How do you properly name a piece of music if it was transcribed by someone? Specifically I'm looking at a J. S. Bach Gigue, from Partita No. 3 in E major BWV 1006, originally written for a solo violin. It was transcribed for a solo piano by Sergei Rachmaninoff. I'm trying to name it and include both the composer and transcriber. It's actually for my music resume, which includes repertoire I've recently completed, so I'd like it to be correct and official. Here's an example of the format I've been using for the pieces:

Sonata I in E-flat Major. Op. 1 No. 1: Allegro Moderato.

John Field

I've been writing the name of the piece, the movement, and the composer's name underneath in italics. None of the other pieces were transcriptions though, so I'm unsure of what to do.

So far in my research, I've seen the piece in question named "Bach-Rachmaninoff: Violin Partita No.3 in E major, Gigue," "Bach - Partita No 3 in E major, Rachmaninoff transcription," and "J.S.Bach (Arr. Rachmaninov) - Partita BWV 1006," but none of these seem quite right to me. Is there one standard practice for naming transcriptions, or is it up to the discretion of whoever writes it?

Please include sources or reasons for your answer! Thank you!


This is really a question about English writing style, not about music.

There are many different "style guides" produced by different organizations. Take your pick from this list, for example:


If this is for your personal resume, choose whatever style guide you prefer and use it consistently for everything, not just for the music references. If you are at college, the college may specify what style guide to follow for writing homework and exams, etc - in which case, use that guide unless you have a good reason not to!

For documents which are to be published, the publishers often specify what style guide should be used, and may edit your text themselves to comply with that guide. Even Apple iTunes has its own 78 page long style guide for track names, etc - see section 30.3 for Apple's the answer to your specific question.

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As alephzero mentions, there are a number of different style guides. With that said, Chicago style is the standard in music academia, so my answers uses Chicago style. (Though even here, there's the question of where to put the date in the sources. I've gone with their default usages as shown in Chapter 14 of the 16th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.)

The Chicago Manual of Style gives the following two examples of musical score citations:

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. /Sonatas and Fantasies for the Piano/. Prepared from the autographs and earliest printed sources by Nathan Broder. Rev. ed. Bryn Mawr, PA: Theodore Presser, 1960.

Schubert, Franz. “Das Wandern (Wandering),” /Die schöne Müllerin (The Maid of the Mill)/. In /First Vocal Album/ (for high voice). New York: G. Schirmer, 1895.

They don't, however, really clarify where to put the information for transcriber. In books, however, the translator goes after the editor and before the publication location:

Adorno, Theodor W., and Walter Benjamin. /The Complete Correspondence/, 1928–1940. Edited by Henri Lonitz. Translated by Nicholas Walker. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999.

Menchú, Rigoberta. /Crossing Borders/. Translated and edited by Ann Wright. New York: Verso, 1999.

(Excuse the lack of italics in these citations; the quote formatting isn't allowing me to use any other formatting, apparently. Slashes indicate italics in the above citations.)

Since there's no official example given in the CMOS, I think it's safe to assume that we would put the transcriber (or arranger) in the same position as a book translator.

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