Our Instruments

The use of music to relay commands, or pass calls, in the military dates back thousands of years. The drum itself is considered by many to be one
of the oldest, if not the oldest instrument invented by man. Although the flute is another extremely ancient instrument, the fife did not become popular
until the early 1500s. Once it was invented, however, it didn't take long before nearly every army in Europe began to use it because of its very shrill sound.

During the American Revolution, fifes began to become very popular in America, and it wasn't long until the Continental Army adopted the fife to accompany
the drum. Over the years, fifes and drums became more and more popular, and manufacturers began to produce fifes domestically, rather than buy them from overseas.
Unfortunately, due to the popularity of the bugle during the Civil War, fifes and drums began to become obsolete. The Civil War was the last war that fifes and drums
would be used as signal instruments by the United States Army. However, they were still in use during World War I as non signal instruments. Although, the military
completely banned their use shortly before World War II, a corps, the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps was formed in 1960 by George Carroll in the 3rd US Infantry to
perform for the President and many other special occasions.

Despite the military's lack of interest in fifes and drums after the Civil War, the civilian world gained enormous interest. After the Civil War, many veteran musicians
organized local corps in their neighborhoods, and by the late 1800s and early 1900s, fife and drum corps were becoming very popular to see. A place where these corps
really took root is in New England, especially Connecticut and Massachusetts. Today, the American style of fife and drum has spread as far as California, Florida,
Michigan, and many, many states in between. (This text has been taken from http://ancientfifeanddrum.com with permission from the author)

Instrument Links

Model F Fife
Bb. Grenadilla wood with long, brass ferrules.

Learn to play the fife:


Cooperman Civil War Model Rope Tension Drum

We purchase our drums from: