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Gadgets for the Lazy

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the worse-or-better dept.

Music 233

theodp writes "The Pentagon has found the perfect way to demonstrate it's purely the thought that counts - 700 bugle emulators which sit in real bugles and play 'Taps' at military funerals. The Ceremonial Bugle is just one item in Wired's collection of Gadgets for the Lazy."

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What I am waiting for (4, Funny)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230191)

are diapers with an IP address, so I can log in to them. Not for my kid, for me.

Re:What I am waiting for (2, Funny)

unidentified (965375) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230213)

Sounds like a pretty crappy idea to me.

Re:What I am waiting for (1, Informative)

the_denman (800425) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230215)

personaly I dump my logs to /dev/toilet

Re:What I am waiting for (1)

ironring2006 (968941) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230312)

Just remember to clean up and do a heap dump when you're finished.

Slashdot for the lazy... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230197)

No need to read the article! The entire article is in the summary!

The editor's are getting the idea now!

Bugles (5, Informative)

Chrismith (911614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230201)

Didn't read TFA, so I don't know if it mentions this, but the Taps-playing device is not for the lazy, but rather because there is a shortage of actual trumpet players for military funerals. A lot of burials are having to resort to using CD players; at least with these gadgets some of the ceremony is retained.

Re:Bugles (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230233)

why don't they just get a Flugelhorn player to do it?

It doesn't matter. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230268)

The Pentagon has literally billions of dollars to spend. For $50000 they could likely hire somebody to practice full-time, and rapidly learn the bugle. When you have thousands of millions of dollars to spend, often without any significant oversight, finding bugle players shouldn't be an issue.

After all, they're sending these men and women off to die. The least they could do is hire a few people to honor the fallen at their funerals.

I'm not sure it's that easy. (4, Informative)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230328)

I played trumpet. The bugle is pretty much the same thing, minus the valves. You are thus restricted to a limited set of notes, and must choose your notes by mouth alone.

The restriction isn't anything like "one octave". It's more like "two notes per octave". To get enough notes to make a decent tune out of that, you'll need some extreme range. Building that range can take a long time. Mouth strength doesn't arrive in a matter of days.

There would also be something wrong if the bugle player hadn't gone through basic training. He wouldn't be a real soldier without that gas chamber.

Re:I'm not sure it's that easy. (2, Insightful)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230415)

Yup. I think that a lot of people critical of this matter don't realize that:

1) You can't just tell a soldier to learn the bugle and expect anything that is reasonable for a funeral.
2) You can't just tell a professional musician to stand in the place of a soldier.

Neither would produce a desireable result.

Re:I'm sure it's that easy. (0, Flamebait)

tubamaster (307762) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230437)

I am not a trumpet player. I was bugler back in Boy Scouts. I picked up Taps on the first day. I have hardly met a person who couldn't work out how to play taps in under an hour of playing. The problem is a lack of effort. Reveille is the call that requires a range and some skill. Any idiot could learn how to play Taps with a little bit of effort.

Re:I'm not sure it's that easy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230442)

He wouldn't be a real soldier without that gas chamber.

It's not the real soldiers who have gas chambers. You're thinking of the CIA and their "rendition" flights.

Gas chambers aren't scheduled for the mainland US for another couple of years, when Haliburton have finished the rest of the detention centers.

Re:It doesn't matter. (2, Interesting)

crmartin (98227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230384)

You know what? I grew up in a music store, and played at most all instruments. Fifty grand won't help --- even fifty grand a year won't help. There are only so many people with the "lip".

We're burying a couple thousand WWII vets a month now....

Wait a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230206)

You mean Gadgets for the Efficient [wired.com] , right? Where's the toilet-mounted one? It would have to be fairly waterproof (I take showers occasionally), and easily disinfected...

Bugle emulators (0, Troll)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230210)

That could be the single tackiest thing I've seen in years.

Re:Bugle emulators (2, Insightful)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230245)

Not nearly as tacky as someone who can't play the bugle.

call the local junior high marching band (-1, Flamebait)

illerd (579494) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230218)

for fucks sake. taps on the bugle is the easiest thing to play. its like chopsticks on the piano. all is lost.

Re:call the local junior high marching band (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230225)

Chopsticks is hard you insensitive clod!

Re:call the local junior high marching band (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230239)

Apparently you haven't heard the local junior high marching band. At least 85% of the time you'd rather have the CD player, I guarantee it.

Re:call the local junior high marching band (2, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230287)

Right! They could wake the dead! Waaaait a minute...

Re:call the local junior high marching band (4, Insightful)

jdhutchins (559010) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230270)

As a trumpet player, who has played taps many times, I can tell you taps is *not* the easiest thing to play. While you may be able to get a freshman to hack it out, it requires quite a bit of work to actually sound good. You're also playing very exposed- if you make a mistake, you can't cover it up. And lastly, you're usually playing cold- you haven't played a note for the past half-hour or more. My trumpet teacher thinks taps is the *hardest* thing to play on trumpet, not the easiest.

Re:call the local junior high marching band (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230302)

Don't forget the danger of getting bored, forgetting where you are and playing the same phrase twice!



Tip: try a smaller mouthpiece for easier lip slurs.

Re:call the local junior high marching band (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230345)

Yep.

Also, if "cold" is more than figurative, your lips can freeze to the metal. Well, it would have been out of tune anyway...

Re:call the local junior high marching band (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230324)

Even my father had a trumpet (and I think a bugle too) he could play, and he was a pianist (no offense to buglers out there). But honestly, traditions (like playing instruments) are being lost and more and more music lovers would rather download MP3s, remix or synthesize everything. I have a music major friend who can hardly play a thing to save his life and have been working towards his love of music for years... http://www.funnytimes.com/archives/files/20060301. htm [funnytimes.com]

Re:call the local junior high marching band (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230409)

"for fucks sake. taps on the bugle is the easiest thing to play. its like chopsticks on the piano. all is lost."

All is lost? I could see that reaction if you were talking about the ice cream cone twirler...

As an unemployed bugle player (4, Insightful)

Local Loop (55555) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230235)

As an unemployed bugle player, I find this disappointing. :)

Seriously though, trumpet is one of the most common instruments taught in High School, and bugles are super easy to play (for a brass player). I'm positive they could find people to do this, they just don't care enough to even look.

I'd rather have a bad bugle player at a funeral of a friend, then some stupid souless gadget..

Re:As an unemployed bugle player (2, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230247)

They can't. I head a story about it a while back on NPR (a year or two maybe). I don't know if it is because you have to attend all those funerals, because of all the practice, or what but they just can't find enough people who know how to play the bugle or will learn.

They could fix this by ordering people to learn and play at the funerals, but they don't do that (I don't think they should).

As another poster pointed out, this is better than a CD player (ceremonially).

Re:As an unemployed bugle player (1)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230262)

but any brass player can play a bugle - at least well enough for this purpose.
A bugle is pretty much the same as a trumpet, cornet or flugelhorn (closest to the flugel), but with no valves, so it's actually _easier_ to play......

Re:As an unemployed bugle player (4, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230334)

I suspect this is part of a cultural shift in the military. Traditionally, ordinary soldiers have had a lot of time on their hands, because their jobs mostly consisted of practicing their shooting and waiting for the next war. That's why military life is so full of complicated rituals — it used to be difficult to keep all the grunts busy. Bugle playing is not only a good adjunct to rituals, it gives the bugle players something to do. Of course, bugles used to be valuable battlefield communication tools, but that hasn't been the case for almost a century.

As time goes by, though, soldiers are less and less ignorant cannon fodder and more and more skilled technicians. Learning all the stuff they need to learn is pretty time consuming. So it no longer makes sense for the miltary to maintain time-wasting rituals, like potato peeling and bugle classes.

They don't need to force anybody to play it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230349)

Please don't forget how much money the Pentagon has at their disposal. It's virtually unlimited.

For $75,000 they could likely hire at least one sufficiently-qualified bugle player to play at these funerals. Of course, $75,000 is nothing when your budget is tens of billions of dollars. Best of all, nobody would need to be "ordered" or "forced" into playing taps. The financial incentives, if not the honor, would be more than enough.

The Pentagon could have four or five people who travel and play the bugle at military funerals full-time. They have more than enough funds to locate, train, and employ such people. If anything, it's the least they could do for those they have sent off to die in war.

Re:They don't need to force anybody to play it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230390)

$75,000? Who are they hiring?

Re:They don't need to force anybody to play it. (1)

moorcito (529567) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230412)

Sure. Since these Bugle emulators should last at least five years, so by your reasoning, hiring 5 people to play would cost $375,000. So they'd end up spending more for real people to do the job, but it's only the tax payers money, and it's virtually unlimited so who cares, right?

