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Music Terminology

Definitions and translations of common terms you might encounter while searching for music or information about music

Music Publishing Terms for Citation

Citation Basics

When citing materials consulted during research for a term paper, thesis, or dissertation, the following information is usually required:

People involved in the creation of the item:

  • Composer
  • Editor
  • Translator
  • Librettist

Title as it appears on the title page (usually the first page)

Place of Publication (closest to your location if there are several)


Date of publication

Date of reprint edition

For books and articles, these are usually straight-forward.  For scores and recordings, there are often complicating issues, for example:

  • Scores in multi-volume sets or series
  • Recordings that have been reissued or remastered
  • DVDs, which often don't include all relevant information.

For information about specific style manuals:

Chicago Manual of Style (the preferred style for music history, music theory, and musicology journals)

American Psychological Association (APA) Style (the preferred style for music education journals)‚Äč

English, French, German, and Italian Citation Terms

English French German Italian
Author auteur / auteure Autor / Autorin autore / autrice
Composer compositeur / compositrice Komponist / Komponistin compositore / compositrice
Editor éditeur / éditrice Editor / Editorin editore / editrice
Translator traducteur / traductrice Übersetzer / Übersetzerin traduttore / traduttrice
Publisher éditeur / éditrice Verleger / Verlegerin editore / editrice
Reprint réimpression Nachdruck ristampare
Reprinted réimprimé Nachdruck ristampato / ristampato
Reissue rééditer Neuausgabe ristampa
Remastered remaasterisé remastered rimasterizzato
Piano reduction réduction de piano Klavierauszug riduzione del piano
Vocal score partition vocale Vokalpartitur partitura vocale
Full score score complet voll Partitur partitura
Revised edition édition révisée überarbeitete Ausgabe edizione rivisitata
Critical edition édition critique kritische Ausgabe edizione critica