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As of March 2013, the playing of Live Taps by a Taps Bugler has been replaced by a person holding a Ceremonial Bugle, pressing a button on the bugle that then plays an electronic recording of Taps. The family will see a person holding a bugle but will hear a recording coming out of a one inch speaker inside the bugle's bell.
The Ceremonial Digital Bugle is a government-authorized instrument that will electronically play a recording of Taps and is the default bugle when a Live Taps Bugler is not requested. Its sound is a distinctive sound, much different than that of a person actually rendering Live Taps.
Military Funeral Honors reflects the high regard
and respect accorded to Military Service and demonstrates military professionalism to the nation and the world. Instead of hearing Recorded Taps coming from a Ceremonial Bugle, request a Live Taps Bugler.
You have a choice: LIVE TAPS or DIGITAL TAPS.
Funeral Directors, please let the family know that the Military Funeral Honors Program now provides for Taps played via a recording. Instead of
hearing a recording of Taps for the last salute, offer the family the option of having a professional Live Taps Bugler to play Taps. There is no substitute for a Live Taps Bugler.
Playing beautiful Taps is not easy - it takes acquired skill from years of daily practice. I have that skill.
Occasionally a pro bono (plays for free) bugler from Bugles Across America will be asked or will volunteer to sound Taps. The sound quality may not be what you expect based on their musical skill; instead, ask for me. I am a professional, highly skilled bugler and will always sound Taps correctly. I am not a member of Bugles Across America.
History of Taps
Jari Villanueva is the foremost authority on the history of Taps. Please visit his web site for detailed information regarding Taps for Military Funeral Honors. He is a professional Live Taps Bugler in Maryland and is known nationwide as the Taps Bugler.
The following is a partial list of Funeral Homes where I have sounded Live Taps as a Taps Bugler during Military Funeral Honors:
On the day requested, I will arrive at the funeral site one hour before the anticipated time of the Military Funeral Honors presentation and will coordinate Live Taps with the firing team and/or the military flag presenters.