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Music: MLA Citation Examples

MLA Citation Examples

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed.

See these sections for more information and examples:

3.6.1  Capitalization of Titles and Subtitles of Works
5.4     Periodical Print Publications
   5.4.4  An Article in a Scholarly Journal with More Than One Series
5.5     Books
   5.5.25/26  Dissertations
5.6     Web Publications
5.7.2  Sound Recordings and Liner Notes
5.7.5  Musical Scores or Librettos
6.1     Parenthetical Documentation
7.5     Publisher's Names

The MLA Handbook, 8th ed. was published in 2016. Purdue OWL for MLA formatting style provides a brief overview of the changes. 

Abbreviations for Months:
Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.


Nice, David. Prokofiev: From Russia to the West, 1891-1935. New Haven: Yale UP, 2003. Print.

Multivolume Books

Roberts, Peter Deane. Modernism in Russian Piano Music: Skriabin, Prokofiev, and Their Russian Contemporaries. 2 vols. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1993. Print.

Book Chapter
Include pages for the entire chapter after the publication date.

Saxton, Robert. “The Orchestral Composer.” The Cambridge Companion to the Orchestra. Ed. Colin Lawson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003. 218-238. Print.

Book with Editor or Compiler instead of Author

Fielden, Jan, ed. Composer’s Letters. London: Marginalia, 1994. Print.

Translated Book

Prokofiev, Sergey. Sergey Prokofiev Diaries 1915-1923: Behind the Mask. Trans. and ann. Anthony Phillips. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2013. Print.

Dissertation (unpublished)

Rifkin, Deborah Anne. “Tonal Coherence in Prokofiev’s Music: A Study of the Interrelationships of Structure, Motives, and Design.” Diss. U of Rochester, Eastman School of Music, 2000. Print.

Dissertation (published)

Rifkin, Deborah Anne. “Tonal Coherence in Prokofiev’s Music: A Study of the Interrelationships of Structure, Motives, and Design.” Diss. U of Rochester, Eastman School of Music, 2000. Ann Arbor: UMI, 2000. Print.

Rifkin, Deborah Anne. “Tonal Coherence in Prokofiev’s Music: A Study of the Interrelationships of Structure, Motives, and Design.” Diss. U of Rochester, Eastman School of Music, 2000. Ann Arbor: UMI, 2000. ProQuest. Web. 17 Sept. 2013.

Publisher Information

Take publisher information from the title page of the book or the title page verso. If several cities are listed in the book, give only the first. Do not identify the state, province, or country after the city name. Shorten the publisher’s name (see guidelines in MLA Handbook 7th ed., section 7.5). Use the latest copyright date if the year of publication is not on the title page.

Sample Publisher Abbreviations:
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. = Knopf
Cambridge University Press = Cambridge UP
Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. = Macmillan
MIT Press = MIT P
Random House, Inc. = Random
Simon and Schuster, Inc. = Simon
St. Martin’s Press, Inc. = St. Martin’s
University of Chicago Press = U of Chicago P


Capitalize abbreviations No. and Op. in the title. Include the date of composition (it can be a range of years) after the title of the piece. Include medium of publication. If the score is part of a series, include the information about the series after the medium of publication. If there is no publisher listed, you can write N.p. No date, n.d.

Prokofiev, Sergey. Symphonie Classique: Op. 25. 1916-1917. London: Boosey, 1942. Print.

Score with no date of publication:

Prokofieff, Sergei. Symphony No. 1: Classical Symphony, Op. 25. 1916-1917. Michigan: Luck’s Music, n.d. Print.

CD Recording
Write the title of the piece as it appears on the CD cover.

Prokofiev, Sergey. Symphony No. 1 in D, Op. 25 'Classical.'  Perf. Scottish National Orchestra. Cond. Neeme Järvi. Chandos, 1985. CD.

LP Recording

No collective title for the recording:

Prokofiev, Sergey. Classical Symphony, Op. 25. Perf. Philadelphia Orchestra. Cond. Eugene Ormandy. Columbia, 1973. LP.

Collective Title:

Prokofiev, Sergey. “Classical Symphony in D Major, Op. 25.” All the Works for Orchestra. Perf. Orchestre national de l'ORTF, Paris. Cond. Jean Martinon. Vox, 1972. LP.

Naxos Recording

Prokofiev, Sergey. Symphony No. 1, 'Classical.' Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra. Cond. Theodore Kuchar. Naxos, 1997. Naxos. Web. 17 Sept. 2013.

Liner Notes

Goodwin, Noël. Liner notes. Symphony No. 1 in D, Op. 25 'Classical.' Music by Sergey Prokofiev. Perf. Scottish National Orchestra. Cond. Neeme Järvi. Chandos, 1985. CD.

Journal Article in Printed format

Holopov, Ûrij Nikolaevič. “Why Did Prokofiev Write the 'Classical Symphony'?” Trans. David Fanning. Three Oranges 13 (May 2007): 10-13. Print.

Journal Article from JSTOR 

Lockspeiser, Edward. "Prokofieff's Seventh Symphony." Tempo ns 37 (Autumn 1955): 24-27. JSTOR. Web. 17 Sept. 2013. 

Rifkin, Deborah. “A Theory of Motives for Prokofiev’s Music.” Music Theory Spectrum 26.2 (Fall 2004): 265-290. JSTOR. Web. 23 Oct. 2013.

Newspaper Article in a Database

Eichler, Jeremy. “Matching Classical Mozart with ‘Classical’ Prokofiev.” New York Times 15 Aug. 2003: E23. ProQuest. Web. 23 Oct. 2013.


Author. “Title of Web Page.” Title of Web Site. Publisher or Sponsor, date. Web. Date of access. <URL>.

Rodda, Richard. “Symphony No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25, ‘Classical’.” The Kennedy Center. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2009. Web. 23 Oct. 2013. <>.

If no publisher or sponsor of the site is listed, you can put N.p. If there is no date available, put n.d.

San Francisco Classical Voice. "Sergei Prokofiev." San Francisco Classical Voice. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2013. <>.

Online Encyclopedia Entry
List the author first if there is one. This example does not have an author.

“passacaglia.”  Encyclopedia Britannica.  Encyclopedia Britannica Online Academic Edition.  Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013. Web. 23 Oct. 2013.    <>.

Grove Music Online / Oxford Music Online

Redepenning, Dorothea"Prokofiev, Sergey." Grove Music OnlineOxford Music OnlineOxford UPWeb30 Oct. 2013.

Works Cited Page

When it comes time to list your sources on a Works Cited page at then end of your paper, please list them alphabetically by the author or composer's last name. Do not list by item type, or use bullets, or number your sources. Stay true to how names are spelled on the actual item you have in hand. Prokofieff and Prokofiev would appear in the Works Cited list. Indent the 2nd line of text in citations that are more than one line.