U.S. Military Bugle Calls

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LIST OF U.S. ARMY CEREMONIAL MUSIC

1- RUFFLES AND FLOURISHES

Ruffles and Flourishes are sounded to render personal honors and precede prescribed music for personnel being honored. Ruffles (played by the drums) and Flourishes (played by bugle or selected brass instruments) are played simultaneously. Ruffles and Flourishes are played in the concert key of B-flat when they precede the National Anthem, Hail to the Chief, and the General's March. Ruffles and Flourishes are played in the concert key of A-flat when they precede Hail Columbia and the Flag Officer's March. (Source: AR600-25, 1 September 1983, Table 2-1)

Number of
Ruffles and Flourishes

March to be Performed
Immediately Following

Rank of Person
Being Honored
Four Ruffles and Flourishes National Anthem or Hail to the Chief President of the United States of America
Four Ruffles and Flourishes National Anthem Ex-President or President-Elect
Four Ruffles and Flourishes National Anthem of foreign country Sovereign or Chief of State of a foreign country or member of reigning royal family
Four Ruffles and Flourishes Hail Columbia Vice President of the United States of America
Four Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Speaker of the House of Representatives
Four Ruffles and Flourishes National anthem of United States or official’s country American or foreign ambassador, or high commissioner while in country to which accredited
Four Ruffles and Flourishes National anthem of official’s country Premier or Prime Minister
Four Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Secretary of Defense
Four Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Cabinet member, President pro tempore of Senate, governor of a State, or Chief Justice of the United States
Four Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Deputy Secretary of defense
Four Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Secretary of the Army
Four Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Secretary of Navy or Air Force
Four Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Under Secretary of Defense
Four Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Director of Defense Research and Engineering
Four Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Four Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Chief of Staff, United States Army; Chief of Naval Operations; Chief of Staff, United States Air Force; or Commandant of the Marine Corps
Four Ruffles and Flourishes General's March (Army & Air Force) or Flag Officer's March (Navy) General of the Army, Fleet Admiral, or General of the Air Force
Four Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Chairman of a Committee of Congress
Four Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Assistant Secretaries of Defense and General Counsel of the Department of Defense
Four Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Governor of a Territory or foreign possession within the limits of his jurisdiction
Four Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Under Secretary of the Army
Four Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Under Secretary of the Navy or Air Force
Four Ruffles and Flourishes General's March Four Star General
Four Ruffles and Flourishes Flag Officer's March Four Star Admiral
Four Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Assistant Secretary of the Army
Four Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Assistant Secretary of the Navy or Air Force′
Four Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” American ambassadors having returned to United States on official business
Three Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” American envoys, American ambassadors having returned to United States but not on official business, or ministers and foreign envoys or ministers accredited in the United States
Three Ruffles and Flourishes General's March Lieutenant General (Three Star)
Three Ruffles and Flourishes Flag Officer's March Vice Admiral (Three Star)
Two Ruffles and Flourishes General's March Major General (Two Star)
Two Ruffles and Flourishes Flag Officer's March Rear Admiral (Two Star, upper–half)
Two Ruffles and Flourishes 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” American ministers resident and ministers resident accredited to the United States
One Ruffle and Flourish 32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” American charges d’ affaires and charges d’ affaires accredited to the United States
One Ruffle and Flourish General's March Brigadier General (One Star)
One Ruffle and Flourish Flag Officer's March Rear Admiral (One Star, lower–half)
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32–bar medley of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Consuls general accredited to the United States

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2 - GENERAL'S MARCH

The General's March is the prescribed honors music for General Officers of the Army and Air Force. The Department of Defense arrangement of the General's March is played immediately following the playing of the appropriate number of Ruffles and Flourishes.

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3 - FLAG OFFICER'S MARCH

This is not playable by bugles!

The Flag Officer's March is the prescribed honors music for Flag Officer's (Admirals) of the USN or the USCG and General Officers (Generals) of the USMC. The Department of Defense arrangement is played immediately following the playing of the appropriate number of Ruffles and Flourishes.

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4- TO THE COLOR

A military bugle call, in the category of ceremonial calls, played to render honors to the nation. It is used when no band is available to render honors, or in ceremonies requiring honors to the nation more than once. To the Color commands all the same courtesies as the National Anthem.

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5 - SOUND OFF

Sound off is the trooping of the line done by the band during a military parade or review. The Sound off is a three-chord (tonic, dominant seventh, tonic) cadence that precedes and follows the march played for the Sound Off sequence. The preceding Sound Off chord cadence is played in the same key as the beginning of the music. The second Sound Off chord cadence is played in the key of the music at the time of the cut off. Because of the bugle's limitations, it is not possible for them to render the Sound Off using the harmonic progression of which a military band is capable. Accordingly, the bugle is limited to a single-note progression (see the Unison Sound Off notated below). The harmonic progression can be used with multiple bugles.

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6 - HAIL TO THE CHIEF

This is not playable by bugles!

Hail to the Chief is the prescribed honors music for the President of the United States of America. The Department of Defense arrangement of Hail to the Chief is played following the completion of Ruffles and Flourishes.

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7 - HAIL COLUMBIA

This is not playable by bugles!

Hail Columbia is the prescribed honors for the Vice President of the United States of America. The Department of Defense arrangement of Hail Columbia is played following the completion of Ruffles and Flourishes.

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8- FUNERAL DIRGE

This is played only with drums!

Funeral Dirge is the cadence used for the procession from the chapel to the gravesite during a military funeral.

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