The Long Roll

Throughout the course of the American Civil War young boys from around the country left the safety of their homes and firesides to serve their respective cause. Drummers boys often attended the Schools of Practice at Governor’s Island, New York Harbor, and Newport Barracks, Kentucky, although the vast majority learned in the field. Some were aided by texts; the most popular by far was Bruce and Emmett’s The Drummers’ and Fifers’ Guide.

According to historian Ron Engleman:

The word rudiments first appeard in a drum book in 1812. On page 3 of A New Useful and Complete System of Drum Beating, Charles Stewart Ashworth wrote, Rudiments for Drum Beating in General. Under this heading he inscribed and named 26 patterns required of drummers by contemporary British and American armies and militias. The word Rudiment was not used again in US drum manuals until 1862. George B. Bruce began page 4 of Bruce and Emmett’s Drummers and Fifers Guide with the words Rudimental Principles.

Beginning with the long roll, Bruce listed 35 patterns concluding with a paragraph titled Recapitulation of the Preceeding Rolls and Beats. On page 7 of his 1869 Drum and Fife Instructor, Gardiner A. Strube wrote, The Rudimental Principles of Drum – Beating, and followed with 25 examples, each named Lesson.

See posts:

Drummer Boy album: http://www.pinstripepress.net/CWDrummerBoys.pdf

Civil War Rudiments: https://maubrecht.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/civil-war-rudiments/

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