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Contact the Music Graduate Office

Office Location
East Studio Building 120 (JS 120)
205 S. Jordan Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405

Mailing Address
1201 E. 3rd Street
Bloomington, IN 47405

Hours: 8 am–12 pm, 1–5 pm
Phone: 812-855-1738Phone

E-mail: musgrad [at] indiana [dot] edu

musicdgs [at] indiana [dot] edu (Eric Isaacson), Director
serbes [at] indiana [dot] edu (Sara Erbes), Advisor
anmiller [at] indiana [dot] edu (Angie Miller), Recorder
musgrad [at] indiana [dot] edu (Victoria Wheeler), Secretary
musdoc [at] indiana [dot] edu (Brittany Dye), Doctoral Clerk

More Information

Styles Guidelines for Graduate Capstone Projects

The word "document" is used throughout to refer to the following:

Composition majors should refer to the Styles Guidelines for Composition DM Dissertations and MM Theses.

Except where noted, the guidelines on this page are the same whether the document is submitted electronically or in bound paper format. Where provided, recommendations for implementing features in Microsoft Word apply to Word 2010 for Windows and Word 2011 for Macintosh.

Document Checklist

When documents are submitted, the doctoral clerk reviews it for conformance to the following checklist. Students are strongly encouraged to check their document against this list before submitting the document to the committee and again before submitting the final copy. These items are explained in detail below. 

Here is a sample document that can be used as a reference to see examples of the items in the checklist or as a template for your own document.

PhD Students: use the University Graduate School's web page on formatting doctoral dissertations as your guide.  

Documentation Style

  • Documents should employ a consistent literary and documentary style based on either A Manual of Style, current edition (The University of Chicago Press), or Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, current edition (The University of Chicago Press).
  • Music education students should use the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, current edition.  Doctor of Music students also have the option of using APA when appropriate to their topic.
  • For style matters unique to music, consult D. Kern Holoman, Writing About Music (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988).

General Appearance of the Page

  • Documents must be typed.
  • Spacing: The document must be double-spaced, except for matter that is set apart from the body of the page and indented from the normal margins, such as lengthy direct quotations, which are single-spaced. These quotations are not in italics.
  • Font: The body must be in a serifed, non-script font, such as Times New Roman, Palatino, or Garamond. Headers may use either serifed or non-serifed fonts.
  • Margins: The left margin should be 1.5 inches. Top, bottom, and right margins should be 1 inch.  See next point for more margin information if you choose to submit on bound paper.
  • For printed versions only - single-sided or double-sided printing: If submitting on bound paper, you may choose to print single-sided or double-sided. If you choose to print double-sided, set Word to mirror the margins on alternating pages, setting the Inside margin to 1.5 inches and the others to 1 inch. Windows: Page Layout | Margins | Custom Margins. Next to Multiple pages select Mirror margins. Mac: Format | Document. Check the Mirror margins box.  If you choose to print double-sided, then page ii and page iv should be blank (so that the signature page is printed on the right hand side).  The signature page will be page iii in that case.  If you choose to print single-sided, then the signature page will be page ii.
  • Justification: Text should be left justified, not full justified (i.e., the right edge should remain ragged).
  • Paragraph indentations: Use tab stops of 0.25 or 0.5 inches. The choice must be used consistently.
  • Page numbers should appear without punctuation or other ornamentation.
  • Footnotes: If used, footnotes should be placed at the bottom of the page on which the reference occurs. Use a consistent style for footnotes throughout. Both bibliographic and explanatory footnotes should be numbered in one consecutive series throughout each chapter. The use of endnotes is discouraged. You may employ an author-date citation style if your research committee agrees.

Organization of the Document

Sections within the document should appear in the following order and observe the page numbering and heading guidelines provided.

Front Matter

Pages in this section should be paginated consecutively using small Roman numerals centered at the bottom of the page.

Depending on your personal inclination, you may wish to include a dedication, a preface, or a set of acknowledgments. The latter is designed to recognize people or agencies to whom you feel grateful for any academic, technical, financial, or personal aid in the preparation of your document; as a matter of courtesy, you would ordinarily mention the members of your committee here, as well as institutions that provided funding, your typist, or anyone else who helped.

  • Title page (mandatory). The title page appears first in any document. This is page i, but should not have a page number printed. There is no heading on this page.
  • Acceptance (signature) page (mandatory).Page numbering should begin on this page, which is page ii. (If you choose to submit a bound copy with double-sided printing, then this will be page iii - see "For printed versions only - single-sided or double-sided printing" above for more details).  This page confirms faculty approval and acceptance of your dissertation. This page has no heading. Each committee member should be listed, with the research director first, the chairperson second (if different), and the remaining committee members alphabetically.
    • If using electronic submission. The page submitted as part of the document must remain UNsigned.
    • PhD students, submit one signed copy of this page to University Graduate School.
    • Bound paper submission. DM, DME, and MME students should include signed copies on appropriate paper with their bound copies.
  • Copyright page (optional). This page has no heading. Use the regular font. Center the following text on the page, both top-to-bottom and left-to-right, substituting the year in which the final submission is made and your name:
  • Copyright © Year
    Student's Name

  • Dedication (optional). This page has no heading. Center the text vertically and horizontally. Use italic font.
  • Acknowledgments (recommended). This page includes a heading.
  • Preface (optional). This page includes a heading.
  • Abstract, unsigned (mandatory for PhD dissertations only). This page includes a heading.
  • Table of Contents (mandatory). This section includes a heading.
  • Lists, as applicable to the document, of (1) examples, (2) figures, (3) tables, (4) appendices, (5) abbreviations, and (6) any other supplemental materials. Lists for items 1-3 should include the captions (including the item number) and page numbers of each. Each list should begin on a new page and include an appropriate heading.
Body of the document

Each chapter begins on a new page. If submitting bound printed copies and printing double-sided, each chapter should begin on an odd-numbered page; the odd-numbered pages should always appear on the right side after binding.

