These are some of the tunes we play, as well as some others that are
just interesting. These are saved in various formats; if
you notice any problems or have questions, feel free to contact the
See the format notes toward the bottom
for information on how the songs are organized and what all these funny
You'll find some drum music down towards the
As usual, this is a work in progress, so new tunes are being added all
the time. If you don't see one you're interested in, just ask.
Zip files of the whole set are available. See the information at
the bottom of the page.
Col. H. C. Hart's "New and Improved Instructor for the DRUM"
Bruce and Emmett's "Drummers' and Fifers' Guide"
"No Party" is written with a high C. Aside from the fact that
many fifers find it dfficult to play a high C, there has been some
discussion about whether this is actually correct. The version
here has that C written as a B.
The American Veteran Fifer
Most of the American Veteran Fifer tunes have been transcribed and are
on a separate page of their own.
Revolutionary War Era
from various sources
The Company of Fifers and Drummers
A major source of tunes, the books of the Company are available
on-line. (See the links page)
Some songs have "local variations" which differ from commonly available
printed material. The songs that CCDB plays that are unique to
the group appear below.
The files on this page were created with various programs on various
systems. They are hopefully correct, but if you find any that
appear bad, illegible, or need to be cleaned up - please let me
| "Portable Display Format", by Adobe. Use the Acrobat
Reader (acroread) to view and print
these files. They're formatted for US sized 8-1/2 by 11 inch
| a picture format, sometimes known as JPEG. Your web
browser should be able to display these. The jpg files here may
be smaller size (and smaller scale) than the GIF images. There's
one song per page.
| a sound file. These are short and only contain the
first part played one time through, followed by the second part played
one time through (AB, not AABB as they are usually played). The
only exception is if there are first and second endings for the tune;
then you get the whole thing. The tones should match your
fife, although an octave low. The files are automatically generated and
don't sound much like
a fife, but will hopefully give you an idea of what it should sound
if you have difficulty following the written music.
| a simple text format that contains the notes and
lengths. It's a format used on the Web to email tunes back and forth.
It's not too legible, but it's very compact. See the
web pages for abc and abcplus on sourceforge for
more information and various programs which allow you to read, play,
and print music files. There are LOTS of abc tune archives out
Following are some drum beatings for specific songs as well as general
beats that are used for many fife tunes. These are presented in
printable format, but do not include abc or midi files at the moment.
(I have had trouble getting abc to handle drum notation, so the
files use a shareware program named "Mup", or Music Publisher (from arkkra). This runs well on
Unix/Linux systems and produces PostScript output for printing.)
Some drum music contains snare and bass drum parts written on the
same staff. The snare is above the bass.
|Frog in the Well
(Hart's Plain Flam)
|Army 2/4 Standard Beat
(Bruce & Emmett) (See note 1)
(See note 2)
- The Army 2/4 is written with two emphasized 16th notes at the
beginning of a beat. Many people play this with only the second
emphasized to create a syncopated rhythm. It's wrong. (My
- The Roving Sailor is an early beating that apparently is a
predecessor to the basic Army 2/4. It's useful for several
different tunes and as an alternate to the old standards (Army 2/4 and
CCDB Stand Pieces
By request, for those who want the complete set of files to examine at
their leisure, zip files are available. These contain the PDF
files for printing, the JPG files for viewing, and the Midi files (fife
music only) for listening.
The files are:
(The AVF music file contains only PDF and Midi files. Including
the JPG images increased the size dramatically. If you do need
JPG files, they are available but large -
about 4.8 MB.)