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International Standard Music Number Conference & Concert

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The following is a guest post by Mary Wedgewood, Administrator, U.S. ISMN Agency and Senior Metadata Specialist, Music Division, Library of Congress.

The ISMN (International Standard Music Number), which is first cousin to the ISBN and ISSN, is alive and well, and – here in the U.S. ! The Music Division of the Library of Congress is now the home of the U.S. ISMN Agency, which issues ISMNs to American music publishers. We have seen this number on imported music for two decades; now we are beginning to see it on our own American music publications.

Publishers register online for a unique numeric identifier and then proceed to register each music score for which they require ISMNs. The data provided is formatted into records of various kinds useful to other agencies. Of special interest for LC is the RDA (Resource Description and Access) compliant MARC record which is created from this data. Sweet.

This week the Music Division is hosting the annual meeting of the International ISMN Agency, with business meetings, presentations, tours, food, and music. Each nation that is a member of the international organization and issues ISMNs to its own music publishers may send one voting delegate to the annual meeting, and observers who register with the International Agency are welcome, too. We will have guests from Canada, the Czech Republic, England, Estonia, Germany, Iran, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, South Korea and the Ukraine.  The U.S. voting delegate is Susan Vita, Chief of the Library of Congress’ Music Division.

As is only appropriate for an organization whose whole focus is on the promulgation of notated music, the last thing that happens on Friday afternoon is a concert. This takes place in the Coolidge Auditorium, is open to all and features American musicians playing American compositions.

Military District of Washington
The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own”

Concert Listing
International Standard Music Number Conference
The United States Army String Quartet
Friday, September 13, 2013 – 4:00 pm
Coolidge Auditorium

“American String Quartets at the Library of Congress”
Walter Piston | String Quartet no. 3 (1947)
Henry Cowell | Mosaic Quartet (String Quartet no. 3) (1935)
Samuel Barber | String Quartet, op. 11 (1936)

Free & open to the public.
For more information, view the event flyer here.
The concert program is available here.


The Budapest String Quartet performing in the Coolidge Auditorium, from a film on the Library of Congress, produced by the U.S. Office of War Information. (Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress)

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