International Standard Music Number (ISMN)

 Kenya National library has signed a contract with International Standard Music Number (ISMN) Agency in Berlin. The signing of contract mandates knls to act as the National Agency in issuance of ISMN numbers to local artist. knls now becomes the third country in Africa after Ghana and South Africa to sign contract to administer ISMN.ISMN like ISBN for books, is a number that identifies published works of music  for a given country. 


The ISMN is used to identify publications of notated music, whether available for sale, hire, gratis or copyright purposes only. The ISMN is not targeted at sound or video recordings (except in the rare case below):

Individual sound recordings are identified by the International Standard Audiovisual Number (ISAN)


Items to be numbered include:

  • Scores
  • Miniature(study) scores
  • Vocal scores
  • Sets of parts
  • Individual parts, available separately
  • Pop folios
  • Anthologies
  • Other media that are an integral component of a publication of notated music (e.g , a tape recording that is one of the <part> of a composition
  • Song texts or lyrics published with the notated music (if available separately)
  • Commentaries published with the notated music( also available separately)
  • Song books(optional)
  • Micro-form music publications
  • Braille music publications
  • Electronic publications of musical notations

ISMN must also be allocated to each constituent part of a publication which is separately available.