International ISMN Agency

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

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The National Book Chamber of Armenia which acts as the central depository of all press publications and other printed matters for the whole of Armenia opened an ISMN office in Yerevan.

The first publisher who offers digital sheet music free of charge received an ISMN publisher ID in Australia (http://www.groovymusic.com.au). This assigment marks an important step which opens new perspectives for the ISMN and its application in the growing scene of Internet publishers.

During November 2001 the Australian International Standard Music Numbering Agency became operational at the National Library, and began issuing ISMNs to Australian music publishers in December.

The International Standard Music Number (ISMN) is similar to the very familiar International Standard Book Number or ISBN. While ISBNs are assigned to uniquely identify printed and electronic texts, ISMNs serve a similar purpose for scores, anthologies of music, music parts, and texts or lyrics with printed music. Details of all publishers registered with the Australian ISMN Agency are published in the Music Publishers' International ISMN Directory. Australian music publishers can also be located online through the Australian ISMN Agency website.

The opening of the ISMN service for Australia follows a period of planning and the building of an automated system and database to support the day-to-day operations of the national agency. Australian music publishers may now request ISMNs by mail, telephone, fax, e-mail or via the Internet using a Web input form. An attractive illustrated brochure has been pre

pared, and together with a postcard giving information about the agency, this has been mailed to about 200 music publishers, composers and other music related organisations and businesses.

Laurel Paton is the administrative officer in charge of the Australian International Standard Music Numbering Agency, and is assisted by the Library's music acquisitions and cataloguing team. Further information is available by contacting the agency:

Australian ISMN Agency
National Library of Australia
Canberra, ACT 2600

Tel: (02) 6262 1777
Fax: (02) 6273 4322
E-mail: ismn@nla.gov.au
Web site: http://www.nla.gov.au/services/ismn

The Australian Performing Right Association (APRA), the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS), the Australian Music Centre, a number of Australian music publishers, and the International ISMN Agency have all encouraged the National Library in taking this initiative. Valuable advice and assistance have been provided by the International ISMN Agency in Berlin and the United Kingdom's ISMN Agency.