"TAPS" is a bugle call played at dusk, during flag ceremonies, and at
military funerals by the
United States armed forces
* 1 Etymology * 2 History * 3 Melody and lyrics * 4 Legends
* 5 Non-military variants
* 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links
"Taps" is derived from the same source as "Tattoo ".
"Taps" originates from the Dutch taptoe , meaning "close the (beer) taps (and send the troops back to camp)". An alternative explanation, however, is that it carried over from a term already in use before the American Civil War. Three single, slow drum beats were struck after the sounding of the Tattoo or "Extinguish Lights". This signal was known as the "Drum Taps", "The Taps", or simply as "Taps" in soldier's slang.
The tune is a variation of an earlier bugle call known as the "Scott
Tattoo ", which was used in the U.S. from 1835 until 1860, and was
arranged in its present form by the Union
"Taps" concludes many military funerals conducted with honors at
Arlington National Cemetery
Captain John Francis Tidball , West Point Class of 1848, started the custom of playing "Taps" at military funerals. In early July 1862 at Harrison's Landing, a corporal of Tidball's Battery A, 2nd U. S.. Artillery , died. He was, Tidball recalled later, "a most excellent man". Tidball wished to bury him with full military honors, but, for military reasons, he was refused permission to fire three guns over the grave. Tidball later wrote, "The thought suggested itself to me to sound taps instead, which I did. The idea was taken up by others, until in a short time it was adopted by the entire army and is now looked upon as the most appropriate and touching part of a military funeral." As Tidball proudly proclaimed, "Battery A has the honor of having introduced this custom into the service, and it is worthy of historical note."
It became a standard component to U.S. military funerals in 1891.
"Taps" is sounded during each of the military wreath ceremonies
conducted at the
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
MELODY AND LYRICS
The melody of "Taps" is composed entirely from the written notes of
C major triad (i.e., C, E, and G, with the G used in the lower and
higher octaves). This is because the bugle, for which it is written,
can play only the notes in the harmonic series of the instrument's
fundamental tone ; a B-flat bugle thus plays the notes B-flat, D, and
F. "Taps" uses the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth partials.
There is one original set of lyrics meant to accompany the music, written by Horace Lorenzo Trim :
Day is done, gone the sun, From the lake, from the hills, from the sky; All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.
Fading light, dims the sight, And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright. From afar, drawing nigh, falls the night.
Thanks and praise, for our days, 'Neath the sun, 'neath the stars, neath the sky; As we go, this we know, God is nigh.
Sun has set, shadows come, Time has fled, Scouts must go to their beds Always true to the promise that they made.
While the light fades from sight, And the stars gleaming rays softly send, To thy hands we our souls, Lord, commend.
Several later lyrical adaptations have been created.
There are several legends concerning the origin of "Taps". The most
widely circulated one states that a Union
Another, perhaps more historically verifiable, account of "Taps"
first being used in the context of a military funeral involves John C.
Tidball , a Union artillery captain who during a break in fighting
ordered the tune sounded for a deceased soldier in lieu of the more
traditional—and much less discreet—three volley tribute.
While not necessarily addressing the origin of the "Taps", this does represent the first recorded instance of "Taps" being sounded as part of a military funeral. Until then, while the tune had meant that the soldiers' day of work was finished, it had little to none of the connotation or overtone of death, with which it so often is associated today.
Another lesser-known legend is that of Lieutenant William Waid paying saloon-keepers to shut off the taps to the kegs when the song was played in a neighboring army camp. Lt. Waid's name has not been found in Union or Confederate records.
Although primarily used within the military, several local or special
variations of the tune are performed, primarily by organizations such
Boy Scouts of America
ECHO TAPS AND SILVER TAPS
At Norwich University, the ceremony is held on the Upper Parade Ground, where the Corps of Cadets forms up silently at 2145 (9:45 p.m.) for tattoo, and then stands in silence until 2200 (10:00 p.m.) when "Echo Taps" is sounded, at which time unit commanders tacitly will give the commands of attention and present arms. The regimental bugler stands either near the flagpole in front of Jackman Hall or on Jackman's balcony and plays the main tune of "Taps". The echoing bugler will stand on the steps of Dewey Hall facing the Parade Ground and echo each series of notes. Following the sounding of "Taps", the Corps of Cadets dismisses in silence.
At Texas A&M, Echo
By far, one of Texas A&M's most honored traditions is Silver Taps.
* Military of the United States portal * Music portal
* Keith Clark , U.S.
* ^ "Ceremonial music. Links to two bugle versions and a band version of \'Taps\'". U.S. Marines.
* ^ E.g.:
* Villanueva, Jari A. "24 Notes That Tap Deep Emotions". west-point.org]. (see notes about the author contained therein). * "Taps" (PDF). U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs (The Story of Taps).
* ^ "Taps". Dictionary.com. Retrieved 26 August 2014. * ^ Villanueva, Jari. "Why the Name "Taps"?". tapsbugler.com. Retrieved 26 August 2014. * ^ Booth, Russell H. (December 1977). "Butterfield and 'Taps'". Civil War Times. pp. 35–39. * ^ "Detailed History of Taps". West-point.org. 1969-07-04. Retrieved 2011-03-23. * ^ Pennsylvania in the Civil War * ^ 'The 83rd Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Civil War' p. 8 * ^ A B Villanueva, USAF Master Sergeant Jari A. "History of Taps". Military Funeral Honors Web Page. United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 4 March 2011. * ^ Military Funeral Honors – Burial and Memorial Benefits * ^ John C. Tidball, "Second U.S. Artillery", November 21, 1890, Papers re Second U.S. Artillery, M 727, entry 64, Records of the Office of the Adjutant General, RG, NA, 14–15. See also Tidball, Eugene C., No Disgrace to my Country: The Life of John C. Tidball, Kent, Kent State University Press, 2002, pp. 250–251. * ^ "Tapping the Admiral". Retrieved 2011-03-23. * ^ "The Story of \'Taps\' – Netlore Archive". Urbanlegends.about.com. 1999-03-26. Retrieved 2011-03-23. * ^ "The Origin of "Taps"?". BreakTheChain.org. 2003-04-18. Retrieved 2011-03-23. * ^ "The story behind the military song "taps"-Fiction!". Truthorfiction.com. Retrieved 2011-03-23. * ^ "Taps" from Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratories