With Memorial Day comes questions about the origin of Taps. There are a lot of stories out there and you can find the factual stories at Wikipedia.
There is also a song that is very, very popular in Europe. It is Il Silenzio. Il Silenzio is not a variation of Taps and Taps is not a variation of Il Silenzio. With that said, Il Silenzio is a beautiful piece and one that you will surely enjoy hearing. A video of 13-year-old Melissa Venema performing this piece, accompanied by Andre Rieu and his orchestra, appears below. Enjoy it, but have a tissue ready. Just remember that it is not Taps. Learn more
For a solid story on taps, visit West-Point.org. This is a 30,000+ alumni from West Point website. It has lots of military history. Learn more
Here is a quote from their story about Taps, 24 Notes That Tap Deep Emotions:
- “As the story goes, General Butterfield was not pleased with the call for Extinguish Lights feeling that the call was too formal to signal the days end and with the help of the brigade bugler, Oliver Willcox Norton, wrote Taps to honor his men while in camp at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia, following the Seven Day’s battle. These battles took place during the Peninsular Campaign of 1862. The call, sounded that night in July, 1862, soon spread to other units of the Union Army and was even used by the Confederates. Taps was made an official bugle call after the war.” Read the full story