana (Troubadour Vers)." Anthology of Medieval Music, edited by Richard H. Hoppin, W. W. Norton, 1978, pp. 79-80.

If a page range starts with a number over 100, don't repeat the first number: e.g. 145-52 not 145-152.

  Music score: (Online)

(Stravinsky)

Stravinsky, Igor, composer. Rite of spring. 1911-1913. Dover Publications, 1989, IMSLP  www.petruccilibrary.us/linkhandler.php?path=files/imglnks/music_files/PMLUS00725-complete1.pdf . Accessed 27 Nov. 2018.

LIBRETTO: BASICS   (Librettist last name)

Librettist / Lyricist Last Name, First Name, role. Title of Score, composed by First Name Last Name, Publisher, Year of Publication.

  

(Piave 25)

Piave, Franceso Maria, librettist. La Traviata: Libretto in tre atti, composed by Giuseppe Verdi, Sesto San Giovanni, 1916, p. 25.

 

MUSIC CITATION BY FORMAT (VISUAL): MLA CITATION STYLE, 8TH EDITION

 

Material type In-Text Citation Bibliography
FILM: BASICS (Title of film)

Title of Film. Director/lead performers' names, version information, film studio or distributor's name, date of release.

 

(Speed Racer)

Speed Racer. Directed by Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski, performances by Emile Hirsch, Nicholas Elia, Susan  Sarandon, Ariel Winter, and John Goodman, Warner Brothers, 2008.

List films by their title. Include the name of the director, the film studio or distributor, and the release year. If relevant, list lead performer names after the director's name. Purdue OWL.

 

(Ray)

Ray, Billy, director. Shattered Glass. 2003. Performance by Hayden Christensen, Peter Sarsgaard and Chloe Sevigny, Lions Gate Films.

DVD/VIDEO:

BASICS

(Director's last name)

Director's Last name, Director's Name, director. Title of Film. Date of release. Lead performers' names, version information, film studio or distributor's name, date of version.

 

(Hitchcock)

Hitchcock, Alfred, director. Vertigo. 1958. Performance by James Stewart, Universal Home Entertainment, 2003.

In case the film version is different from the original (e.g. director's cut), include date of release (e.g. 1958 in the first example above) and date of version (e.g. 2003 in the first example above).If version information are not available, omit that portion of the citation.

FILM STREAMED FROM ONLINE SOURCE:

BASICS

 

(Director's last name)

Director's  Last name, Director's Name, director. Title of Film. Date of release. Lead performers' names, version information, name of service provider, film studio or distributor's name, date of streaming, URL.

 

(Lee)

Lee, Ang, director. Eat Drink Man Woman. 1994. Kanopy, Umbrella Entertainment, 2016, www.kanopystreaming.com/product/eat-drink-man-woman.

If URLs are not available, omit that portion of the citation.

FILM WHERE CONTRIBUTION OF A PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL IS SIGNIFICANT:

BASICS

Last nameFirst name, contributor's role. Title of film. Film studio or distributor's name, date of release.

 

(Korngold)

Korngold, Erich Wolfgang, composer. The adventures of Robin Hood. 1938. Warner Home Video, 2003.

If your discussion focuses on one participant, list the individual and indicate their role.

Source:  Monash University Citing and Referencing LibGuide  and Purdue OWL.