What is an incipit?

What is an incipit? Here are some definitions.

  1. The first few words of a text, especially its first line.
  2. (music) The first few bars of a piece of music.
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Columbus has been fighting a major bedbug infestation for years, and enacted a bedbug oversight committee to marshal forces to fight this incipit outbreak.
The original material may often be nothing more than a pet phrase which becomes formalized as an incipit of a contrafact composition.
Although there is only one carpet page, the incipit initials are so densely decorated, with only a few letters on the page, that they rather take over this function.
The incipit of the first collect is Visita nos, thus the title of the book.
In that part of the book of my memory before the which is little that can be read, there is a rubric, saying, incipit Vita Nova.
Unfortunately, Matthew's incipit page is severely worn, appearing to have functioned as the manuscript's front cover for a number of years.

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