product header background

How to Write About Music

The RILM Manual of Style (e-book)

Edited by James R. Cowdery

The acclaimed manual addresses a multitude of special problems faced by writers on music–problems rarely solved by general writing guides. It applies an international perspective to matters often handled piecemeal and in ethnocentric fashion: work titles, manuscript sources, transliteration, non-Western theoretical systems, opus and catalogue numbers, and pitch and chord names, to name just a few. Detailed guidelines are provided for the bibliographic handling of standard print, audiovisual, and electronic sources, as well as specialized ones such as program notes, liner notes, and music videos. Throughout, abundant examples illustrate each point.

The first edition (2005) reflected many years of experience and thought, working with a wide variety of terms and concepts from around the world; the second edition (2006), roughly one-third larger than the first, included both revisions and new material, such as a new chapter on indexing and additional formats for citing specialized sources. This third edition incorporates numerous updates, many of them reflecting developments in writing and publishing over the past 17 years—not least, those involving the online environment. Unlike the earlier printed editions, it is an electronic edition that will be continuously updated.

Students, scholars, librarians, critics, and performers will find this book indispensable.

How to Write About Music is available for purchase through EBSCOhost Collection Manager and GOBI. If you represent an institution or business and do not use EBSCO Collection Manager or GOBI to manage/develop your current collection, please contact or your EBSCO sales representative. Individuals interested in accessing How to Write About Music should contact an affiliated library (University or Public Library).

Reviews of the Second Edition

How to Write about Music is an extremely helpful and comprehensive guide…. RILM has attempted to create a resource that addresses a global audience over a broad professional spectrum and to set forth its information in an unbiased and accurate manner. Given the scope of material provided and the comprehensive information included in the second edition of How to Write about Music, it appears that RILM has been successful. (Laurel Tarulli, Fontes Artis Musicae, 2008)

Rather than a rigid, dated series of rules and reasoning, The RILM Manual of Style is ever-expanding and indispensable resource. (Rebecca Lentjes, OperaToday, 2015)

Published: 2006 (2nd edition, print)
Softcover: xv, 128
ISBN 1-932765-03-4