Here at NPR's offices in midtown New York this afternoon, we can hear the sounds of the Veterans Day parade echoing up through windows from 5th Avenue. We've heard a bunch of marching bands (and quite a few bagpipes), but so far not the song most associated with memorializing members of the armed forces. That would be taps, the 24-note melody played on a bugle at the funerals of military veterans.
Over on Deceptive Cadence, NPR Music's classical music blog, Tom Huizenga has a great history of taps, stretching back from its Civil War battlefield origins and up to technological advances that allow the piece to be played at military funerals today, when buglers are in short supply.
On All Things Considered today, reporter David C. Barnett interviews Hugo Keesing, who collected over 300 songs for Next Stop is Vietnam, a 13-CD boxed set of songs about the Vietnam War.
At A Blog Supreme, Patrick Jarenwattananon posts some thoughts on jazz musicians who serve in the armed forces, linking a new autobiography from pianist Randy Weston with the musicians employed by the military.