What is The International Standard Music Number (ISMN)?

The International Standard Music Number (ISMN) is a unique form of identification for notated music publications throughout the world, whether they’re available for sale or hire, and whether or not they’re a sequence, score, or element within a multimedia kit. 

ISMNs are not required by Songtrust. Much like the ISBN code found on books, they embody bibliographical data for publishing houses, libraries, and various members of the music industry. They also help songwriters track sheet music sales and collect printed music royalties.  

As of January 1, 2008, the ISMN consists of 13 digits starting with “979-0”. Any existing ISMNs from before 2008 have 10-digit ISMNs prefixed by “979-”.

Here is an example of a 13-digit ISMN: