American Music Resource

AMR File formats and styles

μμμ   The collection contains mostly bibliographies, supplemented by a few lists, notes and written text-files. The following rules relate to the internal structures of the files themselves.
   See AMR: Filename Codes for the file-naming system. This file also includes a complete list of possible file-types and the designated descriptive text and file-names for proper listing and linking. See AMR: Filename Prefixes for a list of all AMR file families. See AMR: Home Page Template for the actual HTML design of home pages for topics and subjects. The template may be viewed as a text-file AMR: Home Page Template as a textfile to see the remarks.


μμμ   These should be c.80-column text-files with NO word-processor formatting, NO italics or underlines, NO extra returns, tabs, or indents, NO columns; i. e. the files should be "plain-vanilla" DOS-style-ASCII. Examples:

for "berbok.txt"

Leonard Bernstein - books (the header or top line)
(blank line, i.e. a "return")
author last name, first name. title. publication citation.
(blank line, i.e. a "return")
second bibliographical entry.
(blank line)
third entry, etc.

for "rokarl.txt"

Rock music - articles
(blank line)
author last name, first name. "title." publication citation. pages.
(blank line)
second entry, etc.

   If the bibliography contained in the file is somehow selective rather than being "comprehensive," a note to that effect should appear directly under the header, before the blank line and the first entry.

Citational Style

μμμ   AMR acknowledges the existence and continuing development of several different systems of bibliographical citation and will publish from any format as long as a given file is internally consistent. AMR recommends the guidelines contained in the following:
The Chicago Manual of Style. 14th ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1993.

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.  5th ed. Revised and expanded by Bonnie Birtwistle Honigsblum. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987.
Turabian-Honigsblum is a condensed version of the Chicago Manual intended for students in all academic fields.

Holoman, D. Kern. Writing About Music: A Style Sheet from the Editors of 19th-Century Music. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.

Strunk, William, Jr., and E.B. White. The Elements of Style. 3rd ed. NY: Macmillan, 1979.

   Contributors should realize, however, that the AMR bibliographies are intended for multiple and varied purposes. Such needs transcend certain standard shortcuts as are sometimes found in education-based term papers, "Reference Lists" and the like. Often, a single AMR entry might be moved, duplicated, or downloaded by itself. Initializing a citation by year, or with a horizontal line, is specially problematic since individually it cannot then be identified or re-alphabetized properly. The following rules should therefore be followed.

a. Each specific bibliographical entry will begin with the last name of the (primary) author or editor and include all other authors, followed by a period.
b. DO NOT use a horizontal line if the previous bibliographical entry is by the same author; always re-type the author's name. A simple keyboard MACRO can help eliminate repetitive typing with most word processors.
c. If anonymous, or unsigned, as are many newspaper articles, begin the citation with "anon.".(no quotes)
d. The title and any associated information come next, followed by a second period. If taken from a periodical or other compilation, the title will be placed within quotes. Then publication information, (N.B. see below, incomplete citations) and the date, which is followed by a period. Then, page numbers, and the final period. For books, the publication information comes last, followed by the third and final period.
e. DO NOT use indents, tabs, or other stylized bibliographical formatting.
f. Then type two "returns" (the first ends the entry and the second creates a blank line), and add the next entry. All bibliographical entries in a given file should be alphabetized by the authors' last names.

Here is an example from a hypothetical selected bibliography:

Boretz, Benjamin and Edward T. Cone. Perspectives on American 
Composers. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1971.

Borroff, Edith. Music in Europe and the United States: A History. 2nd ed.
New York: Ardsley House, 1990.
     An attempt to integrate conventional Music History with American 

Carter, Elliott. "An American Destiny." Listen IX, November, 1946. 4-7.

Notice that no double-spaces are employed; use a single space after colons, etc.

   Please follow the general formatting principles articulated above and make all entries as complete as possible. The current trend of incomplete citations (e.g. "...NY, 1992.") omitting the name of the publishing house, is to be avoided. One important element incorporated in a growing number of AMR citations is a listing of all editions of a given book. This, in itself, can lead to further levels of information and scholarship. Certain entries (Borroff, above) may also be accompanied by a brief annotation appearing directly under the citation, before the blank line between entries.

g. The date the file was completed (or the date of the entire project) will appear at the bottom of the text-file. In general, collected files will be listed and annotated in the "note on files" and should be initialed or signed. All written documents should be signed if the author wishes to retain "ownership."

Non-bibliographical styles

μμμ   Lists, chronologies, outlines, narrative text, and any other such files may be "free-form" as long as they conform to the general guidelines stated above. Lists of compositions should be alphabetized by title; the composer's name need not be listed for each entry.

Suggested "***bio" (biographical sketch) format:

1. name: last, first, middle
2. any letters following the name
3. pseudonym, other names
4. birth/death years (1900-1991)
5. born: where, when (specific date), parents
6. married: to whom - years, children - dates
7. died: where, when
8. conservatory/university education: diplomas, degrees, dates
9. significant teachers: names, dates, places
10. awards, honors: names, dates
11. employment/profession: where, when
12. locations of papers, archives, special interest groups (fan clubs)
13. narrative

   AMR is currently developing a system for housing individual citations of musical compositions as separate text files. The use of a cross-indexable composition register will gradually replace the current work lists.

HTML Problems

μμμ   The use of HTML markup technique, which results in a title or passage of text being rendered in italics, presents a special problem. Browser programs are not yet intelligent enough to deal with the spacing problem created by the slanted text. Otherspacing problemsmay be created around tags. And, how do you render "Varese" properly? The previous few lines look like this in HTML code: deal with the <I>spacing problem</I> created by the slanted text. Other<I>spacing problems</I>may also be encountered around tags. And, how do you render "Varese" properly?
μμμ   The text displayed by Web browsers is officially known as ASCII, a 7-bit subset of the typeface "Latin-1." So-called "extended ASCII" (with diacriticals and special signs) presents a set of problems addressed in HTML through the use of special "ampersand codes" to deal with the spacing problem  created by the slanted text. Other spacing problems  may also be fixed around tags. And, here's how you render "Varèse" properly. deal with the <I>spacing problem</I>&nbsp; created by the slanted text. Other  <I>spacing problems</I> may also be fixed around tags. And, here's how you render "Var&egrave;se" properly.


7/96, FMc