Re:They don't need to force anybody to play it. (1)

menacing_cheese (687890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230450)

There are thousands of WWII and Korea vets dying every year. Five people wouldn't be nearly enough to cover all the funerals. Not to mention that with a small number of bugel players you'd have to fly them all over the country so you'd have to factor in travel costs as well. It does kind of suck that they have to fake it but its better than a cd player.

Re:As an unemployed bugle player (1)

bagsc (254194) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230485)

It's mostly a demographic problem - there are a lot more old veterans dying than today's smaller miitary can accomodate.

Re:As an unemployed bugle player (1)

Theatetus (521747) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230251)

Well, there may be plenty of buglers but they aren't enlisting. It's a good gig: you get E-6 almost right away.

Re:As an unemployed bugle player (2, Informative)

sco08y (615665) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230429)

Well, there may be plenty of buglers but they aren't enlisting. It's a good gig: you get E-6 almost right away.

It's a real problem for the modern Army. We're moving away from the Cold War structure of having a different MOS for every imaginable job to moving many jobs over to the civilian side of things. Example: when I was in advanced individual training, a guy in my platoon was reclassing from Stinger operator. His one and only job was to hump a Stinger around with him. In his new line of work (and mine, of course) he drives Bradleys, HMMWVs, does forward recon, calls in fire, and is qualified in the Javelin and at least half a dozen other weapon systems.

Since it's a military funeral, you can't have a civilian do it. Since old veterans die all the time it's a full time job. It seems to me that it's an unavoidable consequence of a necessary change.

And as much as I respect the tradition, if it were my funeral, I'd really rather not gouge the taxpayers to have someone toot my horn.

Re:As an unemployed bugle player (2, Informative)

erlenic (95003) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230445)

When I was at Scott AFB, we had a band on base (which is getting rare, at least in the Air Force.) In the 1.5 years I was on the Honor Guard, the band was only able to send a trumpet player ONCE, out of the over 100 funerals I was in. The only way to meet the demand would be to have at least 6 players assigned to each base for funerals only. That's simply cost-prohibitive.

Like others have said, the emulators are much better than the old system. We did literally use a CD player. With these emulators, you can hold the bugle with your hand covering the end, and press the button before lifting it to your mouth. It waits about 3 seconds before it starts playing. Someone would have to look closely to tell you weren't playing.

As for the people who have mentioned that they'd take the job, go to the nearest National Cemetery and ask if they have buglers on staff. At Jefferson Barracks in Missouri, they had several of them, and they made good money. I think it was $35 per funeral, and they'd do 3 an hour.

Re:As an unemployed bugle player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230258)

So I take it you have volunteered to play at military funerals?

Yeah, that's what I thought ....

There are a lot of older veterans who want to render honors at military funerals but lack the training, or an instrument, or sometimes the physical strength to play. I for one don't begrudge them this option ... and I think the snarking about it is adolescent at best.

Re:As an unemployed bugle player (1)

jdhutchins (559010) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230289)

If you're an unemployed bugle player... why not find employment playing at funerals?

Re:As an unemployed bugle player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230303)

My uncle recently died and had the vfw come out and do the whole 21 gun salute/taps thing before interment. The problem was less of "how hard can it be to play taps" and more of "do you really want to have an 80 year old vet give himself an aneurysm trying to get sound out of that thing?" Also if this had been a few months earlier they'd risk freezing their lips to the mouthpiece. To be honest I thought the speaker thing in the bugle horn looked a bit tacky myself but it didn't sound awful, and didn't detract from the service.

Re:As an unemployed bugle player (1)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230322)

What difference does it make? If it looks like a person playing taps and it sounds like a person playing taps then what conceivable problem is there with the fact that the person is not in fact playing taps?

The important part is the ceremony and the soundwaves.

Re:As an unemployed bugle player (1)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230431)

If it looks like a person playing taps and it sounds like a person playing taps then what conceivable problem is there with the fact that the person is not in fact playing taps?

Hey, if it looks like a person singing and performing, and it sounds like a person singing and performing, then what conceivable problem is there with the fact that the person is actually lip-synching? I mean, other than the fact that they're completely lying to their audience?

Well, I suppose if you're the kind of person who believes that perception is more important than substance, then I guess there is no problem. If you're the kind of the person who believes in doing something _right_, then you should find this kind of attitude downright dishonest.

Granted, I'm not the type of person who really gives a damn about a symbolic performance like bugling taps. But I will acknowledge that such symbolism is _very_ important to a lot of people, especially when they're burying a loved one who died in a non-peaceful way, and to pretend that a "fake" performance is as good as a real one is a really cynical insult.

Re:As an unemployed bugle player (5, Informative)

CombatEngineer (848656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230397)

Right now there are about 1750 military funerals per day across the country. In 2008 it will peak at 2100 per day (if the stats are correct). Most state National Guard HQ's run a Funeral Honors program. Volunteers work 7-10 funerals a day and get a stipend of 50-60$ per day to cover expenses, most of the guys that I know that perform the duty lose money by the time they pay for gas, food, dry cleaning uniforms etc. Severice organizations (VFW, AL etc) also provide the service with unpaid volunteers. Finding any kind of brass players for that many funerals is very difficult, we're not talking small numbers here.

Re:As an unemployed bugle player (1)

jftitan (736933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230449)

Then, by any chance... will they find more bagpipe players?

I personally want a bagpipe pleyer... Thanks to those damn highlander movies, and other irish/scottish based flick that has a funeral, the bagpipes sound much better.

Again... screw the trumpet player (I used to play Trombone, Baratone, and Trumpet), get a bagpipe player any day. One man show every time... How often do you see a man in a dress.

(its a joke... laugh!)

Re:As an unemployed bugle player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230477)

Great - the Army is willing to hire you immediately :)

When Bush passes... (2, Funny)

caudron (466327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230255)

...I wonder if they'll get an orchestra to play the theme to the Empirial March or just pop the sound track in the nearest car stereo?

Tom Caudron
http://tom.digitalelite.com/politics.html [digitalelite.com]

P.S. Attended a military funeral a couple of years ago. They played taps on a tape player. This device is a step UP not down from that experience. :-\

National Anthem. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230266)

"The Pentagon has found the perfect way to demonstrate it's purely the thought that counts - 700 bugle emulators which sit in real bugles and play 'Taps' at military funerals. The Ceremonial Bugle is just one item in Wired's collection of Gadgets for the Lazy."

How about a Gadget that you can insert into singers that plays the national anthem correctly at sports events?

Shoe dryer (3, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230267)

TFA:

It's not clear how else you would dry your shoes, but this smacks of laziness.

Personally I think not riding your bike to work because you might get your shoes wet in the rain smacks of laziness but maybe thats just me.

Re:Shoe dryer (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230369)

Stuff your shoes with old crumpled up newspaper and your shoes will be dry overnight.

I actually jumped in a pool after the last day of school fully clothed with shoes on, and the newspaper thing really works.

Thanks mom!

Unfortunately... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230271)

The taps emulator is so much slower that it takes about an hour to finish playing.

To be used in 2003? (4, Insightful)

Moose,The (971845) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230276)

From the article: "Due to a shortage of actual bugle players, the Pentagon had already ordered 700 of these to be used at military funerals in 2003." To be used in 2003? Are we a bit late on this story?

Re:To be used in 2003? (1)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230357)

Coincidentally, 2003 is about the time I first heard about this story. It boggles the mind that Slashdot (and Wired for that matter) is presenting this as a new thing.

Here's [geek.com] a reference to it from 2002.

You can even Order your own [ceremonialbugle.com] for the bargain-basement price of $500.

Search for "digital bugle" on Google...this thing has been all over the Internet for years.

Re:To be used in 2003? (1)

mcpkaaos (449561) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230417)

$500 for something lower tech than a Speak-n-Spell...

Re:To be used in 2003? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230365)

Also, 700? Sounds like someone was expecting to have to perform a few funerals...

Re:To be used in 2003? (1)

bjohnson (3225) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230407)

Yes. Lots of them. WWII vets are dying in large numbers, Korean War vets likewise. Soon all the Boomers who went to 'Nam will be as well...these are millions of men, a large number of whom may ask for a bugler at theior funeral.

The Army long long ago stopped training *actual* buglers, hence, CD's and this gadget.

BAd news for bugle players (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230279)

You know you're having a bad day in the army when they take away your budgle and hand you a rifle.

