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04 October 2023, 05:50 PM


How to get an ISMN

What is ISMN?

International Standard Music Number (ISMN) is a unique 13-digit number for the identification of all printed and digital music publications i.e. notated music such as scores, vocal scores, sheet music, anthologies of music, music part or separate parts for a particular instrumentation from a specific publisher or producer. It is compatible with the international EAN-13 digit barcode, an internationally recognized system whereby code numbers are assigned to facilitate international cooperation and information exchange.

The ISMN is used to identify publications of notated music, whether available for sale, hire, gratis or for copyright purposes only.

The assignment of an ISMN to a publication of notated music, shall not imply any meaning or value as legal evidence with regard to the ownership of rights to that publication.

What is a Registrant/Publisher?

A registrant is a person or organization that has requested and received an ISMN for a publication of notated music from an appointed ISMN Registration Agency. The registrant is usually the publisher of the publication, but exceptions may be an intermediary who is acting on behalf of, or in place of, the publisher.

The publisher is the group, organization, company, or individual who is responsible for initiating the production of a particular publication. Normally, the publisher is also the person or body who bears the cost or financial risk in making a product available.

How much does it cost?

Per Public Advisory No. JET-01 dated January 26, 2022, application for ISMN is FREE OF CHARGE.

Do I need a different ISMN for each format?

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

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

An unchanged impression or unchanged reprint of the same item in the same format and by the same registrant must not be assigned a new ISMN unless there is a change in binding. Similarly, a reproduction supplied on demand from the same origination should not be assigned a new ISMN, even if a new reproduction date is indicated on the reproduction.

Price changes do not require the assignment of new ISMNs.

How do I get an ISMN?

  • Log in at
  • Fill out the form and click submit;
  • Wait for an email notification to create your password and login;
  • Once you received an email notification, Go to the “ISMN Application” menu and fill out the required information at the ISMN Information Sheet;
  • Attach the Product form or the physical or digital properties of a publication that differentiate it as a product. E.g. the same edition of a publication may appear in different product forms: hardcover; Braille; .pdf; .html; etc. Product form or the physical or digital properties of a publication that differentiate it as a product. E.g. the same edition of a publication may appear in different product forms: hardcover; Braille; .pdf; .html; etc.
  • Click the preview and submit button; and,
  • Wait for an email notification or click the submissions tab to know the status of your application.

ISMN Frequently Asked Questions (ISMN FAQs)

Other things to Note

Let us know if you have more questions about applying for an ISMN through NLP!

To mail copies of your publication/s:

c/o Bibliographic Services Division

T.M. Kalaw Street, Barangay 666, Ermita, Manila, 1000

Mobile Number: 0917-8718210

Contact us at


Mobile Number: 0917-8718210


(632) 5310-5056 ; (632) 5310-5029; (632) 5310-5031 to 32 ; (632) 5310-5034 to  35; (632) 5336-7200 local 406 – 407

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