031  Musical Incipits Information (R)

Record Type


Input Standards

Field (Full/Minimal)
1st Indicator  Undefined
blank character Undefined
2nd Indicator  Undefined
blank character Undefined
Subfields (R=Repeatable  NR=Nonrepeatable) Input Standards (Full/Minimal)
ǂa Number of work (NR) Required if applicable/Required if applicable
ǂb Number of movement (NR) Required if applicable/Required if applicable
ǂc Number of excerpt (NR) Required if applicable/Required if applicable
ǂd Caption or heading (R) Optional/Optional
ǂe Role (NR) Optional/Optional
ǂg Clef (NR) Optional/Optional
ǂm Voice/instrument (NR) Optional/Optional
ǂn Key signature (NR) Optional/Optional
ǂo Time signature (NR) Optional/Optional
ǂp Musical notation (NR) Optional/Optional
ǂq General note (R) Optional/Optional
ǂr Key or mode (NR) Optional/Optional
ǂs Coded validity note (R) Optional/Optional
ǂt Text incipit (R) Required if applicable/Required if applicable
ǂu Uniform Resource Identifier (R) Optional/Optional
ǂy Link text (R) Optional/Optional
ǂz Public note (R) Optional/Optional
ǂ2 System code (NR) Required if applicable/Required if applicable
ǂ6 Linkage (NR) System supplied/System supplied
ǂ8 Field link and sequence number (R) Optional/Optional


Field 031 contains coded data representing the musical incipit for music using established notation schemes that employ ordinary ASCII symbols. It is primarily used to identify music manuscripts, but can be applied to any material containing music.

031     01 ǂb 01 ǂc 01 ǂm S ǂd Aria ǂt Rei d'impuniti eccessi ǂr e ǂg C-1 ǂo c ǂp '2BB4B8BB/4G8GxF4FF/4xA8AA4.At8B/4B ǂ2 pe
[Coding for Aria, S Rei d'impuniti eccessi]


Coding of the Scena ed aria Deh parlate che forse tacendo by Cimarosa:

031     01 ǂb 01 ǂc 01 ǂm vl1 ǂd Scena. Largo ǂg G-2 ǂn bBEA ǂo c ǂp 'C+8(3 {CDEFG};5)}8{GC}{,nB'G}4(-)/''2G+6{GnB'''C''E}6{DCAG} ǂ2 pe
031     01 ǂb 01 ǂc 02 ǂm S ǂe Sara ǂd Scena. Largo ǂg C-1 ǂn bBEA ǂo c ǂt Chi per pieta mi dice il figlio mio che fa ǂp =5/4-''6C3CC6DEgF6CC8-6ED/ q8D4C8C'nB''4D-/2-/ ǂ2 pe
031     01 ǂb 02 ǂc 01 ǂm vl1 ǂd Aria. Allegro ǂg G-2 ǂn bBEA ǂo c ǂp 6{'EDEF}{GABG}{EDEF}{GABG}/{''C'BAG}{FEDC},4B-/ ǂ2 pe
031     01 ǂb 02 ǂc 01 ǂm S ǂd Sara ǂd Aria. Allegro ǂg C-1 ǂn bBEA ǂo c ǂt Deh parlate che forse tacendo ǂp 2 -/2-''4.F8D/gC'8BB4-2(-)/=2/''2E'G /''4.C'8A4F-/-Fq8B4A8GF/ ǂ2 pe

DARMS coding and URL of MIDI source of J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto Nr. 1 BWV 1046, 1st oboe part:

031     01 ǂb 01 ǂc 01 ǂm Ob. 1 ǂg G-2 ǂn bB ǂo c ǂp RE 9S(( 8)) 9(( 8 9 8)) 9E( 6) 7( 6S( 5)) / 4S(( 3 2 3))/ ǂu http://www.classicalmusicarchives. com/cgi-bin/n.cgi/prep/6/jsbbrc11.mid ǂ2 da

1st indicator

Undefined. The 1st indicator position is undefined and contains a blank.

blank character


2nd Indicator

Undefined. The 2nd indicator position is undefined and contains a blank.

blank character



ǂa Number of work

The code indicating the work to which the incipit applies. The code is based strictly on the order and presentation of works within the catalog record. If the record described one work, use 1.

031     2
[An incipit identifying the second sonata in a set of six]
ǂb Number of movement

The code indicating the movement within a work to which the incipit applies. The code is based strictly on the order and presentation of parts within the work. If the work has only one movement, use 1.

031     ǂb 3
[An incipit identifying the third movement of a symphony]
ǂc Number of excerpt

The code indicating the order of incipits within the movement defined in subfield ǂb. If there is only one incipit for a movement, use 1.

