Apa Bibliography Composer

On By In 1

by Jeff Hume-Pratuch

It’s December 22, the date on which I traditionally panic about the holidays. Cards sit unwritten, unaddressed, and unstamped on my desk. Cookies are unbaked, gifts are unbought, and the house is distinctly underdecorated!

But this year I am as cool as a cup of eggnog, for I have come up with the perfect holiday playlist to accompany my last-minute flurry of activity. Don’t tell my colleagues, but certain people may be finding a mix tape in their stockings (accompanied by a reference list, of course—we are the APA Style Experts.)

The Basics
In a previous post, I showed you some examples for citing sheet music in APA Style. The format for a recorded song is similar, but it resembles a chapter rather than a book. The name of the songwriter goes in the author position:

Writer, A. (Copyright year). Title of song [Recorded by B. B. Artist].
    On Title of album [Medium of recording]. Location: Label. (Date of

So, for example, where the songwriter and performing artist are the same, the reference would look like this:

Baron Cohen, E. (2010). My Hanukkah (Keep the fire alive). On
    Songs in the key of Hanukkah [MP3 file]. Burbank, CA:
    WaterTower Music.

Fuchs, G. (2004). Light the menorah. On Eight nights of Hanukkah [CD].
    Brick, NJ: Kid Kosher.

Lehrer, T. (2000). (I’m spending) Hanukkah in Santa Monica. On The
    remains of Tom Lehrer
[CD]. New York, NY: Rhino.

Variations on a Theme
If the song is recorded by someone other than the songwriter, include the information about the recording artist(s) in brackets after the song title.

Lavin, C. (2003). A Christmas/Kwanzaa/Solstice/Chanukah/Ramadan/
    Boxing Day song [Recorded by C. Lavin & the Mistletones]. On The
    runaway Christmas tree
[CD]. West Chester, PA: Appleseed Recordings.

Page, S. (2010). Hanukkah blessings [Recorded by Barenaked Ladies].
    On Barenaked for the holidays [CD]. London, England: Raisin Records.

If the recording identifies the lyricist and composer, include their roles in parentheses after the name:

Geisel, T. (Lyricist), & Hague, A. (Composer). (1966). Welcome
    Christmas! On Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch stole Christmas &
    Horton hears a Who
[CD]. New York, NY: Rhino.

Wesley, C. (Lyricist), & Mendelssohn, F. (Composer). (2006). Hark! The
    herald angels sing [Recorded by the Vince Guaraldi Trio]. On A
    Charlie Brown Christmas
[CD]. Beverly Hills, CA: Fantasy Records.

However, it’s not necessary to note the species if performers are non-Homo sapiens:

Bagdasarian, R., Sr. (1962). The chipmunk song [Recorded by D. Seville
    & The Chipmunks]. On Christmas with the Chipmunks [CD]. Los Angeles,
    CA: Capitol Records. (2002)

Burland, S. (1963). The chickens are in the chimes [Recorded by
    S. Burland, M. Adams, & The Skipjack Choir]. On The chickens are in
    the chimes
[Vinyl record]. New York, NY: RCA Victor.

Hayes, B., & Johnson, J. W. (1948). Blue Christmas [Recorded by S. Swine
    & The Squeelers]. On John Boy and Billy’s Christmas album [Audio
    cassette]. Nashville, TN: Arista Records. (1998)

Particularly with traditional holiday music, the author may be unknown. In that case, the title of the song moves to the author position:

God rest ye merry, gentlemen [Recorded by Jars of Clay]. (2007). On
    Christmas songs. Vancouver, Canada: Nettwerk.

I have a little dreidel [Recorded by Sister Hazel]. (2007). On Santa’s
    playlist. Newark, NJ: Rock Ridge Music.

Text Citations
For music recordings, the text citation consists of the songwriter(s) and date, along with the track number (or side and band, for vinyl records):

Lehrer (2000, track 11) noted that East St. Louis was not the optimal
spot for a celebration of Shavuot.

If the copyright date and recording date are different, use both dates in the text citation:

Bernard, F. & Smith, R. B. (1934). Winter wonderland [Recorded by
    The Eurythmics]. On A very special Christmas [CD]. Santa Monica,
    CA: A&M Records. (2006)

“Winter Wonderland” (Bernard & Smith, 1934/2006, track 5)

A Very Special APA Holiday
To all of our readers, we wish you happy holidays and a prosperous new year! You can listen to the entire playlist for this article on Spotify at APA Holiday.


