the Civil War fifers and drummers, along with buglers, made up the
field music of a regiment. It is important not to confuse the field
music with bands.
The latter was composed of a number of wind instruments, primarily
brass, along with drums and the occasional stringed instrument. The
field music was an integral part of a soldier's daily life. The fifers,
drummers, and buglers played musical pieces which were used as signals
in camp for formations and other activities--reveille, assembly, meal
calls, to the colors, the troop, the tattoo, etc. The drummers often
provided the cadence when the troops were on the march, and the field
music was used to relay orders on the field during battle. The presence
of smoke and noise often meant that only the musicians could quickly
relay orders for any distance. Musicians sometimes also served as
stretcher bearers to remove the wounded from the field.
The musicians of
the 3rd Maine Field Music have attained a reputation unequaled
among today's Civil War living historians for the quality and authenticity
of their portrayal of Civil War musicians. Whether they are preceeding
the Infantry during parades, urging the men on during battle with
stirring period pieces, or participating in musters with other fife
and drum units, they are a vital part of our organization. Both novice
and experienced musicians are welcome to join us!