Style Guide

Submissions and Style Guide


December 20 for Spring and July 5 for Autumn

Format / How to Send

Short news items, comments and events can be submitted at any time. 

Please contact the Editor prior to sending in completed articles or files, so that we can discuss it. 

Completed articles should be submitted to in RTF (Rich Text Format) or Microsoft Word with minimal formatting (see below for recommendations). Large files may also be posted on CD to the Editor.

Writers may include a two sentence biography at the end of each article.If you cannot send an attachment to email or a disc or CD, post typewritten copy for scanning. It should be one side only and with large margins.

Graphics, Photos & Musical Examples

Digital images are preferred, as defined below. We can also accept finished artwork and line drawings. More resolute versions may be requested and writers are responsible for obtaining any copyright permission. 

For all images, please crop to suit and reference each in the text of the corresponding article (fig. 1, example 2, etc.).

Recommendation – Digital Camera Images: highest resolution, highest quality and uncompressed images in the camera’s original format.

Recommendation – Scanned Images: 1200 dpi, full colour (24 bits or higher) in TIFF format.

Recommendation – Musical Examples: Sibelius or Finale files (please specify your version) or as a graphic file (but you must remove the caption). If you send a music file as a graphic file such as .TIFF ensure that the original file has any caption removed.  You can specify the caption within the text of the article.

Please do not imbed images into other files (such as Microsoft Word), but rather send each image separately.

To show where a graphic ought to appear, within the text file include a bracketed description as in:

[Fig.1: Scarlatti’s use of the acciacatura, Essercizi, no. 7] 

[Table 2: The difference in cents between major thirds in Thomas Young and Werckmeister III]

[Ex. 3: Frescobaldi, Toccata 3, b. 13-21]

Again, be sure your graphic has as little text as possible, so that we can match our fonts. Instead within the text of the article place the caption, as given just above.


Length: Articles 2,500 words; CD Reviews 500 words 

Font: Palatino 10 point for articles; Avant Garde 10 point for reviews and short items

Paragraphs and Formatting: Single spaced, left-adjusted, default margins (please use as little formatting as possible; formatting will be adjusted to match magazine style).

Tables: Do not rely on character spacing for tables but use a table format as is readily available in Word processing or spreadsheet software. This will allow us to match fonts and size appropriately.  You are welcome to send a PDF as well to illustrate how you feel it should line up.

General Guidelines: For ease of proofing, please use very little formatting, and follow the guidance below:

  • Insert a blank line between paragraphs (rather than indenting the start of the next one)
  • Leave text left adjusted (rather than justified), including section subtitles.

Pitch references: Use the modified Helmholz system (no tick marks), as follows…

  • Two Octaves above Middle C: c2 -b2
  • The Octave above Middle C: c1-b1 
  • Middle C: c-b 
  • Octave below middle C: C-B
  • Two Octaves below middle C: CC-BB

Punctuation and Spelling

The standard of the magazine is British English with some exceptions as given below. Writers from elsewhere need not worry about adopting British English conventions, as the Editor will convert words and usage on their behalf. 

When using region-specific note values (“crotchets” versus “quarter notes”), please use your native format.

Please use double quotation marks rather than single quotes.

Endnote numbers should be after periods (full stops) and double quotes.

“…the study was completed.” 5 

Avoid hyphens for double words like “key colour.” Leave them as two separate words or in one combined word if generally used.

  • Key colour, not key-colour
  • Wrestplank, not wrest-plank

When referring to specific centuries, use the following: 

Used as an adjective: “17th-century style,” or “17th-century chair”

Used as a noun: “the seventeenth century” 

Key/Tonality references should be capitalised as in “A Minor” or “B-Flat Major” 

Numbers – up to ten: written out; 11 or higher: Arabic Abbreviations.

Abbreviations – Number as no. even when plural; Measures or Bars in music as b.

C-time, not C time. Do not abreviate “manuscript” as MS.

When a movement is listed singly, it should have italics for common Italian or French tempi or dances so Andante or sarabanda; or quotes for more descriptive modern titles “Like a Minuet”

Bibliographic References

Either include a bibliography or use Arabic-numbered endnotes (not footnotes), including the publisher’s name, as well as place of publication and date. Do use the built in endnote creators readily available in word processing software. Please do not indent references. See examples below.

1 James Portman, The Study of Music (New York: Garland, 1959), 353.

2 Edward Corp, “The exiled court of James II and James III: a centre of Italian music in France, 1689-1712,” Journal of the Royal Musical Association 120 (1995): 216-31.

3 Olivier Baumont, “L’Ordre chez François Couperin,” in François Couperin; Nouveaux Regards, Actes des Rencontres de Villecroze 1995, (Paris: Editions Klincksieck, 1998), 27-41.

Subsequent references can be given in shortened form without Latin abbreviations, as in:

4 Portman, 353.

In the case of multiple books by the same author, include a partial title.

4 Portman, The Study, 353.

For further guidance on references, follow

Turabian, Kate. A Manual for Writers, 5th ed. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987), which derives rules from The Chicago Manual of Style, 13th edition. Note that periodical volumes should be Arabic.

The exception to the Turabian rules: book and journal titles should be in italics rather than underlined.

British writers may wish to consult New Hart’s Rules: The Handbook of Style for Writers and Editors. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).

For other style guidance, follow Strunk, William and White, E.B. The Elements of Style. 3rd edition. (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co, 1987).