In 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!