Hammered Dulcimer: “Be Thou My Vision”

This collection of music conveys author Madeline MacNeil’s love of hymns. Many of these arrangements provide a harmony part that may be performed on another instrument such as the flute, guitar, bowed psaltery, or mountain dulcimer. The majority of these tunes can be played on a 12/11-course hammered dulcimer (with G below middle C being the lowest note on the instrument). Selections include: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God; All Beautiful the March of Days; Amazing Grace; Be Thou My Vision; Come, Thou Font of Every Blessing; Evening Hymns; For the Beauty of the Earth; He Leadeth Me; Here I Am, Lord; How Great Thou Art; and many more. Written in standard notation only with complete lyrics and suggested chord changes.

The original Old Irish text of Be Thou My Vision, Rop tú mo Baile, is often attributed to Dallan Forgaill in the 6th Century. The text had been a part of Irish monastic tradition for centuries before its setting to the tune, therefore, before it became an actual hymn. It was translated from Old Irish into English by Mary E. Byrne, M.A., in Ériu (the journal of the School of Irish Learning), in 1905. The English text was first versified by Eleanor H. Hull, in 1912, and is now the most common text used.

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