World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Liner notes

Article Id: WHEBN0000632392
Reproduction Date:

Title: Liner notes  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Giant Robo (OVA), Things Fall Apart (album), My Own Summer (Shove It), The Southern Death Cult (album), Little Robbers
Collection: Albums, Recorded Music, Writing
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Liner notes

Liner notes (also sleeve notes or album notes) are the writings found on the sleeves of LP record albums and in booklets which come inserted into the Compact Disc jewel case or the equivalent packaging for vinyl records and cassettes.


  • Origin 1
  • Contents 2
    • Common material 2.1
    • Biographies 2.2
    • Metadata 2.3
  • Digital liner notes 3
  • Awards 4
  • Notes 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7


Liner notes are descended from the notes of text that were printed on the inner sleeve used to protect a traditional 12-inch vinyl record, i.e., long playing or gramophone record album. The term descends from the name "record liner" or "album liner". On vinyl recordings, the most common placement of these notes would be the paper sleeve inside an album jacket that served to protect the record from dust (dust sleeve or dust liner, etc.). As the rear covering of an album jacket was applied in early days in a fashion that resembled the tailored lining of garments (overlapping and protecting the edges of the front cover), it's also likely that "liner" could have been a printer's terminology for this back cover area as well. From the early days of recording to the present time, album liner notes have evolved in all musical genres and across different formats from vinyl LP to cassette to CD, with varied styles of writing employed by artists and record makers to either complement or supplement the music.[1]


Common material

Such notes often contained a mix of factual and anecdotal material, and occasionally a discography for the artist or the issuing record label. Liner notes were also an occasion for thoughtful signed essays on the artist by another party, often a sympathetic music journalist, a custom that has largely died out. However, the liner note essay has survived in retrospective compilations, particularly in box sets. It is also a tradition in Japan especially for foreign artist releases in Japan. Many CD liner notes include complete song lyrics for the album.


Liner notes now usually include information about the musician, lyrics, a personnel list, and other credits to people the musicians want to thank and people or companies involved in the production of the music. They also can give details on the extent of each musical piece, and sometimes place them in historical or social context. Liner notes for classical music recordings often provide information in several languages; if the piece includes vocal parts, they will often include a libretto, possibly also translated into several languages.


Liner notes sometimes provide metadata that can help when cataloguing private or public collections of sound recordings. However, the information provided on liner notes varies considerably depending on the studio or label which produced the record.

Digital liner notes

Increasingly and due to the rise of digital downloads, a digital booklet is being introduced to compensate for the lack of a physical booklet. Apple Inc. also introduced iTunes LP which features interactive menus instead of simple pages.


A Grammy Award for Best Album Notes has been given annually since 1964.


  1. ^ Dean Biron, Writing and Music: Album Liner Notes, Portal: International Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies (Vol 8, No 1), 2011.

See also


  • Dean Biron, Writing and Music: Album Liner Notes, Portal: International Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies (Vol 8, No 1), 2011.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.