Skip to Main Content

Music: Turabian Citation Guide

Turabian Citation Guide

Rules for the citation of bibliographic, multimedia, and Web resources for this Turabian Citation Guide have been taken from Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, 7th ed., rev. by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, and University of Chicago Press Editorial Staff, Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007). This guide will use examples that are cited in "bibliography" style.

  • For basic guidelines and patterns for citations using the notes-bibliography style, refer to Turabian chapter 16.
  • For specific rules and examples for citing different bibliographic resources using notes-bibiliography style, refer to Turabian chapter 17.


Rules for citing books can be simple or complex, depending on the resource. Some books have one author, a simple title, aren't part of any series or multi-volume publication, and have only been published once. Others have authors, editors, translators, series titles, multiple volumes, and exist in multiple editions, including reprints. Sometimes you may wish to cite only a specific chapter or portion of a particular book. Most possibilities are covered in the examples in Turabian 17.1 and in the following examples. Please refer to Turabian for further clarification. One author (Turabian 17.1.1)

Lahee, Henry C. Famous Singers of To-day and Yesterday. Boston: L. C. Page, 1898.

Multiple authors (Turabian 17.1.1); Special elements in titles: exclamation points (Turabian 17.1.2)

Carson, Mina, Tisa Lewis, and Susan M. Shaw. Girls Rock! Fifty Years of Women Making Music. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2004.

Translation (Turabian 17.1.1 and 17.1.2)

Adorno, Theodor W. Philosophy of New Music. Translated and edited by Robert Hullot-Kentor. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006.

If you need to cite both the original and a translation, use one of the following types.

Adorno, Theodor W. Philosophie der neuen Musik. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1976. Translated and edited by Robert Hullot-Kentor as Philosophy of New Music (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006).


Adorno, Theodor W. Philosophy of New Music. Translated and edited by Robert Hullot-Kentor. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006. Originally published as Philosophie der neuen Musik (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1976).

Edition: revised editions (Turabian 17.1.3)

Simms, Bryan R. Music of the Twentieth Century: Style and Structure. 2d ed. Belmont, CA: Schirmer/Thomson Learning, 1996.

Reprint editions (Turabian 17.1.3); Older title (Turabian 17.1.2)

Burney, Charles. An Account of the Musical Performances in Westminster-Abbey, and the Pantheon, May 26th, 27th, 29th; and June the 3d, and 5th, 1784. In Commemoration of Handel. London, 1785. Reprint in Da Capo Press Music Reprint Series, edited by Bea Friedland. New York: Da Capo Press, 1979.

Volume: specific volume (Turabian 17.1.4)

Taruskin, Richard. The Nineteenth Century. Vol. 3 of The Oxford History of Western Music. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Volume: multivolume work as a whole (Turabian 17.1.4); Title: non-English titles (Turabian 17.1.2)

Duneton, Claude. Histoire de la chanson française. 2 vols. Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1998.

Book in a series (Turabian 17.1.5)

Glinsky, Albert. Theremin: Ether Music and Espionage. Music in American Life. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000.

Book in a series with series editor (Turabian 17.1.5)

Freedman, Richard. The Chansons of Orlando di Lasso and Their Protestant Listeners: Music, Piety, and Print in Sixteenth-Century France. Eastman Studies in Music, edited by Ralph P. Locke. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2001.

Chapters and other titled parts of a book: parts of edited collections: Festschriften (Turabian 17.1.8); Titles: non-English titles (Turabian 17.1.2)

Ringer, Alexander L. "Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. Allusion und Zitat in der musikalischen Erzählung Gustav Mahlers." In Das musikalische Kunstwerk: Geschichte, Ästhetik, Theorie; Festschrift Carl Dahlhaus zum 60. Geburtstag, edited by H. Danuser, H. de la Motte-Haber, S. Leopold, and N. Miller, 589-602. Laaber, Germany: Laaber, 1988.

Chapters and other titled parts of a book: parts of single-author books (Turabian 17.1.8); Title and quotations within titles (Turabian 17.1.2, cf. 17.2.2)

Kerman, Joseph. "Ethnomusicology and 'Cultural Musicology'." In Contemplating Music: Challenges to Musicology, 155-181. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985.

Chapters and other titled parts of a book: parts of edited collections (Turabian 17.1.8)

Escriván, Julio d'. "Electronic Music and the Moving Image." In The Cambridge Companion to Electronic Music, edited by Nick Collins and Julio d'Escriván, 156-70. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Chapters and other titled parts of a book: parts of edited collections (17.1.8); Volume: specific volume (Turabian 17.1.4)

Sherlaw-Johnson, Robert. "Analysis and the Composer." In Companion to Contemporary Musical Thought, edited by John Paynter, Tom Howell, Richard Orton, and Peter Seymour, 2:715-35. London: Routledge, 1992.

Works in anthologies (17.1.8)

Zarlino, Gioseffo. Excerpt from bk. 3 of Istitutioni harmoniche. 1558. Translated by Oliver Strunk. In Source Readings in Music History, rev. ed., edited by Oliver Strunk and Leo Treitler, 436-57. New York: W. W. Norton, 1998.

Letters and other communications in published collections (Turabian 17.1.9)

Mendelssohn, Felix. Felix Mendelssohn to [Frédéric] Chopin, Leipzig, March 28, 1836. In Selected Correspondence of Fryderyk Chopin: Abridged from Fryderyk Chopin's Correspondence, collected and annotated by Bronislaw Edward Sydow, translated and edited by Arthur Hedley, no. 97. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963.

Back to Top

Combining Citation Formats

Chapter 17 of the Turabian manual provides models for many different types of publications. Turabian, however does not give guidelines for publications that may combine these styles. For example, a reprint may be published as part of a series. A separately authored article or essay may be published in a book that is a separately titled volume in a multi-volume set or that is part of a series. Such combinations are typical in the complete works of composers published as a set. Some possible models are given below. A multi-volume work published in a reprint series. Combine 17.1.3 with 17.1.4.

Chorley, Henry. Thirty Years' Musical Recollections, 2 vols. London: Hurst and Blackett, Publishers, 1862. Reprint in Da Capo Press Music Reprint Series. New York: Da Capo, 1984.

A separately titled book that is part of a multi-volume set that is also part of a series. Combine 17.1.4 and 17.1.5.

Fellerer, Karl Gustav. Studien zur Musik des 19. Jahrhunderts. Band 2, Kirchenmusik im 19. Jahrhundert. Studien zur Musikgeschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts, Band 60. Regensburg: Gustav Bosse Verlag, 1985.

An article in a separately titled book that is part of a multi-volume set. Combine 17.1.4 and 17.1.8.

Ott, Alfons. "Von der frühdeutschen Oper zum deutschen Singspiel." In Musik in Bayern. Vol. 1., Bayerische Musikgeschichte: Überblick und Einzeldarstellungen, ed. Robert Münster and Hans Schmid, 165-77. Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 1972.

An article in a separately titled book that is part of a multi-volume set, with a named editor for the set. Combine 17.1.4 and 17.1.8.

Finscher, Ludwig, and Silke Leopold. "Volkssprachige Gattungen und Instrumentalmusik." In Neues Handbuch der Musikwissenschaft. Edited by Carl Dahlhaus. Band 3, Die Musik des 15. und 16. Jahrhunderts, ed. Ludwig Finscher, 2:437-605. Laaber: Laaber-Verlag, 1990.

A separately titled article in a book edited by another that is part of a series. Combine 17.1.8 with 17.1.5.

Buelow, George J. "A Bach Borrowing by Gluck: Another Frontier." In Eighteenth-Century Music in Theory and Practice: Essays in Honor of Alfred Mann, ed. Mary Ann Parker, 187-203. Festschrift Series, No. 13. Stuyvesant, N.Y.: Pendragon Press, 1994.

A score published in a set with multiple subsets and editors. Combine 17.1.4 with 17.1.7.

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. "Sinfonie in D, KV 81(731)." In Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Neue Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke. Edited by the Internationalen Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg. Serie IV, Orchesterwerke. Werkgruppe 11, Sinfonien. Band 2, 3-14. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1985.

Bach, Johann Sebastian. "Sonate e-Moll für Violino und Continuo, BWV 1023." Edited by Günter Hausswald. In Johann Sebastian Bach: Neue Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke. Edited by Johann Sebastian Bach Institut, Göttingen and Bach Archive, Leipzig. Serie VI, Kammermusikwerke. Band 1, Werke für Violine, 71-80. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1958.

A published score to a separate work originally published in a multi-volume set and reprinted in a set with separately titled volumes in multiple subsets with multiple editors. Combine 17.1.3, 17.1.4 and 17.1.8.

Boyce, William. "The Song of Diana in Mr. Dryden's Secular Masque [With Horns and with Hounds I Waken the Day]." In Lyra Britannica: Being a Collection of Songs, Duets, and Cantatas, on Various Subjects, 1:1-5. London: I. Walsh, [1747]. Facsimile reprint in Music for London Entertainment 1660-1800. Series F, Music of the Pleasure Gardens, ed. Christopher Hogwood. Vol. 3, William Boyce: Lyra Britannica. With an introduction by Robert J. Bruce. Tunbridge Wells: Richard Macnutt, 1985.

A published score to a separate work originally published in a multi-volume set with multiple subsets and reprinted in a series with sub-series. Combine 17.1.3, 17.1.4, 17.1.5 and 17.1.8.

