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How to cite an untitled music album reference

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Adams, A. (2022, July 13). How to cite an untitled music album reference. APA Style. https://apastyle.apa.org/blog/untitled-music-albums

How to cite an untitled music album reference

Recently, I received a question from an APA Style user who wanted to know how to cite a reference list entry for a song from an untitled music album.

Hmm. What an intriguing question.

How would a writer cite a work from an untitled music album?

And that question was followed by an even more important question: Is the music album really untitled?

For example, the 1968 self-titled album The Beatles is confusingly considered untitled by many because of its blank white cover and is commonly referred to as the “White Album.” Thus, before you attempt to create a reference list entry for a music album in your paper, fact-check the recording artist or group’s discography to ensure the title of the album—or the lack of one—is accurate.

There are cases where recording artists or groups’ music albums are intentionally untitled—as is the case of rock band Led Zeppelin’s fourth album. For any type of work that is untitled, the reference should include a description of the work in square brackets. This guideline and other reference guidelines for works without titles can be found in Section 9.22 of the Publication Manual (7th ed.) and the Concise Guide to APA Style (7th ed.).

So, although the reference for an untitled music album follows the same format as other music album references, the title of the album would be a bracketed description of the album in standard nonitalic type—that is, the “Untitled fourth album” noted in the Led Zeppelin reference example that appears after this paragraph. Following the template, that title is then followed by a description of the type of audio work in square brackets—for example, “[Album]”—and a period.

Untitled nonclassical music album

Led Zeppelin. (1971). [Untitled fourth album] [Album]. Atlantic.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Led Zeppelin, 1971)
  • Narrative citation: Led Zeppelin (1971)

Because the music album is untitled, the bracketed description of the album in standard nonitalic type is used in the reference list entry to account for the missing album title.

How do you cite a song or track from an untitled music album?

If you want to create a reference for a song or track from an untitled music album, follow the template for a reference list entry for a single song or track; however, instead of an italicized album title after the word “On,” you, again, include a bracketed description of the album in standard nonitalic type, as shown in the following example.

Song or track on an untitled nonclassical music album

Korn. (2007). Hold on [Song]. On [Untitled eighth album]. Virgin.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Korn, 2007)
  • Narrative citation: Korn (2007)

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