Talk:International Standard Musical Work Code

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It would be good to show evidence of this being used by public-facing web sites, such as a library or retailer. Andy Mabbett 16:40, 7 June 2007 (UTC)


It would be useful to clarify the phrase "is a unique identifier for musical works".

For example: Consider the following ISWCs...

  • T-071.314.125-3
  • T-802.203.417-0
  • T-802.192.136-9
  • T-802.337.911-6
  • T-801.864.699-7
  • T-801.952.979-5
  • T-801.981.666-2
  • T-801.983.126-7
  • T-801.983.736-7
  • T-802.222.486-9
  • T-802.254.649-3
  • T-802.298.235-1
  • T-802.602.941-5
  • T-802.876.769-4
  • T-803.034.055-8
  • T-803.062.597-0
  • T-803.069.454-4
  • T-803.088.674-0
  • T-803.088.860-0
  • T-801.983.578-1

ALL of these are for (what appears to be) the same piece of music: "Mack the Knife". All of them are listed as having been performed by Michael Bublé. In other words, we have one work that is listed under a plethora of different codes.


WhitePJ (talk) 21:57, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

They all uniquely identify the same work. They don't identify any other works. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:00, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Hence the need for clarification. The phrase "ISWC is a unique identifier for musical works" implies a 1:1 cardinality, which appears to be an invalid statement in this case. the DVLA will issue a unique identifier for each motorist - where the identifier is uniquely associated with a single driver. No m:n connectivity occurs.

From the publications of the ISO TC46/SC9 secretariat: "Each ISWC is a unique number which is permanently assigned to a [single] musical work"[1] (emphasis mine).

Furthermore, there are phrases used such as "a certified identification key", and advocating the use of a "preferred ISWC" if there are duplicate codes [2]. An example supporting this behavious would be T-070.891.356-7, which will also show a secondary ISWC of T-070.981.582-6. Only one entry is returned, for both numbers.

Hence there is an inference that the ISWC serves as a primary key. If this is indeed the intention, then clarification should be made within the wikipedia article, stating that it does not (yet) occur in practice - or to otherwise clarify what constitutes an individual work within the eyes of the ISWC committee.

WhitePJ (talk) 22:23, 28 June 2013 (UTC)