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Drum Beatings for a typical day in a
Revolutionary War camp.

Fife & Drum
Based on the following resources:

The Compleat Tutor For The Fife; Thompson & Son: London, 1759
Entire New and Compleat Instructions for the Fife; Longman & Broderip: London, 1780
Young Drummers Assistant; Longman & Broderip: London, 1780-82?

The fife music is presented as it appears in the above mentioned sources.The drum music is
based on sound music theory and instructions presented in Young Drummers Assistant.
For more information, please see "Of Putting Down the Notes. . ." in the
Practical Guide to 18th Century Drumming.

Audio on this site is digitally synthesized with Anvil Studio.
Midi Out Port intended for: Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synthesizer.
The playback quality is dependent on your computer's soundcard.

If upon review, the reader can provide superior evidence as to
the authenticity of material, we would be pleased to be so advised.

Drum Tack     Drum Tack     Drum Tack

Click on "Drum Tacks" for our interpretation of the written music.

Drum Tack Drummers Call: Beat by duty drummer (& fifer) to
assemble drummers & fifers just prior to the Reveiller.

Drum Tack The Reveiller: Beat as soon as the day began to dawn.
This marked the beginning of the day.
(Time differed as to geographic location and season.)

Note: If the regiment was to march, The Reveiller was
replaced with the beating of  Drum Tack The General.
Shortly (usually 30 minutes) after beating The General,
Drum Tack The Assembly was beat, replacing The Troop.
The troops marched to Drum Tack The March.

Drum Tack Adjutant's Call: Beat to mark the beginning of The Troop.

Drum Tack The Troop: Beat generally about nine or ten o'clock AM
for roll call, inspection and the day's "orders." This was
the most important formation (ceremony) of the day.

Drum Tack [First] Sergeants Call: Beat after dismissal from The Troop
(usually 30 minutes) to assemble the first sergeants
of each company for "orders."

- OR -

Drum Tack All Noncommissioned Officers Call: Beat to assemble
all sergeants and corporals for "orders."

Drum Tack The Pioneer's March: Beat after First Sergeants Call
(usually 30 minutes) to signal any fatigue party specified
in the "orders."

Drum Tack The Retreat Beat at sunset to assemble the men
for roll call and evening "orders."
(Time differed as to geographic location and season.)

Note: No beating of the drum to occur after The Retreat
except in the case of an alarm in which case
the duty drummer would beat Drum Tack To Arms.

Drum Tack The Tattoo: Beat at nine o'clock PM in the fall/winter
and ten o'clock PM in the spring/summer.

Note: The Tattoo was never beat in camp. It was only
played where troops were garrisoned (in forts) or
quartered (in towns). This signaled local innkeepers to
"turn off the taps," selling no more liquor for the day.

The Continental Army, not having mess halls
or designated times for meals; left cooking and eating
to the individual groups (tents) of soldiers. The call
Drum Tack Go For Provisions
was played to signal that provisions, in their raw form, were
ready to be issued to the men. There were also calls such as
Drum Tack To Go For Wood and To Go For Water
These calls would be beat to signal to those troops wanting
wood or water to form a detachment and "fetch" such.

One may also have heard the beating of
Drum Tack The Rogues March, played while "drumming" an
undesirable out of camp. This would most likely
have occured sometime during The Troop.

Drum Tack     Drum Tack     Drum Tack

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