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Topic: OT--Military digital bugle

  1. #1

    OT--Military digital bugle

    Since there are a lot of horn players on this forum, I thought I'd throw this out.

    On Friday I was a pall bearer in the funeral of an old friend of the family who died. He was 92 years old, and was a naval officer in World War II.

    A Scottish bagpiper was present at graveside to play "Amazing Grace". Real bagpiper, real bagpipes, real playing.

    After that, two Navy servicemen appeared to give military honors. One of the Naval servicemen (a woman) played taps--on one of those "digital bugles" that the US Armed Forces have been using for several years now. By "played taps" I mean she held the instrument to her lips and pushed the "play" button, which produced a digital recording of "Taps" out of the speaker concealed in the bell of the "instrument".

    Has anybody else experienced digital taps at a funeral?

    If you're not familiar with the military digital bugle, here are some links.


    Wheat Williams
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Music Copyist in Sibelius
    Apple MacBook Pro, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
    Apple Certified Support Professional. I also work with Windows.

  2. #2

    Re: OT--Military digital bugle

    I saw this first hand at my father-in-law's funeral in January. I was totally fooled during the service, I am ashamed to admit, as I consider myself pretty good at spotting artificiality.

    The recording played by the device was very realistic, musical and made for a moving moment. I would much rather have one of these at a solemn occasion than take a chance on a military quasi-musician who may not be up to the task.

  3. #3

    Re: OT--Military digital bugle

    And if you are a bugler and want to volunteer your services to our veterans, who deserve real buglers, here is another link:


  4. #4

    Re: OT--Military digital bugle

    I personally think that is disgusting and offensive.

    A new low.

  5. #5

    Re: OT--Military digital bugle

    You know what, now that you mention it, when I was at my uncle's funeral a month ago, I didn't see the bugle player's lips move at all (it was a very shinny bugle though).

    I know this sounds really wierd, but has anyone ever thought what it would be like if taps was played on a Mellophone Bugle, or a Contrabass bugle, or any other size bugle for that matterr (sorry if it offends someone, it's just a thought that floats in the back of my mind from time to time.)
    Anthony Abruscato

    "There are only two types of music: Love Songs and Pirate Music"

    HP Pavillion dv6171cl w/ Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit, 2 GB Ram, 250 GB 5200 RPM HD + an external 300 GB HD. GPO, JABB, CAMB, Sibelius 5.1, Finale 2008a, and a demo copy of FL studio.

  6. #6

    Re: OT--Military digital bugle

    I would be happy for it to be played on any kind of bugle, or an electric guitar for that matter. But to hold up a pretense like that "fills me with the urge to defecate" to quote Roger Waters and his Pink Floyd friends.

    How insulting, demeaning! How contemptuous! How crass!

  7. #7

    Re: OT--Military digital bugle

    I certainly don't intend to argue with those who find it offensive, but I want to reiterate that I am a trained musician who has worked in both the acoustic and electronic worlds for over 20 years, and I was fooled! Only after someone mentioned later that the military was using these electronic things did I seek out information on them and discover that is what was used.

    I would urge you to see and hear it "in action" before you pass final judgement. It removes an element of risk from an emotionally-charged occasion and I believe that's a good thing. I do, however, applaud the Bugles Across America effort for providing a wonderful and selfless service.

  8. #8

    Re: OT--Military digital bugle

    Sorry I have written strongly emotive language.

    My perspective has nothing to do with music. As an outsider to the American culture (and please I do not wish to disrespect any culture) I can only observe a ritual such as this with an external observer's eyes.

    What I see here is not music being played but rather a pretense that cuts to the heart of something I perceive as being sacred to the memory of the deceased and their family.

    Smoke and mirrors is, I think, inappropriate for such an occasion.

    I will be quiet now.

    Having only had one hour sleep in the last 48 hours has somewhat lowered my inhibitions to write what my passions are dictating

    It's midnight now and I really need some sleep!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Re: OT--Military digital bugle

    As a member of the Texas Music Educators when this practice began,
    I suggested that †he Association create some form of recognition for "able" High School trumpet players who perform TAPS at Vet funerals.
    That suggestion was ignored.

    There are thousands of good HS players along with other grads who keep up their chops, who could perform this ceremony.

  10. #10

    Re: OT--Military digital bugle


    I am a little torn on this one, as I think that there are positives for using both a "real" bugler and a digital one.

    At my dad's funeral a few years ago, there was a bugler, but to be honest, I was so distraught that I didn't notice whether it was a recording or was being played live. I think that it was live, but I don't really don't know. I was just happy that the tribute was there.

    Now, if it happened to be a live bugler and the bugler happened to make a major mistake (I understand that it can't possibly be an easy thing to play at funerals, so I know that they might happen) would it have made me upset that the tribute to my dad was messed up? Maybe...

    Sorry for rambling,
    Take Care,

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