There are three standard types of style commonly used in academic writing: “Chicago” (as represented in the Chicago Manual of Style,) “APA,” and “MLA.” Each type of style and the disciplines in which they are used, are listed below.
- The University of Chicago’s Manual of Style, which is available in the Music Library, is the standard reference book in the fields of music history and music theory. You should consult it when you have questions about style in these fields, and it will explain the options available (there may be more than one). It is currently in its fifteenth edition. While earlier editions can be used, it is best to refer to the most recent edition if possible because of important updates (such as information about how to cite online sources). Its organization is very clear and easy to refer to, and it has an excellent index. If you are still in doubt about stylistic matters for an in-class assignment, ask your professor. The Music Librarian is also very welling to offer helpful information.
- APA style is standard in the field of music education. You can learn more about APA style at Purdue's OWL web site.
For more specific information on how citation styles differ, see Footnotes and citations. For more a more general discussion of the importance of style when writing in music, see Style and style manuals.