Concert season is in full swing, and music artists seem to be dropping a new single every week. If you want to write about the audial gems you listen to in your day-to-day, you have come to the right place.
It doesn’t matter if you are grooving to a jazz-inspired track on William Shatner’s latest album Bill or still trying to recover from the myriad of emotions evoked by the 27 tracks on Ye’s (the artist formerly known as Kanye West) Donda, APA Style can help you cite the melodic works you love in your paper or manuscript. In this post, you will learn how to cite a single song or track reference.
In general, each APA Style reference has an author element, date element, title element, and source element. For a song or track reference, the author of the work is usually the recording artist, which may be an individual or group. If a music artist prefers to use their first name and surname, then follow the APA guideline to invert the author’s name as “Surname, First Initial” in your reference (e.g., “Smith, S.” for singer and songwriter “Sam Smith”).
If the music artist chooses to go by only one name (e.g., “Beyoncé”), a group name (e.g., “Franz Ferdinand”), an inseparable multipart name (e.g., “Lady Gaga”), an initialism (e.g., “MNEK”), or some other name variation, write their name as shown on the work. If the work you are citing features another artist, place the featured artist’s name (again, formatted as “Surname, First Initial” or exactly as their name is spelled on the work) in parentheses after the main artist’s name, preceded by the word “featuring,” as shown in the BTS and Megan Thee Stallion reference example later in this post.
Therefore, in your song or track reference, write the name of the recording artist in the author element (if it’s a classical work, write the name of the composer), and place the date the work was published in parentheses in the date element. Include the title of the work in sentence case and standard nonitalic type, and describe the type of audio work in square brackets—for example, “[Song]”—in the title element of the reference.
After the title of the work, its bracketed description, and the ending period, write the word “On” in standard nonitalic type, followed by the title of the associated album in italic sentence case. In the source element of the reference, provide the name(s) of the artist’s music label(s), separating multiple music labels with semicolons—as shown in the following example.