Library of Congress

ISMN

The Library of Congress > U.S. ISMN Agency > Using the ISMN: General Information

What Gets ISMN

Notated music intended for sale, rent, or free is eligible for ISMN

  • Scores
  • Study scores
  • Vocal scores
  • Sets of parts
  • Separately available individual parts
  • Anthologies
  • Song books
  • Pop folios
  • Facsimile reprints issued by a different publisher
  • Braille publications
  • Electronic publications
  • Microform publications
  • Commentary accompanying printed music (when commentary is also available separately)
  • Lyrics published with printed music (when lyrics are also available separately)
  • Other media (for example CDs) forming integral “parts” of printed music (when media is also available separately)

What Does NOT Get ISMN

  • Books about music
  • Stand-alone sound or video recordings
  • Periodicals and series as a whole (though individual volumes may receive ISMN)
  • Commentary accompanying printed music (when commentary is NOT available separately)
  • Lyrics published with printed music (when lyrics are NOT available separately)
  • Other media (e.g. CDs) forming integral “parts” of printed music (when media is NOT available separately)

Application of ISMN

A separate ISMN must be assigned to every different edition of a music item. Specifically, a new ISMN is required when:

  • there is change in the musical or textual content of a published work unless these are minor corrections
  • a text that is an integral part of a published musical work is altered
  • a translation of a text is added, removed or altered (a new ISMN must be assigned even if the text or music are otherwise unchanged)
  • the physical size of an item is substantially changed in order to produce a new full, study or miniature score edition

Do not assign a separate ISMN when:

  • an unchanged impression or unchanged reprint of the same item in the same format and by the same publisher is issued, unless there is a change in binding
  • a reproduction is supplied on demand from the same originator, even if a new reproduction date is indicated on the reproduction
  • a price change is the only change