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Writing about Music

A Style Sheet

D. Kern Holoman (Author)

Available worldwide
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Paperback, 136 pages
ISBN: 9780520281530
September 2014
$29.95, £22.95
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Where do you place the hyphen in "Beethoven" if it breaks between two lines? How do you cite John Coltrane’s album A Love Supreme? Is it "premiere" or "première"? The answers and much more can be found in this definitive resource for authors, students, editors, concert producers—anyone who deals with music in print. Extending the principles devised for the classical repertoires, this revised and expanded edition now includes examples from world music, rock, jazz, popular music, and cinema. This essential volume covers some of the thorniest issues of musical discourse: how to go about describing musical works and procedures in prose, the rules for citations in notes and bibliography, and proper preparation of such materials as musical examples, tables, and illustrations. One section discusses program notes, while others explain the requirements for submitting manuscripts and electronic files, and outline best practices for student writers. An appendix lists common problem words. Updates include greatly simplified citations of Internet locators, the recognition of multiple platforms, and the expectation of paperless transmission and storage of work. Cited as the authority by The Chicago Manual of Style, this classic handbook is the go-to source for anyone writing about music.
Preface to the Third Edition
Introduction: First Principles

1. Music Terminology
Titles of Works
Major and Minor
Capitalization Schemes
Proper Names
Thematic Catalogs of Composers’ Works
Pitch Names
Dynamics
Numbers
Other

2. Narrative Text
Getting Started
Numbers
Dates
Money
Punctuation
Lowercase and Uppercase
Foreign Languages
British English
Diacritics (Accents)
Ligatures
Word Breaks
Abbreviations
Block Citations
References in Running Text
Roman and Italic
Other Typical House Rules
Format and Design
Finally . . .

3. Citations and Credits
Articles
Books
Digital Media
Sound
Short Titles
Review Heads
Abbreviations
Principles of Annotation
Sample Notes and Bibliography

4. Musical Examples
Lyrics
Scores and Parts

5. Tables and Illustrations
Tables
Illustrations

6. Programs, Program Notes, and Concert Reviews
Concerts
Operas
Texts and Translations
Rosters of Personnel
Program Notes, Liner Notes
The Concert Listing
Reviews
Finally . . .

7. File Preparation and Control

8. Best Practices for Student Writers

Preliminaries
Typescript
Citations, Again
Vetting
Submission and Production
Beware
Appendix: Problem Words and Sample Style Sheet
Works Cited
Illustration Credits
D. Kern Holoman is Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of California, Davis, where he conducted the UCD Symphony Orchestra for more than three decades. He is the author of Berlioz; Evenings with the Orchestra; Masterworks; The Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, 1828–1967; Charles Munch; and The Orchestra: A Very Short Introduction.
“Leavened with an elegant, gentle wit [and] features levelheaded, common-sense advice. . . . Holoman’s excellences of style, content, and advice prosper.”—Fanfare

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