Curtain Raiser – Beating Retreat Ceremony 2013


Curtain RaiserINVC,,

Indian tunes will be the flavour of the ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony this year also. As many as 18 of the 23 performances have been composed by Indian musicians; just five popular tunes by foreign musicians have been retained, interspersed four times with ‘Fanfare’, a collage by Buglers, and the ‘Drummers’ Call’, a traditional performance by only the drummers.

The ceremony at the Vijay Chowk on January 29th every year marks the culmination of the four-day-long Republic Day celebrations. Fourteen Military Bands, Six Pipes and Drums Bands from regimental centres and eleven Pipes and Drums Bands from batallions, Buglers and Trumpeters from various Army Regiments will perform during the ceremony. Besides, there will be two Bands from the Navy and Air Force.

Most of the tunes being played by the Army’s Military Bands are based on Indian tunes. Two new compositions, – ‘Dhola Re Dhola’ by Maj Gen KN Bhatt and Maj N. Hussain and ‘Jitesh’ by Maj Khem Chand, will also be played. Other tunes which will be played includes ‘Incredible India’, ‘Independence March’, “Young India’ and ‘Scipio’. Navy and Air Force band will perform the tune of ‘Man of War’, ‘The Admiral Insignia’ , ‘Evening Breeze’ and ‘Through the Great Ocean’ composed by Lt Cdr SK Champion, and other tunes are ‘Astronaut’ and ‘Sound Barrier’ composed by MWO JA George.

The principal conductor of the Beating Retreat ceremony will be Lt. Cdr SK Champion while military bands conductor will be Sub Maj Inder Singh (Musician) and Navy and Air Force bands commander will be MCPO (Musician) Ramesh Chand. Buglers will perform under the leadership of Naib Subedar (Musician) Daya Ram Joshi and pipes and drum band will play under the instructions of Naib Sub (Musician) Surinder Kumar.

‘Beating the Retreat’ has emerged as an event of national pride when the Colours and Standards are paraded. The ceremony traces its origins to the early 1950s when Major Roberts of the Indian Army indigenously developed the unique ceremony of display by the massed bands. ‘Beating Retreat’ marks a centuries old military tradition, when the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield and returned to the camps at sunset at the sounding of the Retreat. Colours and Standards are cased and flags lowered. The ceremony creates a nostalgia for the times gone by.


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