Liner notes

You may need to consult more than one section to accurately represent the source used. (eg. Number of authors and source descriptions)

The citation of liner notes accompanying audio recordings is not dealt with comprehensively in the Chicago Manual of Style, apart from a brief note in the Q&A section. The following guidance incorporates this advice but also includes some interpretation based on examples provided for sound recordings and supplementary information.

Format for in-text citation

In-text citation example

Discussing the technique employed (Cairns 2019)...

In the liner notes to their album The Gospel Project (Idea of North, 2006)...

Format for reference list

Elements, punctuation & capitalisation

No author

Composer/Performer. Year. Title of recording. Label & publisher number. Format. Liner notes.

With an author

Author (surname, given name). Year. [Liner notes to] Composer/Performer. Title of recording. Label & publisher number. Format.

Reference list example

No author

Idea of North. 2006. The Gospel Project. Magnetic Records 934 128-4. Compact disc. Liner notes.

With an author

Cairns, David. 2019. Liner notes to Hector Berlioz. The Complete Works. Warner Classics 190295519414. Compact disc.

Style notes for this reference type

  • See this brief note in the Chicago Manual Q&A section, and Manual 14.263. Please check with your lecturer if you are unsure of how to deal with citation of liner notes.
  • Where liner notes are unsigned (no attributed author), simply include 'Liner notes' at the end of the citation. Where there is a named author, you may cite them by the name of the author.
  • If the performer or conductor (or similar) is more relevant than the composer, they may be listed first.
  • Include any information about the work that is relevant, including performers, conductors, performance dates, medium and publisher details.
  • For the date, include the date of the recording, the copyright date or published date included with the recording. If a date cannot be found consult a library catalog or other resource; citations without a date are generally unacceptable. If no date can be found, use “n.d.” (for no date).
  • If the notes are titled, include the title in quotation marks after the author's name.
  • Publisher numbers can be found on the CD liner notes or track listing.

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