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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Writing Citations in Music

Recordings - All Formats

When you are citing a recording of a performance or work, there are some things you want to include:

1) The name of the composer, writer, performer, or person who made the work.

2) The title of the work, in italics or in quotation marks, see CMoS 8.197

3) Information about the work
     a) Other performers and contributors
     b) Date and location of the recording session or recorded performance

4) Information about the publisher, the date of publication, and the label number for the CD

     What is a Label Number?
     A label number is a reference number given to a recording by the label. It can usually be found either on the spine of the recording, on the back of the case, or near the barcode. It will usually begin with an abbreviation of the label's name. For example, recordings by Deutsche Grammophon start with DG.

5) Information about the medium or format of the recording (CD, DVD, LP, MP3, etc.) as well as how many. For example, 2 compact discs, DVD, or 33 1/3 rpm (for an LP)

6) For an online recording, please include a URL

Recordings do not go in your bibliography! Instead, they go in a Discography (the same idea and format, but for recordings!)

The general style of a citation for a recording is:


Author Last Name, Author First Name. Title of disc. Pertinent information including performers,
      conductors, ensemble, recording location and date, etc. Label and label number, Publication
      date. Format.


1. Author First Name Author Last Name, Title of disc, pertinent information including performers, conductors, orchestras,recording location and date, etc, Label and label number, Publication date. Format.
See CMoS 14.263 - Musical Recordings and CMoS 14.265 - Video and Film Recordings


Shostakovich, Dimitri. String Quartet No. 8 in c minor. Performed by the Emerson String Quartet. Aspen Music Festival, July, 1998. Deutsche Grammophon, DG 289 463 284-2, 1999. Compact disc.

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. Don Giovanni. Conducted by Ferenc Fricsay. Directed by Carl Ebert. Performed with the Chorus and Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Recorded on September 23, 1961. Arthaus Musik, 101 574, 2011. 2 DVDs.


1. Dimitri Shostakovich, String Quartet No. 8 in c minor, performed by the Emerson String Quartet at the Aspen Music Festival in July 1998, Deutsche Grammophon, DG 289 463 284-2, 1999, compact disc.

1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Don Giovanni, conducted by Ferenc Fricsay, directed by Carl Ebert, performed with the Chorus and Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, recorded on September 23, 1961, Arthaus Musik, 101 574, 2011, 2 DVDs.

Streaming Audio/Video (Spotify, Youtube, podcasts, etc.)

Spotify or Other Streaming Services


Authors. Album Title, Record Label and record number, Year. Format. Link.

Lizzo. Cuz I Love You (Deluxe). Nice Life / Atlantic 075678652158, 2019. MP3.


1. Authors, “Title of track," format, track number on Author of Album, Album Title, Record Label and number 075678652158, Year. Link.

1. Lizzo, “Truth Hurts,” MP3 audio, track 13 on Lizzo, Cuz I Love You (Deluxe), Nice Life / Atlantic, 2019.


When including information about the streaming recording, include information as if it were a recorded DVD or CD. Include what work the performance is part of (if applicable) as well as performers.


Author. “Title of video." Information about the video and work. Recorded on Date at Location. Video, duration. Link.

Bellini, Vincenzo. “In mia man alfin tu sei.” In Norma. Act 2, Scene 3. Directed by Mario Pontiggia. Conducted by Fabrizio Maria Carminati. Performed with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, and Coro de la Ópera de las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Recorded on March 9, 2011 at Teatro Perez Galdos. Video, 2:27:27.


1. Author, “Title of video," information about the video and work, recorded on Date at Location, video, duration, link.

1. Vincenzo Bellini, “In mia man alfin tu sei,” in Norma, act 2, scene 3, directed by Mario Pontiggia, conducted by Fabrizio Maria Carminati, performed with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, and Coro de la Ópera de las Palmas de Gran Canaria, recorded on March 9, 2011 at Teatro Perez Galdos, video, 2:27:27,



Authors, “Title of Episode,” date posted, in title of podcast, podcast, format, duration, URL.

Danforth, Mike and Ian Chillag. “Episode 195: F-Bombs, Chicken, and Exclamation Points.” In How to Do Everything. Podcast. MP3 audio, 18:46.


1. Authors, “Title of Episode,” in title of podcast, podcast, format, duration, URL.

Mike Danforth and Ian Chillag, “Episode 195: F-Bombs, Chicken, and Exclamation Points,” April 21, 2015, in How to Do Everything, podcast, MP3 audio, 18:46,

Live Performances

See CMoS 14.266 - Live Performances

For a live performance, treat it as a recording but do not include information about a publisher or the format of the recording (because there is none!) Remember to provide details about when and where the performance happened.



1. Title of the Performance, Directors, Performance Venue, Location of Venue, Date of Performance.

1. Because I Am Your Queen (a feminist fantasia), Mina Samuels, dir. Barbara Pitts McAdams, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Urbana, IL, April 2, 2019.


Live performances do not need to be included in your bibliography.