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Music Citations: Turabian/Chicago Style: Dissertations, Theses, and Papers

This guide will assist with formatting music citations using the Turabian/Chicago style. For more info, consult Turabian Manual: MUS REFPN203.T8 2007 or consult Chicago Manual online at:

Dissertations (19.7.1)

B: Authors Last Name, First. "Title." PhD diss., University of Wherever, Year.

N: 1AuthorFirst Name Last, "Title" (PhD diss., University of Wherever, Year), page numbers.


B: McMann, Sam. "A Harmonic Analysis of John Cage's 4'33." PhD diss., University of Smartsville, 2004.

N: 1Sam McMann, "A Harmonic Analysis of John Cage's 4'33" (PhD diss., University of Smartsville, 2004), 16.


For a thesis, use the citation style for a dissertation, but replace "PhD diss." with "master's thesis."


Lectures and Papers Presented at Meetings (19.7.2)

B: Carvalho Filho, Irineu de, and Renato P. Colistete. "Education Performance: Was It All Determined 100 Years Ago? Evidence from São Paolo, Brazil." Paper presented at the 70th annual meeting of the Economic History Association, Evanston, IL, September 24-26, 2010.

N: 1Viviana Hong, "Censorship in Children's Literature during Argentina's Dirty War (1976-1983)" (lecture, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, April 30, 2015).

N: 2Julie Leininger Pycior, "Trailblazers and Harbingers: Mexicans in New York before 1970" (paper presented at the 130th annual meeting of the American Historical Society, Atlanta, GA, January 8, 2016).

DMA vs PhD

The Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) is a doctoral academic degree in music. The DMA combines advanced studies in an applied area of specialization (usually music performance, music composition, or conducting) with graduate-level academic study in subjects such as music history, music theory, or music pedagogy. The DMA degree usually takes about three to four years of full-time study to complete (in addition to the master's and bachelor's degrees), preparing students to be professional performers, conductors, and composers. As a terminal degree, the DMA qualifies its recipient to work in university, college, and conservatory teaching/research positions. Students seeking doctoral training in musicology or music theory typically enter a PhD program, rather than a DMA program. 

A  thesis is the name given to document (often under 100 pages of writing) that is a part of the student's graduation requirement for a DMA along with other capstone projects usually in performance.

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, Ph.D., or DPhil) is the highest university degree that is conferred after a course of study by universities in most countries. PhDs are awarded for programs across the whole breadth of academic fields. As an earned research degree, those studying for a PhD are usually required to produce original research that expands the boundaries of knowledge, normally in the form of a thesis or dissertation, and defend their work against experts in the field. The completion of a PhD is often a requirement for employment as a university professor, researcher, or scientist in many fields.

A dissertation is the name given to the only capstone work of a student's graduation for a PhD and is usually several hundred pages of scholarly study on a musical topic.

For further examples, please consult: Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 9th ed., rev. by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, et al. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018).