Blog - Proofreading and Copy Editing

Referencing Work Titles II

Works of Art

1. Italics

  • Paintings
  • Sculptures
  • Drawings
  • Posters
  • Prints

Examples: Guernica (painting), David (sculpture), etc.

2. Roman

  • Series of unique works of art
  • Titles bestowed by someone other than the artist

Examples: La Gioconda (title bestowed by someone other than the artist)

Musical Works

This is where it gets a bit tricky!

1. Italics

  • Albums
  • Operas
  • Musicals
  • True titles of symphonies, concertos, etc.

Examples: Making Mirrors by Gotye (album), La bohème by Puccini (opera), Wicked (musical)

2. Roman in quotation marks

  • Songs
  • Arias
  • Anthems
  • Movements
  • Nicknames

Examples: ‘Hysteria’ by Muse (song), ‘Summertime’ from Porgy and Bess (aria), ‘God Save the Queen’ (anthem), ‘Winter’ from The Four Seasons (movement), the ‘Jupiter’ symphony (nickname)

3. Roman

  • Generic names
  • Tempo markings used as titles of movements
  • Sections of mass and other services

Examples: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 (generic name), the Adagietto from Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 (tempo marking used as title of movement)

The above is just a summary! If you want more detailed information, I recommend New Hart’s Rules: The Handbook of Style for Writers and Editors (OUP).

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