Galgorm Fife and Drum Club
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Galgorm fife and drum club meets every Thursday night in Galgorm Orange Hall. The drums, or lambegs as they are often called, are large drums approximately 3’ in diameter, made from oak with goatskin heads. They are held or carried around the neck, struck with canes in a strict rhythm and they are LOUD!
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The music of the fife and drum has been traditional in Ireland for over two hundred years. At that time, fifes were the popular instrument for military commanders to signal commands to their troops. Drums were used to strike a rhythm for long marches into battle. These requirements have now been consigned to history, but in some countries, the tradition lives on in re-enactments and parades. For many years, fifing was considered to be in decline in Ireland, with the drums taking an increasingly prominent rôle through competitions and lambeg drumming clubs. Galgorm, however, never gave up the tradition of time drumming, and the fife has always been an important part of that. At Galgorm, we teach both fife and drum on Thursday evenings and anyone with an interest is very welcome to come along and join in. vertical line In the past it would have been possible to tell where a drummer lived to within a few miles simply by recognising the rhythm he played. Every area had their own tune or 'time'. More recently tone has become much more important to drummers than time, with many competition drummers unable to play along with a fife. Time drumming has revived somewhat in recent years and we are keen to nurture and promote that resurgence.
The fife is a small shrill six-holed flute made from hard, close-grained wood. The most popular wood used today in the Irish fife is boxwood. American fifes are more likely to be rosewood or ebony. The fifer, when playing along with the drum, usually plays a selection of jigs, reels and hornpipes. Many ask, how can the fife be heard above perhaps three drums? Well, a lone fifer can be heard from well over a mile away in open countryside.
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The Spirit of 76 by Archibald Willard

This Fife and Drum web ring site owned by 

John McClean.

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