031     ǂc 1
031     ǂc 2
[The incipit for the instrumental introduction of an aria, followed by the incipit for the vocal part of the aria]
ǂd Caption or heading

Contains the caption or heading of the incipit.

031     ǂd Aria. Allegro
[The transcribed heading of the movement]
ǂe Role

The name of the character singing the incipit coded in subfield ǂp, when appropriate.

031     ǂe Sara
[Name of character singing the aria]
ǂg Clef

The clef of the incipit, as it appears in the source. Use code from the scheme specified in subfield ǂ2.

031     ǂg F-4
[The incipit uses the bass clef (Plaine and Easie Code)]
ǂm Voice/instrument

The name of the voice or instrument coded in subfield ǂp. Subfield ǂm is usually in coded form, derived from a controlled list maintained by the cataloging agency. Terms may also be taken from the item being cataloged if there is no appropriate code available.

031     ǂm S
[RISM code for soprano voice]
ǂn Key signature

The key signature of the incipit. The letter x indicates sharps and the letter b indicates flats, followed by capital letters to indicate affected pitches.

031     ǂn xFCG
[The incipit is in A major with three sharps]
ǂo Time signature

The time signature or mensuration sign of the incipit. The time signature may be transcribed as a symbol (for mensural notation use c or c., o or o.; or c for common time, c/ for alla breve) and/or a number (3, 2, c3, etc.) or a fraction (4/4, 12/8, etc.) or nd if marking is not present. Use of subfield ǂo is mandatory if subfield ǂp is present or subfield ǂ2 contains either pe or da.

031     ǂo c
[The incipit is in common time]
ǂp Musical notation

The notation symbols of the code specified in subfield ǂ2 to transcribe the first 10-12 notes of the selected staff.

031     ǂp '2B4B8BB/4G8GxF4FF/4xA8AA4.At8B/4B ǂ2 pe
ǂq General note

A free-text general note.

ǂr Key or mode

The key or mode of the incipit, if applicable. The following codes from the Plaine and Easie Code may be used:

  • Capital letters A-G indicate major keys
  • Lowercase letters a-g indicate minor keys
  • Letter x indicates sharps
  • Letter b indicates flats
  • Numbers 1-12 indicate Gregorian modes
031     ǂr e
[The incipit is in the key of E minor]
ǂs Coded validity note

A note in coded form on the validity of the information.

  • Question mark indicates that there is a mistake in the incipit that has not been corrected
  • Plus sign indicates that there is a mistake in the incipit that has been corrected
  • Letter t indicates that the incipit has been transcribed (e.g. from mensural notation)
  • Exclamation point indicates that the incipit discrepancies have been commented on in subfield ǂq
031     ǂs ?
[There is a mistake in the incipit that has not been corrected]
ǂt Text incipit

The literary text (if present) as it appears on the source. It is usually the text corresponding to the music in the incipit. If the source has multiple texts (usually recorded to accommodate contrafactum texts), each corresponding text string is transcribed in a separate occurrence of subfield ǂt.

ǂu Uniform Resource Identifier

For information about subfield ǂu, see Control Subfields. Repeat subfield if digital object has multiple identifiers. URIs usually recorded include audio files (such as .mid, .wav, .mp3), image files (.jpg, .tiff, .gif), or notational files (such as enigma or niff).

031     ǂu jsbbrc11.mid
[A MIDI file of the incipit is located online]
ǂy Link text

The link text used for display in place of the URL in a subfield ǂu. When subfield ǂy is present, applications should use the contents of subfield ǂy as the link instead of the content of subfield ǂu when linking to the destination in subfield ǂu.

ǂz Public note

A note relating to the electronic location of the source identified in the field. The note is written in a form that is adequate or intended for public display.

ǂ2 System code

Subfield ǂ2 contains a two-character code that indicates the encoding system used to transcribe the musical notation in subfield ǂp. Use of subfield ǂ2 is mandatory if subfield ǂp is present. Code from Musical Incipit Scheme Source Codes. The following codes may be used.

  • Code pe indicates a Plaine and Easie Code
  • Code da indicates a DARMS Code

For information about subfield ǂ2, see Control Subfields.

031     ǂp '2B4B8BB/4G8GxF4FF/4xA8AA4.At8B/4B ǂ2 pe
[The incipit is encoded using the Plaine and Easie Code]
ǂ6 Linkage

Data that link fields when non-Latin script is entered. This subfield is system supplied and does not appear in OCLC online displays. Do not manually add subfield ǂ6. For more information about subfield ǂ6, see Control Subfields.

ǂ8 Field link and sequence number

For information about subfield ǂ8, see Control Subfields.


For indexing and searching information, see Searching WorldCat Indexes, field 031.


For more information, including content designator history, see MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data, field 031.