ISMN (International Standard Music Number) is a numerical combination used to identify notated music – prints – scores, parts, etc. – whether they are available for sale, rental, or free of charge.
The purpose of ISMN is to give the publication a unique identity. This makes the handling of notated music easier for both publishers, distributors, and libraries. ISMN also forms the basis for labelling sheet music with GTIN/EAN barcodes.
- Miniature (study) scores
- Vocal scores
- Individual parts
- Other media that are an integral component of a publication of notated music (e.g., a tape recording that is one of the “parts” of a composition)
- Song texts or lyrics published with the notated music
- Song books (optional)
- Notated music on microform
- Braille music publications
- Electronic publications of notated music
- – Books about music
- Stand-alone sound or video recordings (including recordings available online)
- Periodicals and series as a whole, as distinct from individual volumes in the series
Refer to detailed guidance on the use of ISMN (PDF)
When notated music is released both in print and in one or more electronic formats, these are considered different editions. Different online formats (such as PDF, HTML, or Word) are also defined as different editions. According to the rules for assigning ISMN, different editions should be given different ISMNs. Therefore, please note that a printed edition and an online version of the same document should have different ISMNs. Similarly, for example, a PDF version should have a different ISMN than the Word version.
If in doubt, please contact ISMN Norway.