Speaking of bugle/brass music overplaying... (1)

kitkatsavvy (921998) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230285)

Our brass band was only just playing at our Anzac day service, and RIGHT when we were going to play the reef laying music, the audio guy SUDDENLY decided to play the DAMN music! Instead of a REAL band playing that music, he decided to just press the play button, and we stood there in surprise! That was a pretty low moment, because later on, one of our band guys said the day we won't be needed is the day they have like robots playing and doing the street march LOL!

Btw, we have plenty of brass players and trumpeter's/buglers here, so we can play our "Last Post" easily if needed.

Re:Speaking of bugle/brass music overplaying... (1)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230373)

You guys make wreaths out of reefer there?

Re:Speaking of bugle/brass music overplaying... (1)

kitkatsavvy (921998) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230446)

LOl sorry about that - Wreath's not reefs!! thank you for pointing that out my GAWD! lol

Re:Speaking of bugle/brass music overplaying... (1)

barefootgenius (926803) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230490)

Its Australia man. Of course they make wreaths out of reefer.

uh oh (2, Funny)

ninjamonkey (694442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230297)


I was thinking to myself "how lazy can people be?" when I realized that I was actively using one of the devices in the article:

http://www.theemptyroom.com/ST_14.jpg [theemptyroom.com]

: /

Bad layout (2, Funny)

spikev (698637) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230305)

I hate to prove their point, but i find it annoying to have to scroll down under the text to read about the device. I wish there was a gadget to do it for me.

Re:Bad layout (1)

ironring2006 (968941) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230348)

I hate to prove their point, but i find it annoying to have to scroll down under the text to read about the device. I wish there was a gadget to do it for me.

I hear they now make input devices for your computer that have a neat little device included inbetween the left button and the right button. It's kind of circular with ridges on it. All you have to do is flick your finger down it a bit and the whole screen scrolls down for you! No need to click and drag on the scroll bar or find that arrow button to click on! I think they call it a "scroll wheel" or something like that.

Bulge or Bugle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230307)

I so read that as Bulge Emulators...

laziness? (0, Redundant)

cockytrumpet (829254) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230311)

I'm a trumpet player who is graduating a week from today. So I can tell you, if they can't find a real trumpet player, they can't be trying too hard. The studio at my college is about 40 strong, and even most community colleges have studios. I don't think this is a matter of laziness. I'm thinking they just don't want to pay a real musician for the service.

Re:laziness? (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230329)

Yes, but how many of them are interested in joining the military?

Re:laziness? (1)

flooey (695860) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230341)

I'm a trumpet player who is graduating a week from today. So I can tell you, if they can't find a real trumpet player, they can't be trying too hard. The studio at my college is about 40 strong, and even most community colleges have studios. I don't think this is a matter of laziness. I'm thinking they just don't want to pay a real musician for the service.

How many of those trumpet players are willing to enlist in the military? Drive a couple hours to random cemetaries in the area to play for 5 minutes every weekend? It's not exactly like it's a job that's very appealing.

Re:laziness? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230396)

I'm a trumpet player who is graduating a week from today. So I can tell you, if they can't find a real trumpet player, they can't be trying too hard.

How about a trumpet player who is willing to be sent to Iraq?

Re:laziness? (5, Insightful)

Wildkat (774137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230406)

Screw all of you. WW2 vets have been dieing at a rate of 1000 a day up until 2004. It dropped because there were just not as many left to die. No problem though because the 2400 killed in Iraq and 200+ in Afghanistan have picked up some of the slack and the Vietnam vets are just starting to die at significant rates. We take great pains to ensure the family never sees the "device" and Taps is "played" perfectly every time - no missed notes, no errors. This is not like playing at your local talent show. These are very emotional events even for those of us on funeral detail who likely know nothing of the person being buried. It is a solemn tradition we are all proud to participate in. Every time I do one I remind myself that some day someone will do the same for me. Amazon, Google and every other company in the world wont give a dam about you the day after you quit or retire. We take care of our own no mater how long they served. After burying one of my good friends killed in Iraq this year I will never hear Taps without tearing up.

Re:laziness? (3, Insightful)

erlenic (95003) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230456)

I know how you feel about the emotion. I never had to bury someone I knew, but after doing over 100 funerals, I too cannot hear taps without tearing up.

bugle != trumpet (0)

PresidentEnder (849024) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230344)

Everyone keeps pointing out that there are plenty of trumpet players. There are. They also ridicule the military for not hiring these trumpet players to play bugle at funerals.

The military may deserve ridicule, but they're be even more ridiculous if they hired trumpet players and expected them to bugle. Bugles don't have the button things on top. I don't know exactly how they make different notes; I can make sound on a bugle, but nothing more than meaningless tooting.

Trumpeters aren't bugle players any more than organists are pianists or floutists are bassoonists, as far as I know.

Re:bugle != trumpet (4, Informative)

Ritchie70 (860516) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230375)

I'm guessing you aren't a trumpet player, either. The "button things" are valves. When pressed in various combinations, the length of the pipe varies, allowing more variation in pitch. But even without pressing any of the valves, you can play a variety of notes.

I played trombone in high school, and "Taps" is easily played without any valving (or slide, in the case of the trombone) changes. If the mouthpieces are the same, a bugle is just a simple trumpet.

I read somewhere that prior to the invention of the trumpet valves, similar versatility would be achieved by owning multiple bugles or having multiple bugle players, each with a different bugle. Different length of tubing = different notes you can play.

It's my guess that there isn't a shortage of competent players in the country (any high school with a band program should have several) but a shortage of MILITARY bugle players. You don't send the 16-year-old kid with long hair to play taps at the funeral; you want the adult, with short hair and military uniform. This device lets any military-type person play taps.

Re:bugle != trumpet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230377)

You couldn't be more wrong.



Bugles have same 6 (officially) resonant frequencies as a trumpt (key differences aside)



The only difference is that a trumpet has keys to change the tube length, letting you start at one of the 6 resonant frequencies and drop it a half step at a time. Think about it. Trumpets have 3 keys in with two positions. That's only
8 notes (7 actually for technical reasons). They change "note ranges" the same way a bugle player changes single notes.
For example, playing Taps on the trumpet uses no keys at all.



They really are the same - except that there are a lot cheap bugles out there sound terrible and have really awful mouthpieces. Otherwise they are the same.


Re:bugle != trumpet (1)

Will_Malverson (105796) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230378)

Actually, a bugle is the equivalent of a trumpet with all the buttons locked in the 'up' position. A bugle is therefore limited to a subset of the notes that a trumpet can play, and all bugle songs are made up of that subset. A trumpet player can play a song on the bugle -- especially a simple one like 'taps' -- without any training beyond maybe a five-minute practice session.

Wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230381)

Bugling is like playing trumpet without pushing the buttons. Any trumpeter of at least high school level could play "Taps" on a bugle.

Re:bugle != trumpet (1)

cailyoung (898949) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230391)

A bugle is exactly the same as a trumpet, it just has less notes it can play. When a trumpeter needs to play much higher or much lower notes, they make a subtle adjustment with their mouth to shift the register they're playing in. The notes accessible to a bugle are all fundamentals or harmonics of the size of the bugle; which is why all bugle songs have the same notes in them. Any brass instrument player could easily play a bugle, ignoring the smaller mouthpiece.

Re:bugle != trumpet (1)

lonasindi (914571) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230393)

the trumpet and the bugle are very closely related. a trumpeter has the skills required to play bugle, however they're not necesarrily well-honed. A buglist changes pitch by changing the shape of his lips etc, a trumpter does this to some extent already. I'd say it's more like a bass guitar player to an upright bass player, some of the skills are there, but there's more to learn.

Re:bugle != trumpet (1)

jdhutchins (559010) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230413)

As other people have said before, a bugle is exactly the same as a trumpet that you can't push the valves down on. A trumpet player's bugle skills are just as fine-honed as their trumpet skills are. Every trumpet player uses his lips to change notes too- otherwise you could only play 7 notes on the trumpet. I've played taps many times, and never used a bugle- I always use my standard Bb trumpet to play taps- and it doesn't sound any different.

Re:bugle != trumpet (1)

kklein (900361) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230404)

Taps is played without valves on a trumpet. Any trumpet player can play Taps on a bugle. That's why everyone is talking about trumpet players. Because they know more than you, not less.

Re:bugle != trumpet (1)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230418)

Now I may be a lowly woodwind player (I play mostly out of the clarinet family) but you're not quite right. Most of today's brass instruments have some kind of variable length tubing; most obvious is the trombone, where a slide changes the length of the instrument, but the valves in trumpets, tubas and euphoniums open up extra sections of tubing, effectively lengthening the instrument. This is one way for brass players to change pitch. However, there are only three or four valves on most instruments, which would give at most eight distinct pitches.

