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BUGLERS AND DRUMMERS

The role of the musicians of the Civil War.
by

Haleigh Streak

on 24 January 2013

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Transcript of BUGLERS AND DRUMMERS

THE ROLE OF THE 60,000 MUSICIANS
OF THE CIVIL WAR In the noise and confusion of battle, it was often impossible to hear the officers’ orders, so each order was given a series of drumbeats to represent it. Both soldiers and drummers had to learn which drumroll meant “meet here” and which meant “attack now” and which meant “retreat” and all the other commands of battlefield and camp. (The most exciting drum call was “the long roll,” which was the signal to attack. The drummer would just beat-beat-beat — and every other drummer in hearing distance would beat-beat-beat — until all that could be heard was an overwhelming thunder pushing the army forward.)

The youngest boys served as drummers; they weren’t supposed to be fighters, but they did a very important job during the Civil War. You’ve probably seen pictures of a boy walking beside the marching soldiers, beating his drum to keep them together. But this wasn’t the drummer’s most important — or most difficult — job.
JOHNNY CLEM- 12 YEAR OLD DRUMMER BOY DRUMMERS BUGLERS The buglers in the Civil War's main purposes were to assist the drummers in notifying the soldiers of commands. The songs used by the musicians varied, but each was well-known and specific to a certain instruction. But of all the military bugle calls, none is so easily recognized or more apt to render emotion than the call "Taps." The melody is both eloquent and haunting and the history of its origin is interesting and somewhat clouded in controversy. The use of Taps is unique with the United States military, since the call is sounded at funerals, wreath-laying and memorial services.
Originally, a bugler would play "Taps" to indicate it was time for "lights out." But as the war grew longer, the song began to be heard at funerals and memorial services. Nowadays, "Taps" is played at every Military service, as well as some Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marines services. Most people can recognize this poignant tune. """Can you?"""
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