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Examples from the MLA handbook

From the MLA 7th edition Handbook for Writers.


Citing a recording you watched on the Web:

Concerto Palatino, perf. “Canzon à 6 per l’Epistola.” By Giovanni Priuli. Boston Early Music Festival and Exhibition. Boston Early Music Festival, 2003. Web. 20 July 2007.



Oakes, Meredith. The Tempest: An Opera in Three Acts. Composed by Thomas Adès. London: Faber Music, 2004. Print.Rule 5.7.5

[Steve's advice: If you are citing the lyrics, and you got the lyrics from the recording i.e. by listening to it , cite the recording.]


If, however, you read the lyriscs in the liner notes, yoru citation might look like this (again, Rule 5.7.2]

Colette. Libretto. L’enfant et les sortilèges. Music by Maurice Ravel. Orch. National Bordeaux-Aquitaine. Cond. Alain Lombard. Valois, 1993. CD.



Score, in this case, an opera: 

Donizetti, Gaetano. Don Pasquale: An Opera in Three Acts with Italian-English Text. 1842. New York: Belwin, 1969. Print. Kalmus Vocal Scores.Rule 5.7.5


Musical Score you found on the web looks a lot like a performance:

Smith, David Russeau, ed. “Canzon à 6 per l’Epistola.” By Giovanni Priuli. Boston Early Music Festival and Exhibition. Boston Early Music Festival, 2003. Web. 20 July 2007. based on RULE 5.6.2


Three examples of how to cite a song that was on a CD [Rule 5.7.2]

Bartoli, Cecilia. “Quel chiaro rio.” By Christoph W. Gluck. Dreams and Fables. London, 2001. CD. (includes the composer, because it's known)

Camper Van Beethoven. “Ambiguity Song.” Telephone Free Landslide Victory. Rough Trade, n.d. LP.(no composer listed, and no date for album)

Holiday, Billie. “God Bless the Child.” Rec. 9 May 1941. The Essence of Billie Holiday. Columbia, 1991. CD.(mentions recording date because this might be important.)


Four examples of how to cite an album.  First a classical album, them a film score recording, then a classical one, then a cast recording of a musical [Rule 5.7.2]

de Larrocha, Alicia, perf. Mozart Piano Concertos Nos. 19 and 27. By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. English Chamber Orch. Cond. Colin Davis. Red Seal-RCA Victor, 1997. CD.

Gabriel, Peter. Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ, a Film by Martin Scorsese. Geffen, 2002. CD.

Marsalis, Branford. Romances for Saxophone. English Chamber Orch. Cond. Andrew Litton. CBS, 1986. Audiocassette.

Sondheim, Stephen. Passion. Orch. Jonathan Tunick. Perf. Donna Murphy, Jere Shea, and Marin Mazzie. Cond. Paul Gemignani. Angel, 1994. CD.


Chicago Manual Of Style 15th ed. Examples

Cite a Musical Score: According to CMS Rule 17.263, you do so much like a book. 

Example for a Bibliography:

Schubert, Franz. "Das Wandern (Wandering)," Die Schone Mullerin (The Maid of the Mill). In First Vocal Album (for high voice). New York, G. Schirmer, 1895.


Cite Media: Rules 17.265-268. 

Bibliography Example:

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. Le nozze di Figaro.  Vienna Philharmonic. Riccardo Muti.  With Thomas Allen, Margaret Price, Jorma Hynninen, Ann Murray, Kurt Rydl, and the Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor. published (or the P Circle symbol) 1987.  Original sound recording made by EMI Records Ltd.  CDS 7 47978 8 (3 compact discs).


Online Media: videos, sound recordings you find online. This example based on Rule 17.270

Adelson, Steve. minor thing. From Adventures in Stickology.  MP3, (accessed August 28, 2009).