Citing musical sources : Audio visual

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Audio and Visual

As indicated in the notes and bibliography section of the guide, live performances are not usually included in a reference list. Instead, include details about the performance, including the title, date and performer(s) in the body of your text (CMOS 14.266). This is applicable to the author-date system as well.

1. Recordings on a physical medium like CDs etc.

(CMOS 15.57)

The in-text citation for a recording must contain the last name of the author and the year of publication. The author will depend upon the context of the citation. If the recording is being cited primarily in relation to the performer, the performer may be listed as the author. Similarly, if the recording is being cited primarily in relation to the composer, the composer may be listed as the author. It is also possible to list the name of the conductor as the primary author. If appropriate, the track no. may also be listed in the in-text citation.

In-text Citation:

Format: 

  • (Artist Last Name Year Published, optional track number) 

Example: 

  • (Gould 1982) 

Sample Sentence: Canadian pianist Glenn Gould is famous for his interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations (Gould, 1982).

Bibliography:

The reference list entries for recordings are often listed in a separate discography rather than in the main reference list. The primary author at the beginning of the citation could be the composer, performer, or conductor. Choose the primary author based on the context of the citation. For example, if the recording is being discussed in relation to the performer, the performer should be listed as the primary author.

Format: 

  • Artist Last Name, First Name. Year Published. Album Title in Italics. By Composer First Name Last Name. Name of Publisher Matrix number, format. 

Example: 

  • Gould, Glenn, pianist. 1982. Goldberg Variations: BWV 988. By Johann Sebastian Bach. CBS Records Masterworks MK 37779, compact disc. 

If the recording is being discussed with main reference to the composer, the composer should be listed as the primary author:

  • Bach, Johann Sebastian. 1982. Goldberg Variations: BWV 988. With Glenn Gould, pianist. CBS Records Masterworks MK 37779, compact disc. 

2. DVDs

(CMOS 15.57)

The in-text citation for a DVD will include the last name of the author/creator/artist and the date of publication.

Format: 

  • (Author Last Name(s) Year Published) 

Example: 

  • (Cleese et al. 2001) 

Sample Sentence: The commentary on Monty Python and the Holy Grail contains interesting and entertaining anecdotes about the filming process (Cleese et al. 2001).

Bibliography:

Reference List entries for videos will vary according to the nature of the material and should include any facts relevant to identifying the item. Note that indexed scenes are treated as chapters and cited by title or by number.

Format: 

  • Author Last Name, First Name. Year Published. “Section Title.” Disc Number. Title in Italics, Edition Format. Director. Place of Publication: Name of Publisher. 

Example: 

  • Cleese, John, Eric Idle, and Michael Palin. 2001. “Commentaries.” Disc 2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail, special ed. DVD. Directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. Culver City, CA: Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment. 

3. Online audio and video

(CMOS 15.57)

The in-text citation for online audio and video files should contain the last name of the Author/creator/artist followed by the year of publication.

In-text Citation:

Format: 

  • (Author Last Name Year Published) 

Example: 

  • (Braid 2012) 

Bibliography:

Citations for online streaming media that duplicate content of previously recorded material should include documentation of that performance as outlined above. Include the URL at the end of the citation. If the publication date is unknown, provide a date of access as the second last element in the reference list entry (CMOS 15.50). The second element in the citation, following the author, should indicate “n.d.” which stands for “no date” (CMOS 15.44).

Format: 

  • Composer/Artist Last Name, First Name. Year Published. Album Title in Italics. With Select Performers or Ensemble. Recording Date if applicable. Name of Publisher. Length if applicable. URL. 

Example: 

  • Nielsen, Wendy. 2001. Forgotten Songs, Forgotten Loves. With Robert Kortgaard, piano. Marquis. http://utoronto.nazosmusiclibrary.com.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/.  

For material that is posted directly to the Internet, such as YouTube videos, gather the creator, title, source type, length, and any other important information directly from the material. The URL should be the last element in the reference list entry.

Example: 

  • Braid, David. 2012. “David Braid Solo Piano 2011.” YouTube video 5:58. https://youtu.be/sEzxqZn3578