This concert program style guide presents the rules and supporting reasoning for the layout of printed concert programs. The online programs in the archive follow a similar style: The main differences are to accommodate the varying shapes and sizes of display devices, including smart phones, tablets, and desktop PCs.
A separate web page discusses the font, font size, etc. for each of the following concert program elements.
An overarching rule is: minimize redundancy and apply style consistently.
All concert programs start with a date line in the following format:
Wednesday, August 29, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
The day of week is always spelled out. The month is always spelled out. The date is always separated from the time with “at”. The time is in North American 12-hour time followed by a space and “a.m.” or “p.m.”.
The venue is always mixed case. For example:
There is a solid line below the venue and the Caroga Arts Collective logo is right justified. The venue text may be shortened by space constraints.
Every work or set of works scheduled to be performed will have a “Piece” name. This name may be generic, e.g., “selection”, but a specific name is preferred, where available. The piece name is always capitalized.
What is being played may be a subset of a larger work, where the composer intended the larger work to be performed in its entirety. For example:
In the above cases the larger work is always the “piece” being performed and is listed first. Style guides of some institutions suggest listing arias differently, where the aria is listed first followed by the word “from” and then the name of the opera. This author finds this style to be inconsistent.
The key is presented in mixed case as follows:
in B-flat major
The word “in” is always present. The note is always upper case. The “-flat” or “-sharp” is always spelled out, lower case, and with a hyphen. The “major” and “minor” are always lower case. Some institutional style guides specify “major” keys to be capitalized and “minor” keys to be all lower case, for example:
in a minor
in C Major
This author finds echoing major/minor in the case of the key to be redundant and it results in an inconsistent style.
(The online archive style abbreviates “-flat” and “-sharp” with ♭ and ♯ for brevity, which may be helpful on small smart phone displays.)
“Opus” is always abbreviated “Op.” and is preceded by a comma and followed by a space and the opus number.
If the composer wrote multiple works under one opus number, the work number is specified after the opus number, separated by a comma and number abbreviated “No.” followed by a space. For example:
String Quartet in A minor, Op. 51, No. 2
Numbering by others, if present, will be at the end, preceded by a comma.
These are abbreviated as follows:
String Quartet No. 14 in G major, K. 387
Where K1 and K6 differ, the two numbers will be separated by a slash:
Sonata in B♭ major, K. 292/196c
Movements are generally preceded by upper case roman numerals, a period, and a space.
Movement forms are followed by a period and a space. If there are multiple forms each is followed by a period and space, e.g., for Arenksy's Op. 51, “Finale. Fuga.” followed by any tempo markings.
If a movement has multiple tempo markings, they are separated by a space, an m-dash, and another space.
Operas, ballets, and musicals are always italicized. Individual arias names are surrounded by full quotes if the aria name is simply a section of quoted libretto.
See also Caroga Art Collective website