But for each valve combination a brass player can actually produce many different notes; the player can play any pitch whose wavelength is a multiple of the instrument's length. The result is that for each fingering the player can produce a harmonic series: a fundamental note (usually very low), one octave above it, up a fifth, up a fourth, up a major third, up a minor third, and so on (these are approximate; or, one might more accurately say, modern even-tempered tuning systems produce approximations of the perfect harmonic intervals).

If you listen to bugle music you'll notice that only the notes of one harmonic series are used; in "Taps", for example, overtones 2, 3, 4 and 5 are used. If a trumpet player played "Taps" his or her fingers would not move; the trumpet player could, with some practice to adjust to the instrument, play exactly the same way on the bugle.

Re:bugle != trumpet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230459)

This isn't just for the lazy. My grandfather's funeral had one of these. A qualfied bugle player stood inside the building we were in (with very loud echo) and used the device to not blow our ears off.

Re:bugle != trumpet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230423)

Trumpeters aren't bugle players

You obviously don't have too much of an idea what you are talking about.

Yes they are, basically. (Note that the inverse may not be true, because - as you pointed out - there are no valves on a bugle, and a trumpeter should know how to operate those)

A bugle is nothing than a trumpet without the valves, and the principle of sound creation is exactly the same. Those "button things on top" obviously are not enough for full multi-octave chromatic scales, so the "lipwork" on a trumpet is the same as on a bugle, you just get additional flexibility.

I propose you go and learn about the principle of just every brass instrument out there - you'll find it to be always the same.

Oh, and yes, IAAT (trumpeter)

Neural Implants... (0, Flamebait)

tehcatisdead (971841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230350)

...and maybe a doItForMe() function that predicts what you're going to want to do and does it for you before you even think of it. Oh, right, we have that now. It's called a representative democracy. Maybe it's not such a good idea after all.

AIBO? (1)

RemovableBait (885871) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230352)

Since when does an AIBO dog count as a gadget for the lazy?

Gadget for the stinking rich more like.

Re:AIBO? (1)

barefootgenius (926803) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230461)

I dunno man. I'm more worried about what type of love it's offering.

Bugles Across America (5, Informative)

bstory (89087) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230362)

Because of the shortage of available buglers, a group was formed to help aid the military in properly honoring our veterans. If you need their services, or wish to volunteer, go to the website [buglesacrossamerica.org] .

RIAA sues the Pentagon! (2, Funny)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230376)

Damned bugle emulator was playing a pirated mp3 of "Taps".

Re:RIAA sues the Pentagon! (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230428)

Pentagon fires warning shot over RIAA's bow.

Congressional inquiry expected.

I guess I'm lazy (1)

moorcito (529567) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230386)

I grant that some of the gadgets are for the lazy, but what about the following:
Motor lounger - isn't relaxing the point of going to the pool?
Shoe mops - put on feet, walk, mop or pick up mop, walk, mop. Doesn't seem that lazy to me
Shoe dryer - how else am I supposed to dry my shoes? Blow on them, place them in the dryer/sun, light a fire?
Juiceator - how is using this any less lazy than drinking from the carton?
Electric fly swatterer - You still gotta hit flies with it, this any no Venus Fly Trap.

Sigh.... (4, Insightful)

rindeee (530084) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230392)

I have to chime in as this is something near to my heart. In fact, a Navy buddy of mine taught himself to play the Bugle a few years back for exactly this reason. Anyway, I begin my list.

1. To the smart ass that stated that they "can't be looking too hard if they can't find a trumpet player"...it's a bugle, not a trumpet. While I play neither, it is my understanding that a trumpeter cannot simply pick up a bugle and play it (especially well enough to do funeral detail).

2. Funeral details are NOT fun. After a while, it gets a little depressing. It is constant (not on weekends for 5 minutes as someone said). You stand endlessly in either blazing sun or freezing cold. You're in full dress (the most uncomfortable uniform ever designed). If you've never been to a national cemetary, then visit. There are funerals going on all day, every day, never ending. Families are limited to about 15 minutes at the graveside to make room/time for those processions scheduled behind them. Blah blah blah.

3. There is a shortage because the bugle is not a common instrument in band these days. Few people who join the military do so to play an instrument, and fewer still that do want to play funerals. Most do a rotation on funeral honors, but more often than not, the task falls to Reservists and retirees.

