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 CMS17, 8.169–70: "An initial a, an, or the in running text may be dropped from a book title if it doesn not fit the surrounding syntax. . . . When newspapers and other periodicals [in English] are mentioned in text, an initial the, even if part of the title on the masthead, is usually lowercased (unless it begins a sentence) and not italicized." Note however, that book and journal titles in foreign languages that begin with an article usually capitalize and italicize the initial article, as described in the Capitalization section.
    • the Musical Quarterly
    • the New York Times
    • published in Le monde
    • in his book A Short History of Music
  • NB: These rules do not apply to the titles of 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.
  • 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 CMS17, 8.165):  
    • 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 (retain the ampersand in the original title)
  • 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.