  • Page numbering restarts using arabic numerals. The first page of the body is page 1.
  • If there is an introduction, that begins the body of the document and is page 1.  If there is no introduction, then page 1 will be the first page of the first chapter.
  • The first page of each chapter (and the introduction, if used) should have the page numbers centered at the bottom of the page.
  • There are two options for all remaining page numbers.  Option 1: All remaining page numbers should be centered at the bottom of each page.  Option 2: All remaining page numbers should be placed at the top of the page. If submitting bound printed copies, they should be in the upper right-hand corner of the page if printing single-sided; if printing double-sided, they should be on the outside of each page.
  • See below for additional information.
End Matter

Page numbering continues from the body of the document. Include a header for each section (including each appendix) and treat each as you would a new chapter when positioning page numbers.

  • Appendices (optional).
  • Bibliography (mandatory). This may be organized in different ways, depending on your needs. In some cases, it may be appropriate to have sections dedicated to Primary Sources and Secondary Sources. You may also wish to include a separate Discography of recordings. Carefully proofread the bibliographic entries to ensure they conform consistently to the style guide you have employed.
  • Vita page (mandatory for PhD, optional for DM, DME, MME). Use a basic resume/CV format. There should be no page number on this page.

Musical Examples

  • Reproduction: Musical examples should use high-resolution scanned images or created using music notation software, such as Finale or Sibelius.
  • If the example is less than a line, it should be centered on the page; otherwise normal page margins should be observed. Standard page size, regular margins, and page numbering must be maintained. Examples may run over several pages.
  • Numbering: Except in those cases where a short example is included as part of a sentence in the text, all musical examples should be numbered and should have captions. A consistent numbering system should be used throughout the document. Examples may be numbered consecutively throughout the document (Example 1, Example 2, etc.) or, for large numbers of examples, may be numbered consecutively by chapter (Example 2.1, Example 2.2, etc.). One of the following formats should be used consistently in this case: 2.1, 2-1, II-1.
  • Captions: Captions should appear consistently either centered below the example or above the example and flush left. Captions should include the composer's name, title of the composition, and place in the composition. In the case of a document dealing with only one composer, the composer's name may be omitted. Complete information (edition, etc.) should be included in the bibliography. "Place" in the composition is usually indicated by movement and measure number. Other indications, especially for certain music written after 1900, may be used if necessary. In the case of examples that cover more than one page, the caption should appear on the first page of the example. The succeeding pages should have the caption: Example (number), continued.
  • Copyright information: Permission to use copyrighted musical examples should be obtained from the copyright holder. Ordinarily, the copyright holder will designate the manner in which use credits are to appear. If the copyright holder specified that credit must appear with the musical example, this statement should appear as part of the caption after the composer's name, title, and place in the composition have been given. Please note that under certain circumstances it may be possible to use excerpts of copyrighted works without obtaining permission from the copyright holder under the Fair Use provision of copyright law. A summary of issues can be found in the document "You Should Know About Music and Fair Use" [PDF] and links to other resources may be found at IU's copyright resources page. If you elect to use copyrighted materials without permission, you could be sued by the copyright holder and, unless your claims of Fair Use were upheld by a court, could be held liable for damages. 
  • Other types of examples: Multiple short examples of a process may be grouped under one example number and caption. Examples of musical items other than those from musical scores should also be numbered and should have captions descriptive of the example.

Figures and Tables

  • Figures: Figures should be numbered separately from musical examples and should follow the same numbering format. Each figure should have a caption centered below it or flush left above it (e.g., Figure 1. Formal diagram of Beethoven's Sonata Op. 53, first movement).
  • Tables: Tables should be numbered separately from either musical examples or figures and should follow the same numbering format. Each table should have a title at the top of the table, flush left.

Symbols, Terms, and Abbreviations

  • Any abbreviation may be used consistently so long as it is defined in an appropriate way upon its first usage.
  • "Measure" may be abbreviated as m. 12 (for one), mm. 12–15 (for a range of measures). (Note that an en-dash is used between two numerals; for Microsoft Word in Windows, type a space after the first numeral, then two hyphens, then the second numeral. Word will replace the hyphens with an en-dash. Delete the space before it. Typing the first space is necessary or Word will replace two hyphens with an em-dash, which is too long. On the Mac, type Option-hyphen.)
  • Unless a number of references will be made to keys, they should be written out: C major and C minor. If key references occur often, uppercase letters may be used for major keys and lowercase letters for minor keys (C and c).
  • Sets of symbols, such as letters referring to formal sections and Roman numeral symbols, should be used consistently throughout. If there is potential confusion about the symbols, they should be explained when they are first used.
  • Common musical terms, especially tempo terms, need not be underlined or italicized as foreign words.
  • Sections of musical compositions, such as exposition, should not be capitalized.