Beethoven, Ludwig van. "Sonate für das Pianoforte, Op. 90." In Ludwig van Beethoven's Werke. Series 16, Sonaten für das Pianoforte, Band 3, No. 150. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, n.d. Reprint in Edward Music Reprints. Series A, Complete Works and Monumenta. No. 2, Ludwig van Beethoven's Werke. Ann Arbor, Michigan: J. W. Edwards, 1949.

A manuscript score reproduced in a facsimile that is part of a multi-volume set. Combine 17.1.3, 17.1.4, 17.1.8 and 17.6.4.

[Dowland, John]. "Flow My Teares Fall from Yo'r Springs." Manuscript score. Oxford, Christ Church Ms. 439, [pp.] 6-7. Facsimile reprint in English Song 1600-1675: Facsimiles of Twenty-six Manuscripts and an Edition of the Texts. Edited with introductions by Elise Bickford Jorgens. Vol. 6, Manuscripts at Oxford, Part I. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1987.

Back to Top

Articles in Journals

Journals are sometimes referred to as periodicals because they are published at stated intervals such as weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. Because journals are published at intervals they usually include volume and issue indications. Volumes are generally assigned in sequential numeric order each year. Issue indications may appear as a month, season, or number. Some journals assign a sequential issue number to each issue and do not specify a yearly volume number. Other journals may specify a volume and designate both a month or season as well as a issue number. Readers might not need all of these elements to locate an article in a particular journal, but including as many as possible will help guard against possible error. Use the following guidelines to create your citations. See Turabian 17.2 for more details. If the journal indicates volume, issue number, month, and year, follow this model:

Porter, Andrew. "New Productions at the Metropolitan Opera." Opera News 56, no. 7 (July 1989): 112-32.

If the journal gives only an issue number with no volume reference follow this model:

Harwood, James. "Romantic Imagery in Schumann's Operas." Current Musicology, no. 57 (1978): 57-78.

If the journal or magazine gives a full date including day, month and year, cite the journal by the date. Do not include any reference to volume and issue even if they appear on the journal. Since magazine articles often have irregular pagination, you may omit the article's inclusive page numbers in a bibiliography. See Turabian 17.3.

Fricke, David. "Louder Faster Stronger." Rolling Stone, October 2, 2008.

Back to Top

Articles Published Online

Citing articles found in online journals is identical to the way you would cite the same article in a print journal, except that you must add the URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) and the date you accessed the article.

Dolp, Laura. "Between Pastoral and Nature: Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and the Landscapes of Caspar David Friedrich." Journal of Musicological Research 22, no. 3 (July 2008): 205-25. (accessed December 5, 2008).

Online journals might not employ page numbers if they do not have a print equivalent; use a descriptive locator (such as a subheading) to identify the location of a cited passage, using the word "under" before the URI. See Turabian 17.2.7 for more details.

Greenbaum, Matthew. "From Revolutionary to Normative: A Secret History of Dada and Surrealism in American Music." NewMusicBox, July 10, 2008. Under "The Seeds for a Normative Dada." (accessed December 8, 2008).

Online databases of articles usually list all the necessary information for citations. Use the URI that identifies the database consulted.

Alden, Jane. "Excavating Chansonniers: Musical Archaeology and the Search for Popular Song." Journal of Musicology - A Quarterly Review of Music History, Criticism, Analysis, and Performance Practice 25, no. 1 (Winter 2008): 46-86. (accessed December 5, 2008).

Back to Top

Articles in Music Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Normally, encyclopedias should only be cited in notes. If you are citing substantial articles from a major music dictionary such as The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, you may use a format that begins with the name of the author of the article. See Turabian 17.5.3 for more details.

Strickland, Edward. "Glass, Philip." In The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed, edited by Stanley Sadie. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Randel, Don Michael, ed. The Harvard Dictionary of Music. 4th ed. S.v. "Lied". Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003.

Citing Grove Music Online requires a different citation format that includes the URI and the date the material was accessed.

Strickland, Edward. "Glass, Philip." In Grove Music Online, ed. Laura Macy. Oxford Music Online. (accessed December 8, 2008).

Back to Top

Musical Scores

Cite a published musical score the same way as you would a book. See Turabian 17.8.7 for more details.

Berlioz, Hector. Fantastic Symphony: An Authoritative Score, Historical Background, Analysis, Views and Comments. Edited by Edward T. Cone. Norton Critical Scores. New York: W. W. Norton, 1971.

Verdi, Giuseppe. La traviata (melodramma in three acts). Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. Edited by Fabrizio Della Seta. 2 vols. In The Works of Giuseppe Verdi, edited by Philip Gossett. Series 1, Operas. Vol. 19. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; Milan: G. Ricordi, 1996.

