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Beer Tent The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...

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Old 05-28-2019, 10:14 AM   #1
crossingnoises
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Default Taps on pipes?

This Memorial Day past, I played at a monument/wreath-laying service.


The honor guard fired, the bugler played "Taps," and then I and some other pipers played "Amazing Grace."


Afterwards, there was to be a second ceremony at another memorial nearby, and the bugler accidentally went home. The vets asked if I would go with them and play after their 21-gun salute.


I went with them. Words were spoken, the honor guard fired, and I played a short air.


There were no complaints - but afterwards, another piper asked me, "how come you didn't play Taps?"


How come I didn't play Taps? The idea had occurred to me at the time, but I had a reluctance to play it - I felt it was really something for a bugle or trumpet.



Opinions, experiences?
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:48 PM   #2
TwitchyFingers
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Default Re: Taps on pipes?

It does work on the pipes, often called 'the hardest 24 notes to play'. I'm not sure how I feel about it, as it seems to be one of those tunes that "should" be bugle only, but it does work well to our scale and can be done with some expression. I've had to do it where honor guards didn't have a bugler, before the days of the electro-taps digital bugle. The responses when I've played it have all been positive, but I'd rather not play it. Maybe that's just my problem.
I've also heard it slaughtered on bugles and trumpets where it might have been better if I had just played it instead.
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:52 PM   #3
DNorwood
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Default Re: Taps on pipes?

As has AG been slaughtered on bagpipes.


I'd rather TAPS be played on a trumpet / bugle as it works. However, if the "Honor Guard" team has one of those disgusting "digital bugles", then by ALL means, ask him to stand down. It is more honorable IMHO for the piper to play TAPS then an imposter press a fake horn to his lips in an attempt to honor the service of a veteran.







Quote:
Originally Posted by TwitchyFingers View Post
I've also heard it slaughtered on bugles and trumpets where it might have been better if I had just played it instead.

Last edited by DNorwood; 05-28-2019 at 12:53 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:59 PM   #4
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Taps on pipes?

I have played Taps one pipes exactly once. Years ago I played for the funeral ofa fellow musician's father-in-law. I did not know he had been military until they brought the flag-draped casket out of the hearse. After the church service, I got to the cemetery ahead of the motorcade and found a USMC honor guard-two very sharp-looking young Marines, one male, one female, with a "Boombox" to play taps. They asked me if I'd play Taps on the pipes instead of using the cassette they had. I silently fingered it on the chanter and agreed to play it.
since that time, if I know it's a veteran's funeral, I bring my bugle or cornet, just in case.
Yes, it fits, note-wise, but IMHO loses something in the transposition.
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:20 PM   #5
Texas Gael
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Default Re: Taps on pipes?

I've had to play Taps on a number of occasions for military funerals where there was a problem with the electronic bugle. I was asked to sub in, and did so, otherwise there would have been no Taps at all. It's better played by a bugle, but when circumstances warrant, the GHB is better than nothing. I've only had one request to play it for a non-military funeral (the deceased was a veteran) and did so. Better to know the tune and not need it than to need it and not know it, I say. Also important is for pipers to learn Flowers of the Forest, Lochaber No More, and Cha Till MacCruimein, you never know when you will be asked to play real funeral music.

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Old 05-28-2019, 05:07 PM   #6
Linz
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Default Re: Taps on pipes?

Couple of weeks ago, I piped a funeral at the local National Cemetery. The Sailor that was supposed to do Taps had a digital bugle, which failed just before she used it. The Cemetery Rep got on his radio, called into the headquarters, and they played it over the facility loudspeaker instead.
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:20 AM   #7
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Taps on pipes?

Taps fits perfectly on the Highland pipes, and if playing at a military funeral, where a bugler is not present, I offer to play it if the family wants.

Far nicer to have the piper play it than to play it on a boom box, which sometimes is the case when there's no bugler.

A couple months ago there was a funeral where the deceased had a specific request: Taps to be played by a trio of pipers. We did as he requested, and it sounded fine.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:30 AM   #8
FFDaveNY
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Default Re: Taps on pipes?

Having been at funerals where it has been sounded on a portable player or "electronic" bugle and never cared for it- mostly because our veterans deserve better, but at least an effort recognizing their contribution is being made. Unfortunately that is the case as there aren't enough buglers available. Also, there have been times on Memorial Day where the vets at the local VFW (where some of my bandmates go after the last parade of the day) have asked for it as part of a flag ceremony.
So I've added to my repertoire just in case and will practice it once in a while to keep fresh. 24 of the saddest notes.
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:42 AM   #9
phinson
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Default Re: Taps on pipes?

I was asked to play "Taps" (and did) once when the trumpeter who usually did the honors for the local VFW had to go out of town just before Veterans' Day ten+ years ago. I've also piped for graveside services and veterans' events where "Taps" has usually sounded on electronic bugles (and once on a boom box). There is nothing like a live bugle/trumpet/cornet.


There is a nation-wide organization called Bugles Across America the whole raison 'etre of which is to provide a live musician to play "Taps" at veterans' funerals in particular. The website is: ttps://www.buglesacrossamerica.org/.


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Old 05-30-2019, 05:24 PM   #10
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Taps on pipes?

As I've mentioned before, I can assure you (if you're in an area of decent-sized population) that there are trumpet players sitting at home hoping the phone would ring.

But the phone doesn't ring, and the people use electronic bugles. (At least the electronic bugle never has a clam!)
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