Tunes may be identified by matching the Incipit—the first few consecutive notes—expressed in numerical code. Incipits are coded using 11) for “do”, 2 for “re”, 3 for “mi”, etc. Ignore rhythm, accidentals, and octaves. Thus, the Incipit for #1 - The Sweet Bye And Bye is 123212165123335532 .


Incipits on this site are being entered manually for all cobs, but this will take significant time. Currently, Hymns / Sacred cobs are completed, as are approximately one-fourth of the non-hymn titles. Please Contact Us if you are interested in this project, or if you have corrections.

Condensed Incipit

The Condensed Incipit is based on the Incipit, but excludes repeated notes2). This facilitates searching where it may be difficult to determine whether a note is repeated. Note that this also excludes octave jumps.

Lists By Incipit

Searching via the Incipit

The advantage of including the Incipit in the information for Cobs is that it's easy to fing via Search3):

  • Enter the known portion of a melody, followed by an * (asterisk), like this: 123212165* (←try it)
  • If you don't know the first notes of a melody, also use a wildcard * (asterisk) at the beginning, like: *3212165* (←try it)
  • It is often difficult to distinguish between repeated and tied notes, so if a search doesn't return the expected result, search on the Condensed Incipit, or try omitting or adding insignificant repeated notes. Or try a search for the beginning notes and those following, like: 123* *212165* (←try it)
  • Where there's an obvious introduction there may a second incipit provided for the melody.
  • Don't forget to always add an * to the end of the search criteria!
1) Use 1 for the tonic, or first note of the scale.
2) For consistancy, Condensed Incipits are included even though they do not differ from the Incipit.
3) See Search Help for additional information.

Todd Augsburger's Roller Organ Website