It's sad, but at least having someone stand there and hold a bugle while appearing to play it is better (to the grieving families) than having someone hit play on a boom box. Unless there are plans to have compulsory bugle duty and compulsory funeral detail, I think this is about the best solution that can be reached.

Re:Sigh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230433)

War isn't fun either, especially after you've taken a piece of shrapnel or lost a limb or two. Of course, then you're lucky you're not dead.

Having to stand and play a bugle in uncomfortable clothes, sometimes in bad weather, doesn't sound so bad now, does it?

Re:Sigh.... (4, Informative)

paiute (550198) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230435)

While I play neither, it is my understanding that a trumpeter cannot simply pick up a bugle and play it (especially well enough to do funeral detail).

Yes, it is obvious you play neither. I played trombone and taught myself some trumpet/french horn/baritone back in the day. One brass instrument is faily similar to another once you learn slide positions/valve combinations and train your lips to fit the different sizes of the mouthpieces. I can play you taps on the trombone, trumpet, bugle, flugelhorn, baritone, tuba, french horn, etc. Taps is the chopsticks of brass instruments.

Re:Sigh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230465)

1. To the smart ass that stated that they "can't be looking too hard if they can't find a trumpet player"...it's a bugle, not a trumpet. While I play neither, it is my understanding that a trumpeter cannot simply pick up a bugle and play it (especially well enough to do funeral detail).

You have no clue.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=184462&cid=152 30344 [slashdot.org]

I really should get a /. account these days...

Re:Sigh.... (2, Informative)

Local Loop (55555) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230481)

I'm that smart ass. At least one of them.

While I play neither

Clearly. I play both, and can assure you that they are nearly identical. Bugle playing is trivial for a trumpeter. Low brass players can pick it up in a few days.

It's a matter of respect. The govt. should be willing to spend the money to get this job done properly, out of respect for the families.

It's wonderful, inspiring, and beautiful that the VFW folks come out to do this for free. But they shouldn't have to. The govt., with it's billions spent on war, should pay for this simple, inexpensive tribute. The fact that they don't reveals the true cynical priorities of the people in charge.

There are plenty of working musicians out there who would love to spend a weekend honoring the families. But you do actually have to pay these guys. And $60/day just isn't going to do it.

I actually agree that it's better than nothing. Someone posted above about a VFW fellow coming out and using one of these devices. To my mind, it's incredibly touching to have someone come out and do that. But it's hard to get around the fact that after a lifetime of service, the Govt. can't be bothered to fund such a simple and profound ritual.

I also feeled compelled to point out that it is very shortsighted to skimp on this cost. A military family who is offended by a cheap funeral is less likely to retain whatever warm fuzzies they have about military service, and less likely to encourage the next generation to enlist.

Shoe mops (1)

Sooner Boomer (96864) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230421)

A friend recently refinished his wooden floors. When it came time to put the final polish and wax on, he bought several dozen terrycloth socks in various sizes and invited every one over for a skateing party. If you have spills to clean up, get a dog or a cat.

ummm a bugle is nearly the SAME as a trumpet. (1)

kitkatsavvy (921998) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230436)

The only difference between a bugle and a trumpet is that a trumpet has valves and a trumpet doesn't! Both instruments require the EXACT same pitching and embouchure required for both! They are eXACTLY the same to play, same pitching and everything! The only notes you can get on the bugle are the SAME open valved notes that are on a trumpet!

How do I know?? I've been playing brass instruments since I was 10 years old - so thats a good 13 years that I've been playing mauahahah!

Great, but it ruins... (5, Funny)

swelke (252267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230454)

That's great, but it ruins the whole funeral when the guy pushes the "Revellie" (morning wake-up) button by mistake.

Old news, but... (2, Insightful)

farmkid (15226) | more than 8 years ago | (#15230457)

This information (about mechanical bugles) has been out there for a while, so this is NOT current news.

My father is a WWII vet, and for his birthday two years ago, I (an old brass player) bought a repro 1860 bugle and pledged to play Taps at his funeral. This promise was made specifically in view of the lack of military buglists.

He loved it. And, if I can keep from crying on that inevitable day, and can firm up the embouchour, I'll be proud to lay him to rest.

Who Cares about Bugles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15230478)

I like how the list has 19 items and everyone is focusing on a bugle story from 2003. It sounds like some people could benefit from the lazy drinker [uberreview.com] and then crash with your computer in bed [therawfeed.com]
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