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  1. #1

    History of a Drum Ceremony

    Hello,

    I was recently asked what I knew about the drum ceremony and couldn't really give an answer. I know it is usually a religious ceremony (of sorts) but don't know the history. Anyone have any information? Maybe some books that talk about it?
    R Molitor
    Lt (N)
    "Leadership is not making decisions; anyone can do that. It is also not standing behind decisions; again, an easy thing to do. True leadership is admitting when you're wrong."

  2. #2
    Do you mean the drumhead service sir? Where they pile the drums?
    [LEFT]Second Lieutenant Jeffrey Ng
    2947 12 (Vancouver) Service Battalion RCACC

    Platoon Commander
    Duty Above All

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by baloobot View Post
    Do you mean the drumhead service sir? Where they pile the drums?
    There is a difference between piling the drums and a drum ceremony.
    R Molitor
    Lt (N)
    "Leadership is not making decisions; anyone can do that. It is also not standing behind decisions; again, an easy thing to do. True leadership is admitting when you're wrong."

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by R. Molitor View Post
    There is a difference between piling the drums and a drum ceremony.
    Are they similar? Can you explain the ceremony?

  5. #5
    Lt Daniel Knee is on a distinguished road Lt Daniel Knee's Avatar
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    The only ceremony involving drums that i am aware of is the "Drum Pile". Usually done when a Regiment or branch of the Forces receives it's colors or gets new ones. Not aware of a another....would love to hear about it though.
    Daniel Knee, Lt
    2136 RCACC - Canadian Scottish
    "Canadain Scottish Drummer"

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by R. Molitor View Post
    Hello,

    I was recently asked what I knew about the drum ceremony and couldn't really give an answer. I know it is usually a religious ceremony (of sorts) but don't know the history. Anyone have any information? Maybe some books that talk about it?
    I've got to agree with the "piling of drums" being the most likely candidate. I've read two reasons for piling drums during for religious services/Mass: The first is that it's meant to be a makeshift altar (the one I think is most likely) and the second is that drums were used in pagan ceremonies and the priests wanted to ensure that no-one would play them during the service.

    The piling of the drums for consecrating colours is just an off-shoot of this.

    Did the person asking about the ceremony have any more details? There are other situations were there is a ceremonial playing of drums but they are part of a larger ceremony (like the "Drummer's Call" during the trooping of the Colours).
    gliderwingsJ-P Johnson cd1
    Barrie Ontario
    The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

  7. #7
    There is also the drumhead court martial. A now extinct form of court martial where the accused has been charged in the field while in a war and the exigencies of the matter require that it be done summarily by the commanding officer in the field. Essentially the commanding officer would up end a drum and use it as his desk.
    Captain J. Gleiberman cd1
    Everytime I think I am out, they keep pulling me back in.
    Grand Poobah of the SAW
    Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker.

  8. #8

    http://www.worldmilitarybands.com/world_book_of_military_musicpa3.htm

    Found this on the web :

    Piling of the Drums

    The ancient ceremony of the Piling of the Drums had its origins where new banners or colors were presented. Colors have always been regarded with great reverence. Historians record that Colors have been associated with religion from the earliest times. Israelites carried the social standard of the Maccabees which bore the initial letter of the Hebrew text. These early associations linking religion with the battle flags and standards have their counterpart in the ceremonial attached to Colours today. Many Commonwealth countries adopted the British custom for the consecration of the Colors prior to the presentation to the Units. The drums are traditionally piled to provide an altar for the consecration. The drums are brought forward and piled in the center. The pile consists of five side drums in a circle with the emblazoning the right way up, facing outwards. The bass drum is laid on the side drums and a tenor drum on top, both with the center of the emblazoning facing the person blessing the Colors. The Colors are then draped on the pile for the consecration, the pikes resting on the hoop to retain the Colors pikes in position. There is no drill laid down for the piling drums, but the drummers concerned normally turn to their left and right and marches out in a single file, forming a circle around the designated spot, turn inwards and arrange their instruments in the center. After the Colors have been consecrated, the drums are recovered in the same way. The Colors after being blessed by the various religious leaders, is handed over to the visiting dignitary , who will present the newly consecrated Colors to the CO / Commander of the Unit. The Colors are then trooped.