Basic Information

Material in the social and behavioral sciences is typically written in APA Style, the format established by the American Psychological Association. The rules and guidelines of the style are outlined in The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. According to APA formatting, a paper should include four sections: title page, abstract, main body, and references. The manual provides style guidelines for each.

Basic Guidelines

  • Papers should be printed in black ink on standard, white 8.5x11-inch paper
  • Text should be double spaced, size 10-12 point, and typed in a clear font, such as Times New Roman. There should be 1-inch margins on all sides.
  • Create a header at the upper right-hand side of every page, composed of the first few words of the title, five spaces, and the page number.;

Title Page Guidelines

  • The title page should include the page header.
  • The first line of the title page should be left-aligned, not centered, and begin with the words “Running Head,” followed by a colon and an abbreviated version of your title using 50 characters or less in all capital letters.
  • Centered,in the upper half of the page, list your full title, name, and affiliation (for example, University of Michigan).
  • Any endnotes should be located on a separate page, before your Works Cited page.

Abstract Guidelines

  • The abstract page should include the page header.
  • The first line should just say the word “Abstract,” centered.
  • Your abstract should begin on the following line, without indentation, double spaced, and should consist of one paragraph of fewer than 120 words.


  • Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.
  • Cohen, R. C., & Meyers, R. R. (1991). APA guide for preparing manuscripts for journal articles. San Francisco: Modern Language Association.

Chapter from a Bookr

  • Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In A. Editor & B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pages of chapter). Location: Publisher.

Computer Program

  • Author, A. (Year). Title [computer software]. City: Publisher.
  • Baker, E. (2004). RetroActive [computer software]. Cincinnati: Jennings.

Computer Software

  • Jones, B., Tesar, B., & Luckow, K. (2007). IG: Intl Games Software (Version 2.1) [Software]. Available from http://www.intlgames.com

Database Article

  • Brown, A. M., Smith, A. L., & Yen, D. P. (2001). The Centrist Study. Journal of European Studies, 8(3). Retrieved February 20, 2001, from EURO ARTICLES database.

Dissertation Abstract

  • Goldstein, Y. (2003). Essays in Faith Based Studies (Doctoral dissertation, Harvard College, 2004). Dissertation Abstracts International, 62, 7741F.


  • Henry, F. G. (1990). Space. In The new encyclopedia Britannica (Vol. 26, pp. 306-508). Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica.


  • Producer, P. P. (Producer), & Director, D.D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Country of origin: Studio or distributor.Journal
  • Wong, I. (1998). Mischa Mischa. The New Criterion, 15(30), 5-13.


  • Henry, G. (2004, September). Ripples versus waves [Letter to the editor]. Scientific American, 287(2), 12.


  • Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Article Title. Publication Title, Volume number, page range.
  • Jones, W. A., III. (1994, April 12). Happy Living. Time, 135, 28-31.


  • Author, A. (Year, Month Day). Title of Article. Title of Publication, p. 1A.
  • Author, A. (Year, Month Day). Title of Article. Title of Publication, pp. 1A, 2A.

Online Periodical

  • Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Online Periodical, volume number(issue number if available).Retrieved month day, year, (if necessary) from http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/
  • Cohen, M. (2008). Why We Should Run. A List Apart: For People Who Exercise, 129. Retrieved June 2, 2000, from http://www.healthyliving.com

Private Organization

  • American Psychiatric Association. (1999). Practice guidelines for the treatment of patients with depression (1st ed.). Washington, D.C.: Author.


  • Producer, P. P. (Producer). (Date of broadcast or copyright). Title of broadcast [ Television broadcast or Television series ]. City of origin: Studio or distributor.


  • “Name of Episode.” Name of Series. Network. Station, City. Date of Broadcast.


  • Review Author. "Title of Review (if there is one)." Rev. of Performance Title, by Author/Director/Artist. Title of Periodical day month year: page.
  • Truman, Mark. "France: Where Art Thou?" Rev. of Majestic City, dir. Michael Roth and Benjamin Schwartz. San Francisco Chronicle 21 April 2006 late ed.: E1.


  • Author’s name (if available). Name of Site. Date of Posting/Revision. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sometimes found in copyright statements). Date you accessed the site
  • Benson, David. Ankle Replacement Prosthetics. 16 Nov. 2007. University of Maryland. 6 Feb. 2008 <http://www.anklereplacement.com>.


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