Here it is: The Ending

Here's an example video, jump straight to the end (at 11:07).

It is literally heard everywhere, mostly used as an improvisation, e.g. to add a fun and humorous twist in any piece of music. Because of being used everywhere, I have no clue where/what song or music piece it was originally taken from.


Ah, the “shave and a haircut, two bits” ending! From what I found it was first used over 120 years ago (with no lyrics) in an 1899 song by Charles Hale, called “At a Darktown Cakewalk.”

Your pitches are correct but the rhythm is actually this:

enter image description here The second beat can either be two 8th notes as shown or three 8th note triplets (your 2nd-4th notes). The Ab (G#) and A on beat 3 are also variations with the Ab usually being used with the triplet version. Both versions are widely used.

In 1914 Jimmie Monaco and Joe McCarthy released a song called “Bum-Diddle-De-Um-Bum, That's It!” This lyric fits the second beat triplet version of the melody.

Here is a wiki article with lots of info on this musical phrase, enjoy!


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    It's one I use when students start sight-reading. Write it out! – Tim May 8 '20 at 16:02
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    @Tim Classic, I’ll have to remember that! – John Belzaguy May 8 '20 at 16:23
  • Thanks for the legit answer. You know, there's a lot of variations of this piece (don't mind the inaccurate score because I've generated it using FL studio based on what I've heard in the example video). – Yudhi G. May 8 '20 at 23:11
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    My pleasure, no worries on the score. You came up with an interesting and popular question. We’ve all heard and played that phrase a million times but If I hadn’t remembered the phrase “shave and a haircut, two bits” I wouldn’t have known how to find its’ origin! – John Belzaguy May 8 '20 at 23:55