Back to Top

Sound Recordings

List recordings under the title of the recording or under the name of the composer or performer, depending on what element is most important for your paper. Include media format, name of record company, identifying number from the publisher, and publishing and/or copyright date, or both. See Turabian 17.8.4 for more details. Item indexed by composer:

Bach, Johann Sebastian. Concerto no. 1 in F major, BWV 1046. In Brandenburg Concertos nos. 1-6. Tafelmusik; conducted by Jeanne Lamon. Vivarte. Sony Classical S2K 66289. CD. 1994.

Davis, Miles. Kind of Blue. Columbia Jazz Masterpieces. Columbia CK 40579. CD. Recorded 1959.

Item indexed by performer:

Kronos Quartet. String Quartet no. 2, by Alfred Schnittke. In The Complete String Quartets. Nonesuch 79500-2. CD. 1998.

Rutter, John, dir. Christmas Night: Carols of the Nativity. Cambridge Singers; City of London Sinfonia. Collegium Records COLCD 106. CD. 1987.

Back to Top


Videorecording citations are constructed similar to book citations, with the addition of the medium (VHS, DVD, laserdisc). Cite videorecordings under the the title of the work, or the name(s) of the composer, performer, director, or actor(s), depending on what element is most important for your paper. See Turabian 17.8.5 for more details. Item indexed by composer:

Wagner, Richard. Die Walküre. DVD. Peter Hofmann, Matti Salminen, Donald McIntyre, Jeannine Altmeyer, Gwyneth Jones, Hanna Schwarz, soloists; Bayreuther Festspiele; conducted by Pierre Boulez; produced by Patrice Chéreau. Munich: Unitel, 1980; Germany: Philips, 1998.

Beethoven, Ludwig van. Symphony 9 "Choral". Disc 1. Symphonies 3 & 9. DVD. Karita Mattila, Violeta Urmana, Thomas Moser, Eike Wilm Schulte, soloists; Swedish Radio Choir; Eric Ericson Chamber Choir; Berliner Philharmoniker; conducted by Claudio Abbado; directed by Bob Coles. N.p.: EuroArts Music International, 2002.

Glass, Philip, comp. Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance. DVD. Produced and directed by Godfrey Reggio. N.p.: Institute for Regional Education, 1983; Santa Monica, CA: MGM, 2002.

Item indexed by performer(s) or actor(s):

Wood, Natalie, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris. West Side Story, special edition. DVD. Directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins; music by Leonard Bernstein; lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. N.p.: Mirisch Pictures, 1961; Santa Monica, CA: MGM, 2003.

Gillespie, Dizzy. Dizzy Gillespie: Live in '58 & '70. DVD. Produced by David Peck and Phillip Galloway. Jazz Icons Series. Ratingen, Germany: Reelin' In The Years Productions, 2006.

Back to Top

Websites and Blogs

Websites often lack standard elements of publication (no dates, no title, no publisher, sometimes no author). Citing the URI is also problematic because web content can change rapidly, and older versions of Web pages disappear. Citations for websites and blogs should include as much information as possible: author (if known), title of Web page or blog entry, website or blog title, URI, and date accessed. If there is no named author, give the name of the website owner. If the Web page you wish to cite has no official title, you may use a descriptive phrase of your own invention. See Turabian 17.7.1-17.7.2 for more details. Web pages

National Association for Music Education (MENC). "National Standards for Music Education." (accessed December 8, 2008).

Celenza, Anna. "Music Books for Children." American Musicological Society. (accessed December 8, 2008).

Blake, William. "William Blake Digital Materials from the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection." Library of Congress Rare Book & Special Collections Division. (accessed December 8, 2008).


Ross, Alex. "20th-Century Agenda: Messiaen." Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise. Entry posted October 3, 2008. (accessed December 8, 2008).

Eddins, Stephen. "An Inconvenient Truth--the Opera." Allmusic: the Allmusic Blog. Entry posted June 3, 2008. (accessed December 8, 2008).

Back to Top

Theses and Dissertations

Theses and dissertations are considered unpublished documents, and have a slightly different form of citation than books or journal articles. After the author and title, this citation format requires the kind of thesis, the academic institution awarding the degree, and the year completed. See Turabian 17.6.1 for more details.

Johnson, Steven Phillip. "Tonal and Motivic Structures in Mahler's Third Symphony." PhD diss., University of California at Los Angeles, 1989.

Nordstrom, Steven Scott. "Philippe de Monte, Sonetz de Pierre de Ronsard, mis en musique a cinq, six, et sept parties (1575): a Critical Edition." Master's thesis, Brigham Young University, 2005.

If citing a dissertation found in an online database, add the name of the database, the URI, and the date accessed to the citation:

Day, David A. "The Annotated Violon Repetiteur and Early Romantic Ballet at the Theatre Royal de Bruxelles (1815-1830)." PhD diss., New York University, 2007. In ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, (accessed December 5, 2008).

Back to Top