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Music to My Ears: New International Standard Updates Printed Music Identifier


New York, Oct 22, 2009

A newly revised International Standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) updates the International Standard Music Number (ISMN), a unique number that identifies printed music, to follow the same format as the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), a unique number that identifies printed books. ISO 10957:2009, Information and documentation - International standard music number (ISMN), increases the ISMN from 10 to 13 digits to raise the number of possible ISMNs. This brings the ISMN in line with the ISBN, which was similarly increased to 13 digits in 2007.

ISO 10957:2009 specifies the assignment of a unique ISMN on editions of printed music as a way to distinguish one edition of a title, or separate component of an edition, from all other editions. In addition, the revised standard specifies the construction, assignment, and administration of an ISMN, as well as its placement on the printed material. ISO 10957:2009 can also be used to identify editions of notated music that are presented with other media to form an integrated whole.

The ISMN is not intended for the identification of material in other media that are issued separately, such as sound or audiovisual products like CDs and DVDs. Other standards, including ISO 3901, International Standard Recording Code (ISRC), and ISO 15706, International Standard Audiovisual Number(ISAN), are applicable for these media. Likewise, the ISMN is not suitable for the identification of CDs or DVDs for which the European article numbering (EAN) bar code can be used.

ISO 10957:2009, Information and documentation - International standard music number (ISMN), was developed by Technical Committee (TC) 46, Information and Documentation, Subcommittee (SC) 9, Identification and Description. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the official U.S. member body of ISO, holds the TC 46/SC 9 secretariat. The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) serves as the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator for this TC and SC.

For more information on ISO 10957:2009, see the related ISO article.

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