Drums and Fifes of the Marine Corps



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Drums and Fifes


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The musicians of the Tamboers and Pijpers (Drums and Fifes of the Marine Corps) are trained as full-fledged marines. In addition, they are specialized in drum training (Drums) or piccoloflute (Fifes) through an internal professional training. They take care of the music during the military ceremony often together with the Marinierskapel der Koninklijke Marine (Marine Band of the Royal Navy). They also perform together with the Marine Band during tattoos and marches.

Members of the Tamboers and Pijpers van het Korps Mariniers can also be deployed as a marine during crisis operations all over the world. They also  join exercises. For example, mountain training in Scotland or winter training in Norway.

An important feature of the technology of the tambours is the flame stroke. This is a stroke from the left stick directly followed by the right, or vice versa. The tambours are also famous for their beautifully rolling rolls: 2 strokes on the right and 2 strokes on the left, and so on. The tambours can make 960 beats per minute in march tempo.

Steelband Marine Corps
10 musicians from the Tamboers and Pijpers play in the Steelband. The Steelband provides music at tropical parties, during events and receptions. The band plays a large number of Latin American music styles such as the rumba, the bossanova, the calypso, the salsa and the lambada.
Steel band music originally comes from the Caribbean. Because of the presence of marines on Aruba, this music has also come to the Netherlands. Marines have always had a special bond with Aruba. In 1969, the then commander of the Marine Corps received a complete steel band instrumentation from the Aruban population. From that moment on the Steelband was created.

Signal horn
Tamboers and Pijpers must also be able to blow trumpet signals on a signal horn in a traditional way. The Royal Netherlands Navy still uses signals for ceremonial purposes. For example, in the case of embarking and hoisting the flag.

The Tamboers and Pijpers exist many centuries longer than the Marinierskapel der Koninklijke Marine. They were the basis of contemporary military marching music.

First Tamboers en pijpers
In 1665 the Marine Corps was established. That same year the first tambour officially entered service with the Dutch navy. In 1699, the Pijpers entered the Marine Corps. They had 3 flutes in a different mood. Marines took them in a copper flute tube that hung on the couple. This tube is still part of the gala uniform. The Tamboers en Pijpers on board had a double function as a ship trumpet. They also had to transmit signals.
In 1902 captain of the marines G.A. Linckers commissioned a lighter equipment for the Tamboers and Pijpers to design. Until 1983 the Des-flute was used. It was not replaced until 1983 by the current C-piccolo. At the birth of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1814, at the request of King William I, a number of military signals were recorded in musical notation. These signals are still performed today as ceremonial.

The Tamboers and Pijpers have always been a household name in the Royal Netherlands Navy. Every navy man or woman has learned to march on their music.