After months of hard work you’re ready to perform that big recital but you still have one last hurdle to complete -- writing the program notes!
Content: High quality program notes give your audience information about any combination of the following:
Organization: Many people find it helpful to organize program notes into three sections*:
Nigel Scaife, Writing Programme Notes: A Guide for Diploma Candidates (London: Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, 2001), 7.
Information: Some basic questions that you might want to answer include:
Describe how the work or performance is related to others of the same style, tradition, movement, or genre.
Details: A further level of detail might need to be added, such as:
Personalization: As the performer, you (should) have your own interpretation of the pieces you will be performing and you will want to comment on this interpretation, especially if it is unconventional, and how you reached your decision.
It is also acceptable to comment on any meaning that a piece might hold for you.
Citations: Yes, you have to cite your sources in the Chicago/Turabian Style!
"...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:
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.*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