The International Standard Music Number is a
"unique number for the identification of all printed music publications ...
whether a part, a score, or an element in a multi-media kit" that became
available at the end of 1993.
ISMN numbers from 1993 through 2007 are 9-digit numbers beginning with the
ISMN numbers after 2007 are 13-digit numbers beginning with the 4 numbers
Both may appear on scores:
The ISMN is entered in the 024
13-digit number (the first 4 numbers will be 9790)
* Previously, the 13-digit ISMNs were treated
as EANs, which were coded 1st indicator value 3 source. As of June 2013, all ISMNs (both 10- and 13-digit) should be coded with a first indicator value of 2. source.
When transcribing the old format ISMN, include
the initial letter M, followed by the numbers without spaces and hyphens.
The new format ISMNs are transcribed without spaces.
If a publication has more than one ISMN and we choose not to transcribe all
of the ISMNs, follow these guidelines, originally published in Fontes
Artis Musicae, vol. 40/2, p. 148:
If the publication includes a score,
give the ISMN of the score. If the publication includes parts,
give the ISMN of the score, if
any, and the ISMN with the lowest item number among those of
the parts (e.g., of three parts
with item numbers, 12345, 12344, and 12346, choose, 12344).
When a number on a publication is given as an ISMN number, but does follow
the standards of ISMN, tag it in the 024 field with indicator 2, but put
the number in z: