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National ISMN Agency
Music Service
Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal
Campo Grande, 83

1749-081 Lisboa

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National ISMN Agency

What is an ISMN

The International Standard Music Number (ISMN) is the standardised international number that identifies each music publisher and each that publisher’s publications. The ISMN is defined in ISO 10957 : 2009 - Information and Documentation. International Standard Music Number ISMN, which is managed by the International ISMN Agency.

How is an ISMN made up?
An ISMN is made up of four components with a total of ten digits: a constant <M> to distinguish it from other standardised numbers; a publisher’s prefix, which identifies a given music publisher; a title number, which identifies a given publication; and a control digit, which validates the number from a mathematical point of view.


What publications does the ISMN number apply to?
The ISMN system applies to all types of published printed music, be it for sale, rent, or distribution free of charge, and irrespective of whether it is a score, a part, or an element in a multi-media kit. It must be applied to every type of score, including study and pocket scores, vocal scores, sets of parts, individual parts when they are available separately, sheets of pop music, anthologies, multimedia when it entails a kit with a part in the form of printed music, texts or poems included in songs when published with the music, and songbooks (optional). It also applies to scores that are published in other formats and using other carriers (microform, Braille, and electronic formats).

Publications to which ISMN is not applicable
The ISMN system does not apply to books, journals and magazines about music, or sound or video recordings without scores.