Notes Style Sheet


  • Notes generally uses name forms of musicians (and nonmusicians) as given in Library of Congress Authorities ( N.B.: this differs from previous Notes practice (before 2014) of depending primarily upon musican names as found in NGD2. Note, however, that if LC uses only initials for given names (as is common in Soviet-era publications, for example), full names may be spelled out for clarity. Some exceptions are noted in the Words, Names, and Phrases section.
  • As a general practice, Notes drops patronymics from Russian names: Aleksandr Borodin, not Aleksandr Porfir'evich Borodin (as in LC Authorities). One common exception, however, is Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky (use full name as in LC Authorities).
  • Any exceptions to the above are listed under Words, Names, and Phrases.
  • Full names of composers, musicologists, editors, and all other personages should appear at the first occurrence of the name in a text. Note, however, that first names may be dropped when preferable for stylistic reasons.
    • Example: Many performers now reject editions of Bach cantatas with editorially imposed dynamics.
  • Russian publications often use only initials for authors’ and composers’ given names, and they often are authorized this way in Library of Congress Authorities. Given names may be spelled out in running text (they usually are found in parentheses in the authority file), but use only the initials if quoting a bibliographic citation.
  • For names ending in s, x, or z, form the possessive by adding apostrophe + s ('s) (CMS16, 7.21):
    • Saint-Saëns's Organ Symphony (not Saint-Saëns')
    • Berlioz's Nuits d'été (not Berlioz')
  • Notes regards the name of a chamber music performance organization as a personal noun, and the name of a large ensemble as an impersonal noun.
    • Emerson Quartet, for whom the work was written; 
    • Chicago Symphony Orchestra, for which the work was written
  • Use RISM Sigla volume or institutional Web site as the authority for the correct names (including upper/lower case) of libraries and other institutions. Note that names of foreign organizations are not italicized: Schwerin, Mecklenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv, not Mecklenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv.
  • For geographical names, use MW11, but use English form when it differs from that cited in MW11 (e.g., Cracow, not Kraków; Vienna, not Wien; Prague, not Praha).