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A Guide for Music Citation - Chicago/Turabian Style

This guide supports music students by providing examples and tips for Chicago/Turabian style citation. It covers all types of music sources, including texts, scores, and recordings.


  • Do not list a well-known reference book in your bibliography unless it is frequently cited or critical to your argument. Only list it in your footnotes.
  • When you cite an encyclopedia in a footnote, the entry/article is preceded by "s.v."
  • Do not list the volume and page numbers for these entries.

Unsigned Article, Well-Known Book

  • If there is no author for the specific entry you are citing, it is unsigned. Most dictionaries and encyclopedias have unsigned entries.
  • Only include in your bibliography if the entry is critical to your argument. If you decide to include it in the bibliography, you do not need to include the title of the entry you consulted (except for signed entries, see below).

1. The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 6th ed., s.v. “Mehta, Zubin.”


Kennedy, Michael, and Joyce Bourne Kennedy. The Oxford Dictionary of Music. 6th ed. Edited by Tim Rutherford-Johnson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

  • In footnotes, you may omit publication information for well-known books.
  • You must include publication information if you include the book in your bibliography.


Unsigned Article, Lesser-Known Book


1. Colin Larkin, ed., The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music, s.v. "Marky Mark," (London: Virgin Books, 2000).


Larkin, Colin ed. The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music. S.v. "Marky Mark." London: Virgin Books, 2000.

  • For lesser-known books, all publication information is cited in both the footnote and bibliography.


Signed Article

If the entry you are citing was written by an author whose name appears next to or after the entry, use this method of citation and include it in your bibliography.


1. Bruno Nettl, “Improvisation, Extemporization,” in The New Harvard Dictionary of Music.


Nettl, Bruno. “Improvisation, Extemporization.” In The New Harvard Dictionary of Music. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986.

  • These entries are cited like a chapter/essay in a multi-author book.



1. John Foot, "Rome," in Britannica Academic, accessed June 30, 2016,


Foot, John. "Rome." In Britannica Academic.  Accessed June 30, 2016.

  • If the article lists a recommended URL, include it. If not, use a shortened form of the URL.