The cadences (or tempo) of the marches in the British army during the Revolutionary War were 60 beats per minute for the ordinary step and 120 beats per minute for the quickstep. Using the same British manuals and technique, the Continental army maintained these same cadences. It was not until after the winter of 1777-78 at Valley Forge that Baron Friedrich von Steuben increased the cadence of the ordinary step in the Continental army to 75 beats per minute.
Neither the British nor the Continentals continually marched to a drum beat. Any "one" of the eight divisions of the Foot March would be played to establish the cadence and upon its completion, the troops would step off in silence at a route step. Only, perhaps, in the presence of a dignitary or in the sight of a town, would the field musick play and the troops march in step. On occasions such as this, one might have heard any number of popular tunes of the day.
See our Repertoire Page for just some of the possibilities.
We offer the following based on music and drum beatings found in the Compleat Tutor For The Fife; Thompson & Son: London, 1759 and the Young Drummers Assistant; Longman & Broderip: London, 1780.
Foot March - 8 Divisions
1st Division2nd Division3rd Division4th Division
5th Division6th Division7th Division8th Division
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