IMSLP:Music Publishers/Manual of Style

This page is designed to create consistency in the layout and content of Publisher Pages.



Every Publisher page needs {{Nav:Historical Publication Info}} at the top, and needs to be included in the category Music Publishers. All publisher pages must have, regardless of whether there is any information to be had in a given heading, the following (level 2)

  1. History
  2. Editions
  3. Imprints, Addresses, Agencies (If applicable)
  4. Plate Numbers
  5. Sources Consulted.

The necessary contents of each section is as follows:


This serves as an overview of the publisher's history. The following pieces of information are especially important and useful when writing this section:

  • When the company was founded
  • Who founded the publishing house, and his or her dates
  • If applicable, dates for when imprints were founded
  • Structural changes of the company
  • Publications for which the company is especially known

One excellent example is the Breitkopf & Härtel page.

Recommended Sources

  • Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians
  • Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (MGG)
  • Wikipedia (try all languages)
  • Google Books
  • Worldcat
  • General Google search


Used for important editions (Gesamtausgaben, major first editions, any M2s or M3s). Examples of the best way in which to summarize can be found here.

Imprints, Addresses, Agencies

Provide dates, places, etc. for each imprint when possible. The Imprint is usually the company name, whose exact wording often changed. Also, when one publisher was absorbed by another, items would sometimes continue to be issued under the absorbed publisher's name as an imprint. For example, even though Litolff was absorbed by C.F. Peters in 1940, items continued to be issued under the Litolff imprint, despite the fact that they were actually produced and distributed by Peters.

Agencies are when a publisher's catalog is represented by another publisher in a foreign country. The Russian publisher P. Jurgenson was represented in England by J. & W. Chester in the years just before the first world war. Agencies changed frequently, so a chronological listing, with addresses, is often very useful in dating a particular score.

Plate Numbers

Use this table as a template, and fill it in if possible:

{| style="border:1px solid gray" class="sortable wikitable" border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="4"
!{{ #iflang: |en = Plate!!Composer!!Work!!Year |el = Πλάκα!!Συνθέτης!!Έργο!!Χρονιά}}
| || || || 

To avoid adding great length to the publisher tables, please use the template CSW which integrates the functions of the LinkCompS template, which is used to link composers, and the NoCompS template, which is used to link to the work. If the publisher did not use plate numbers, you may leave that field blank.

Formatting dates

For the notation of publication dates in the plate number tables, there are the following possible cases:
(date information here are for example purposes only)

-- meaning: The date 1915 was printed on the score or it could be verified through a reliable third-party source.
-- meaning: The score was not printed with a date, and the true date could not be verified in any other source. 1915 here is a guess. The former policy of placing an estimated date within parentheses should be considered deprecated in favor of rendering the date in italics.

Contact Information

When applicable, any contact information should be added. This includes Email addresses, phone numbers, and fax numbers.

Sources Consulted

When citing sources, use the Chicago style of citation. A quick way to cite using Chicago can be found here.

External Links

Any external links related to the publishing house or the founders of the publishing house should be listed here. They should be listed in bullet format, which is formed by using a * symbol, located above the 8 on a keyboard.


When creating a publisher page, please try to link it to as many of the entries on work pages as possible. This ensures usage and possible improvement of the page. It also makes those work pages more connected.

If the publisher is a composer on IMSLP, please use the {{LinkComp}} template to link to his composer page. It is also useful to link to the composer's publishing page in the "List Pages" section of the fte template.


In order for a plate table to be sortable, all works in the table must use the CSW template. In addition, they must follow a uniform standard for spacing or the elements of the table will not sort correctly:

  1. One space before and after each double pike (||)
  2. One space after the single pike (|) at the beginning of each entry for before plate number.