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Instructions for authors

Download the Plainsong and Medieval Music instructions for contributors here: Download Instruction for Contributors in PDF. (142 KB)

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Editorial Policy

Published twice a year in association with the Plainsong and Medieval Music Society, the journal covers the entire field of Western plainchant, the liturgical music of the Eastern churches, and every aspect of medieval music, monophonic and polyphonic, sacred and secular, including vernacular lyric, music theory, palaeography, and performance practice. Articles pertaining to the institutions that performed music in the Middle Ages are also welcome. The chronological scope of the journal extends from late antiquity to the early Renaissance and to the present day in the case of plainchant. The journal also publishes reviews of important recent publications, an annual bibliography of chant research, and a comprehensive discography of chant recordings.

1. Submissions

Articles proposed for publication in Plainsong & Medieval Music may be emailed to both the editors:

  Professor Catherine A. Bradley:

  Associate Professor Daniel J. DiCenso:

Each article should include an abstract (ca. 250 words) suitable for printing with the article, a brief (3–4 sentences) biographical statement, and the email address of the author.

Submission of a manuscript for publication will be taken to imply that it is unpublished and not being considered for publication elsewhere.

Contributors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce any material in which they do not hold copyright and also for ensuring that appropriate acknowledgements are included in captions and footnotes.

If you have a book you wish to send for review in Plainsong and Medieval Music, please contact Dr Nicolas Bell at: Scholars are encouraged to send information about their publications and reviews for inclusion in the annual chant bibliography to Dr Raquel Rojo and Dr Marie Winkelmüller at:

Open Access Policies
Please visit Open Access Publishing at Cambridge for information on our open access policies, compliance with major finding bodies, and guidelines on depositing your manuscript in an institutional repository.

2. General Guidelines

Articles should not normally exceed 10,000 words including footnotes, tables and appendices. The editors may be consulted about submissions that exceed this length. Authors are reminded that the journal aims at a wide readership and that technical matters or specialised vocabulary should be explained in a manner that will facilitate understanding by both specialist and educated non-specialist readers.

Articles must be written in English, using British conventions of spelling and punctuation when these differ from American usage, preferring ‘-ise’ to ‘-ize’ forms. Contributors whose native language is not English are requested to have their articles reviewed by a native speaker prior to submission. First versions of articles in languages other than English (German, French, Italian, Spanish) are welcome. It is the author’s responsibility to arrange for a translation into English, if the article is accepted for publication.

English Language Editing Services
Authors, particularly those whose first language is not English, may wish to have their English-language manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission. This is optional, but may help to ensure that the academic content of the paper is fully understood by the editor and any reviewers. We list a number of third-party services specialising in language editing and / or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Please see the Language Services page for more information. Please note that the use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a Cambridge published journal.

Titles of complete vocal works should be italicised, but individual sections or stanzas thereof are placed in single quotes. The words Mass, Office, Ordinary and Proper are in Roman type and capitalised. Individual sections of the Ordinary of the Mass (Kyrie, Gloria) should be capitalised, but parts of the Proper (introit, gradual) should not. Hours of the Office (Matins, Lauds) should be capitalised, but not the individual items (antiphon, responsory) that make up the hours. Except when a specific source is cited (e.g., the Magdalen Pontifical), names of liturgical books (pontifical) should not be capitalised.

References to manuscript sources may employ either RISM sigla (italicised) or conventional abbreviations (BL, BNF, BAV).  The use of MS or ms. should be avoided in these citations (BNF, lat. 909; BAV, Archivio San Pietro B 79). The medieval system of pitch nomenclature (A–G, a–g, aa–dd) is to be preferred. Designation of specific pitches in a composition should be italicised, but pitch classes should be indicated by roman capitals. Simultaneous pitches should be linked by oblique strokes – C/G/c – and usually cited from the lowest voice part to the highest.

Double spacing must be used throughout (text and notes), and right margins should not be justified. Tables and captions must be typed separately from the main text, and the desired location of tables and musical examples indicated clearly in the text. Musical examples, plates, diagrams, maps, and line illustrations should be provided in a format suitable for reproduction, i.e., camera-ready or (preferably) as digital files. Musical examples may be submitted in electronic format (600 to 800 dpi TIFF files; postscript files are not acceptable).

Quotations of sixty words or less should be enclosed within single punctuation marks and included in the running text. Longer quotations should be indented without quotation marks and separated from the main text. Quotations longer than a few words from Latin, Greek or modern foreign languages should be translated into idiomatic English. Depending on the context, the author may place the original either within the text or in the footnotes. In the latter case, no quotation marks should be used. Under some circumstances, parallel columns may be desirable.

Square brackets [ ] should be used for interpolated material. Ellipses in quotations should be indicated by three unspaced periods, four if the deleted text includes the end of a sentence or period in the original. Do not use ellipses to precede a quotation whose opening words have been omitted.

