International ISMN Agency

The International Standard Music Number for Notated Music.
A System for Publishing, Distribution and Library Practices




As of September 2008, Bulgaria joined the ISMN system. The agency is situated in the St. Cyril and St. Methodius National Library in Bukarest.

The ISMN Newsletter 18 is ready for download here. It contains the minutes of the AGM and Panel Meeting and a report of the Seminar on Standard Music Numbering in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in June 2008.
The international seminar was organized by the National Library of Indonesia on Tuesday, 17 June. It was aiming at colleagues from the music publishing business, music librarians and other interested parties coming from several South Asian, East Asian, Australian and Oceanian countries.

Some personal impressions of the trip to Indonesia by Dr. Bettina von Seyfried can be found here (in German language).

A revised version of the updated ISMN Users' Manual is ready for download here.

As of June 2008 the Centre d'études et de documentation musicales, CEDOM, at the National Library of Luxembourg starts acting as ISMN agency. 

Due to the approval of the revised ISMN Standard 10957, the updated new ISMN Users' Manual is now ready for download here.

Guidelines for the Implementation of 13-digit ISMNs

On 20 May, the final ISMN working group meeting took place at the ISO TC46 SC 9 meeting in Stockholm. The revised ISMN standard DIS 10957 was approved 100 percent and the SC 9 plenary passed the resolution to recommend the immediate publication of the standard. No changes in the text of the DIS were necessary.

We received the sad news of the passing of Arnold Broido who was one of the active supporters of the International Standard Music Number.

Quoted from HFA Soundcheck (November 2007)

The ISMN Newsletter 17 presenting the results of the First General Assembly of the Internationale ISMN-Agentur e.V. and the Panel Meeting in Oslo can be downloaded here.

Guidelines for the Implementation of 13-digit ISMNs

We hope that you are aware of the current revision of the ISMN standard (ISO 10957) and the important changes that will be made in the number structure of the ISMN system. The Guidelines for the Implementation of 13-digit ISMNs are intended to provide you with information and advice concerning the changes in the number and the effect that this will have on notated music sector systems.

Major changes to be aware of, and addressed by the guidelines, include the following: 

  1. The ISMN will change from 10 to 13 digits on 1 January 2008
  2. There will be a transition period of several months, but by end of 2008 all publications of notations should be listed with the 13-digit number
  3. Existing ISMNs will be prefixed by 979-
  4. The leading M- of the 10-digit ISMNs will be replaced by 0- (zero)
  5. The resulting 13-digit number will be identical with the EAN-13 number that is currently encoded in the bar code
  6. Bar codes will carry the 13-digit ISMN with hyphenation above the barcode and the EAN-13, the identical number without hyphens or spaces, below the bar code


We hope that you will find the guidelines helpful and encourage you to distribute them as widely as possible. Any queries, requests for further guidance or suggestions for additional material should be addressed to the International ISMN Agency, E-mail:

The guidelines for local ISMN agencies on the Implementation of 13-digit ISMNs are available as a PDF-file here