Notes Style Sheet


Note: See also the sections Musical Compositions for titles of musical works and Series Titles

Within the text of an article or review, follow CMS16, 8.167–68:

  • the Musical Quarterly
  • the New York Times
  • published in Le monde
  • in his book A Short History of Music

NB: This rule does not apply to the titles of books and musical compositions:

  • Stravinsky's The Firebird and Debussy's La mer

But when syntax makes the initial "the" impractical, omit it:

  • the Firebird premiere

"Since" in titles: Capitalize if a conjunction, but use lower case if a preposition.

In running text, omit the initial article for English-language titles of books if it does not fit the surrounding syntax (CMS16, 8.167), but retain it for foreign-language titles of newspapers and periodicals (CMS16, 8.168).

For titles within titles: If the title is in roman (for example, the head citation for a review), use italics for the internal title; if the title is in italics, surround the internal title with quotation marks.  

  • Book title in a review heading: Stravinsky and A Rake's Progress or Book title in a footnote: Stravinsky and "A Rake's Progress"

Numbers and ampersands (&) in titles (see CMS16, 8.163):  

  • For periodical titles, Notes generally follows the forms preferred by the publishers:  
  • 19th Century Musicnot Nineteenth-Century Music (spine title), or 19th (keep th on the line, not superscript), or 19th-Century Music (no hyphen).
  • Music & Lettersnot Music and Letters

For titles of hymntunes, use upper case with small caps after initial letter:

This hymn melody is commonly called DYING STEPHEN. (not "Dying Stephen")

Titles of medieval and Renaissance works are in italics unless the piece (such as a madrigal, motet, or chanson) is part of a larger collection also mentioned in the review or article; then use quotation marks:

  • This anthology includes Machaut's motet De bons espoirt / Puis que la douce / Speravi and chanson De tout flours, Josquin's motet Absolom fili mi, and Merulo's twelve-voice motet "Salvum fac populum tuum" from his Sacrorum concentuum . . . liber primus.

For tempo indications used as titles of movements, capitalize the first word, and in most cases use roman type:

  • Allegro con brio; Adagio con moto.
  • The Andante cantabile of Veronica Ciachettini's Sonata op. 4, no. 2.