Charges apply for all colour figures that appear in the print version of the journal. At the time of submission, contributors should clearly state whether their figures should appear in colour in the online version only, or whether they should appear in colour online and in the print version. There is no charge for including colour figures in the online version of the journal. If you request colour figures in the printed version, you will be contacted by CCC-Rightslink who are acting on our behalf to collect Author Charges. Please follow their instructions in order to avoid any delay in the publication of your article.

Competing interests declaration: All authors must include a competing interests declaration in their submissions. This declaration will be subject to editorial review and may be published in the article. Competing interests are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on the content or publication of an author’s work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations. If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting must include competing interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors. Example wording for a declaration is as follows: “Competing interests: Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H.” If no competing interests exist, the declaration should state “Competing interests: The author(s) declare none”.

3. Footnotes

Footnotes should be inserted using your word processor’s “insert footnote” command. They should be numbered consecutively, and appear as double-spaced endnotes at the end of the manuscript. The first reference must include the full citation including the author’s full name as it appears in the publication, complete title and inclusive pagination (do not use either ‘pp.’ or ‘ff.’). In subsequent references to specific pages ‘p.’ or ‘pp.’ should likewise be omitted. For books the place and date of publication must be included, though the name of the publisher is normally omitted unless clarification on this point is important. English spelling of place names is to be preferred.

Second and subsequent references should be confined to author and short title; op. cit., and loc. cit. are to be avoided, but ibid. may be used for citations adjacent to the first reference. Abbreviations should be used sparingly in the footnotes and text; they must always be explained with the first full citation: e.g., Plainsong & Medieval Music (hereafter PMM). Abbreviations which end with the last letter of the word abbreviated are not followed by a full stop (St, Dr), with the exception of certain plural forms (e.g., cols., vols., fols., which should be used in preference to ‘ff.’ to signify ‘folios’). The words ‘Example’ and ‘Figure’ should be spelled out in the text. In general, the use of Roman numerals should be avoided, except in the case of citations of prefatory material (e.g., xxii). References to books and sections thereof in classical or medieval works should be separated by a single period (Amalarius, Liber officialis, 3.19.1). Volume and page or column numbers of modern works are separated by a colon (3: 374).

Examples of footnotes:

David Hiley, Western Plainchant: A Handbook (Oxford, 1993), 172–3.

Pia Ernstbrunner, Der Musiktraktat des Engelbert von Admont (ca. 12501331), Musica Mediaevalis Europae Occidentalis 2 (Tutzing, 1998).

Barbara Haggh, ed., Two Offices for St Elizabeth of Hungary, Musicological Studies 65/1 (Ottawa, 1995).

Alejandro Enrique Planchart, The Repertory of Tropes at Winchester, 2 vols. (Princeton, 1977), 1: 243.

Jennifer Bain, ‘Tonal Structure and the Melodic Role of Chromatic Inflections in the Music of Machaut’, Plainsong & Medieval Music, 14 (2005), 59–88.

Calvin M. Bower, ‘The Grammatical Model of Musical Understanding in the Middle Ages’, in Hermeneutics and Medieval Culture, ed. Patrick J. Gallacher and Helen Damico (Albany, 1989), 133–45. [same format for ‘trans.’]

Lori Kruckenberg, ‘The Sequence from 1050–1150: Study of a Genre in Change’, Ph.D. diss., University of Iowa (1997).

4. Final version and proofs

Authors may expect to be informed about acceptance within six months of submission and generally sooner. If an article has been accepted for publication, the author must supply the final version as an email attachment, preferably using Microsoft Word.

Authors will have the opportunity to check one set of page proofs, which they will receive as pdf files. These must be corrected and returned promptly by mail or email to one of the editors. Typographical and factual errors may be changed at proof stage; the publisher reserves the right to charge authors for other kinds of corrections. Authors should keep the editors informed of any changes of mailing address and email address, temporary or permanent, to ensure prompt delivery of proofs and to facilitate communication.

5. Offprints

Authors will receive a PDF offprint of their article.

6. Copyright

The policy of Plainsong & Medieval Music is that authors (or in some cases their employers) retain copyright and grant Cambridge University Press a licence to publish their work. In the case of gold open access articles this is a non-exclusive licence. Authors must complete and return an author publishing agreement form as soon as their article has been accepted for publication; the journal is unable to publish the article without this. Please download the appropriate publishing agreement here.

For open access articles, the form also sets out the Creative Commons licence under which the article is made available to end users: a fundamental principle of open access is that content should not simply be accessible but should also be freely re-usable. Articles will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY) by default. This means that the article is freely available to read, copy and redistribute, and can also be adapted (users can “remix, transform, and build upon” the work) for any commercial or non-commercial purpose, as long as proper attribution is given. Authors can, in the publishing agreement form, choose a different kind of Creative Commons license (including those prohibiting non-commercial and derivative use) if they prefer.

Last updated January 2022