The International Standard Music Number (ISMN), which uniquely identifies editions of notated music has been updated in the revised Standard ISO 10957:2009. The ISMN has been increased from 10 to 13 digits, aligning it with the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), which was increased from 1 January 2007 to ensure future capacity.
'The ISMN offers the options of a complete rationalisation of music publishing and the music trade as well as music libraries,' says Hartmut Walravens, Convenor of the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) working group that revised the Standard. 'The revision of ISO 10957 became necessary on account of the change in the ISBN. Many of the applications, especially in the distribution area, follow the needs of the ISBN community. Ten-digit numbers had become problematic, so the 13-digit format ensures the compatibility with the trade applications.'
ISMN was developed by and for the music-publishing sector as a separate system to complement the ISBN. The ISMN identifies printed and notated music as a distinct category of publication within the global supply chain and for the development of trade directories and similar services to the specialised market for music publications.
ISO 10957:2009 specifies the assignment of a unique ISMN on editions of notated music to distinguish one edition of a title, or one separate component of an edition, from all other editions. The Standard also specifies the construction of an ISMN and its location on editions of notated music.
In addition, the ISMN can also be used to identify editions of notated music that are presented with other media to form an integrated whole (e.g. an edition that, together with a sound recording, forms a single product). However, the ISMN is not suitable for the identification of material in other media that are issued separately, such as sound or audiovisual products, including CDs and DVDs, for which other Standards such as ISO 3901 (International Standard Recording Code) and ISO 15706 (International Standard Audiovisual Number) are applicable.