19 March 2012

Ar Hyd y Nos

This is the dedication for the book "At Day's Close: Night in Times Past," by A. Roger Ekirch.  It's the first time I've seen a dedication created solely with a musical score.

I have negligible musical skills, but was able to hum this, and, in connection with the book's title, deduce it's source.  Answer below the fold...

The last four notes are the refrain "all through the night."  There are several pieces of music using this title; this one is Ar Hyd y No, a Welsh folksong first recorded in the 18th century.


  1. An interesting "note:" The main body of the Bass Clef in the dedication is backwards. It originally evolved as a fancy letter F, since it swirled around the note F on the lower staff. The two dots , originally the two arms of the F, eventually "broke free."

    1. Interesting. I did not know that. I did a quick search and found this in Wikipedia -

      Varying shapes of different clefs persisted until very recent times. The F-clef was, until as late as the 1970s in some cases (such as hymnals), written like this: Oldbassclef.svg.

      (with the image showing the figure reversed).


  2. My first Music Theory professor had a strong opinion about the bullheaded-wrongness of early church music leaders ;)


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