Acton Ostling wrote these words for a collection of tunes published in two volumes almost 70 years ago. The corps with which he "used this material for the last four years" would include people who would later spread out and found dozens fife and drum corps all around the country. Indeed, the fifers and drummers of generations of these corps would do the same. Today, the country enjoys a wide variety of Ancient Fife and Drum Corps in nearly every state of the union, and even Ancient corps overseas, partly due to the influence of this man.
During the past few years, Drum and Bugle Corps have become increasingly popular while very little interest has been shown in Fife and Drum Corps. This may be due, in part, to the fact that new music has been published for the Drum and Bugle but that there has been little satisfactory Fife and Drum Corps material available.
Old type Fife and Drum Corps have always been, and still are popular in the New England States. These corps play the old tunes in a way that is typical of that section of the country. With their shrill fifes, their strict rudimental playing of deep rope drums and their bass drums, played with two solid wooden beaters -- these corps are in a class by themselves -- "The Ancients." Although this martial music appeals to both listener and performer, corps of this type have here-to-fore been confined almost entirely to one small section of the country.
This book contains music that is typical of these organizations. Some of the tunes are old, as are some of the drum beatings, but all are set down as nearly as possible in the true "Ancient" manner as handed down by rote through several generations of corpsmen. The compiler has used this material in schools for the last four years and has found it well adapted for school use, as corps playing appeals to boys and girls of all ages -- from lower grades up through high school (to say nothing of the men who have made it a life-time hobby). Students from "pre-band instrument" classes can easily and quickly learn the fife, and the corps offers them a definite objective. For drummers, this type of corps playing offers the finest chance for applying rudimental technic, and for drumming pleasure.
It is hoped that this material may, to some extent, spread an interest in Fife and Drum Corps, in Rudimental Drumming, and that more persons may become acquainted with and interested in the "Music of '76".
|First Two Four||2|
|The Army Six-Eight||3|
|Battle Hymn of the Republic||5|
|Three Hundred Years||7|
|The Girl I Left Behind Me||11|
|The Fifer's Delight||14|
|Old Dan Tucker||17|
|The Town Greene||19|
|Road to Boston||24|