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Preparing for a Recital

Choosing music and writing program notes using library resources.

Rules for citing in program notes.

Yes, you have to cite your sources. It's not as tough as you think though. Here are some helpful rules about citing.

When you find your notes...

On the web:
Assess the authority of the person who wrote the program notes. If the person is some one you know you can trust for accurate information,  look for a "terms of use" statement or copyright statement. This may tell you whether you may use or reproduce the information.
    TIP: Check "fair use guidelines" (next box) to determine whether your use is acceptable, regardless of what the "terms of use" or copyright states.

If you can't tell, don't know, or have no way to determine either of the above, find a different reliable source!

On Oxford Music Online:
You must cite the article from which the material comes. Look for a small, orange rectangle at the top right of each article. Clicking on it will give you the formatted citation. (both MLA and Chicago/Turabian styles)

In an online composer bio:
You may use it if copyright permits. You must cite the website from which you obtained it. (Be sure that it is an authoritative website about that composer first!)
    TIP: Check "fair use guidelines" (next box) to determine whether your use is acceptable, regardless of what the "terms of use" or copyright states.
    In a recording's liner notes:
    You must cite the author of the liner notes. If it is not given, cite the recording and indicate that the information was taken from the liner notes.

    In a score:
    You must cite the author of the program notes, whether the composer or someone else. If a name is not given, cite the score and indicate that the information was taken from the program notes.

    Fair use guidelines

    ...the fair use of a copyrighted work...for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

        (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

        (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

        (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;

        (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.*

    *US Copyright Office. Circular 92, "Copyright Law of the United States of America and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code," Chapter 1, Section 107, Washington, DC: US Copyright Office, 2008. 6 March 2009. http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107