    http://www.worldmilitarybands.com/wo...y_musicpa3.htm
    Lcdr(NL) Marc Sigouin
    Division Executive officer
    Navy League of Canada - Quebec Division
    qdjmnlsm<-- +10 scsmlegion75

  9. #9
    Are you thinking of a tattoo?
    The military Tattoo, as we know it today, had its origins in eighteenth-century Europe when British soldiers were recalled to their barracks by a drummer marching through the town. In the Flemish language, the signal was do den taptoe, which means “turn off the taps”, a sign to the tavern keepers to stop serving. In English “taptoe” became “tattoo” and in time the drummer was joined by other musicians and a concert would be played to entertain the local populace— an early exercise in public relations. Over the centuries the tattoo has become a military musical entertainment show and may include many other types of performing acts, both military and civilian.
    Caroline A. Howard
    Lt(N) cd1 MSA

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by marc.sigouin View Post
    Found this on the web :

    Piling of the Drums

    The ancient ceremony of the Piling of the Drums had its origins where new banners or colors were presented. Colors have always been regarded with great reverence. Historians record that Colors have been associated with religion from the earliest times. Israelites carried the social standard of the Maccabees which bore the initial letter of the Hebrew text. These early associations linking religion with the battle flags and standards have their counterpart in the ceremonial attached to Colours today. Many Commonwealth countries adopted the British custom for the consecration of the Colors prior to the presentation to the Units. The drums are traditionally piled to provide an altar for the consecration. The drums are brought forward and piled in the center. The pile consists of five side drums in a circle with the emblazoning the right way up, facing outwards. The bass drum is laid on the side drums and a tenor drum on top, both with the center of the emblazoning facing the person blessing the Colors. The Colors are then draped on the pile for the consecration, the pikes resting on the hoop to retain the Colors pikes in position. There is no drill laid down for the piling drums, but the drummers concerned normally turn to their left and right and marches out in a single file, forming a circle around the designated spot, turn inwards and arrange their instruments in the center. After the Colors have been consecrated, the drums are recovered in the same way. The Colors after being blessed by the various religious leaders, is handed over to the visiting dignitary , who will present the newly consecrated Colors to the CO / Commander of the Unit. The Colors are then trooped.

    http://www.worldmilitarybands.com/wo...y_musicpa3.htm
    I would be very surprised if the piling of drums started with the consecration of new colours. I have seen photos from WW1 where church parades, other than consecration of colours, are being conducted with drums piled. I've scene prints from the American Civil War and War of 1812 featuring the same thing.


    (Note the drums to the left of the piano)

    And this more contemporary one:


    (Caption for this is: Royal Marines Association Diamond Jubilee Reunion The Drum Head which forms the Altar for the service of remembrance - from the Royal Navy Website)
    Last edited by J-P Johnson; 24th February 2009 at 10:12. Reason: added photos
    gliderwingsJ-P Johnson cd1
    Barrie Ontario
    The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

  11. #11
    Lt Daniel Knee is on a distinguished road Lt Daniel Knee's Avatar
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    SO does that mean i was right? I love being right! I've never taken part in a Drum Pile Ceremony but I would love the chance some day! This is very very interesting information though! I love Drum history!
    Daniel Knee, Lt
    2136 RCACC - Canadian Scottish
    "Canadain Scottish Drummer"

  12. #12
    my understanding that a drum pile is a part of several ceremonies... wether it be in in the field tribunals or what have you.

    a drum ceremony is a religious ceremony usually done as a memorial, such as in the sunset ceremony, or to consecrate colours...

    i have been told that the two get confused because both involve a pile of drums.. but that they are seperate.
    R Molitor
    Lt (N)
    "Leadership is not making decisions; anyone can do that. It is also not standing behind decisions; again, an easy thing to do. True leadership is admitting when you're wrong."

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