Neville Young's "The Last Post" MIDI file page

Also includes Reveille or Rouse (please see note below about the name)

New - Henry Allingham's funeral, 30th July 2009.

There are great Last Post, Reveille and Rouse graphics in the "Bugle call" article on Wikipedia. If you need the parts I recommend you visit there.

Here is the Last Post MIDI file (along with Reveille or rather Rouse). As far as I know they work OK but you may need to fiddle with them: this is not my area of expertise!

I am now adding links to relevant pages - you'll find the starter link at the bottom of this page.

Please don't use these files for anything naff or offensive.

If you use any of my "The Last Post" or "Reveille/Rouse" files your own website or any other purpose, please give me a credit. "MIDI Bugle by Neville Young" would suffice, thanks.

If you would rather not mess around with electronic versions then Boosey and Hawkes publish it as a nice laminated card. For all of 95p (i.e. not much money) you get the Last Post and Reveille in both Infantry and Cavalry versions. (The latter are completely different from the familiar ones.) That's about 24p a tune. B&H reference number 9177.

Reveille (Rouse, really) available

  • I added Reveille (or is it Rouse??) to these files. It's at the bottom of the page - to find it please click here, or just scroll down.
  • Following a request from Jason Duncan I redid the MIDI file so that it is more realistic with regard to tempo, emphasis etc. It's by no means perfect but it gives a much more accurate impression of how I would actually play it. Please note that this only applies to the MIDI version - the Encore one has not been tweaked any more. Also, the new Reveille MIDI isn't played interestingly or realistically - it's just a bash straight though. When I get the chance, I'll sort it out in a similar way.

THE LAST POST

Here is the MIDI version: LASTPOST.MID (1K) ... and an MP3 one: lp.mp3 (almost 1 mb). Sadly it's still all the MIDI bugle rather than a live performance - but hey.

and here is my Encore original: LASTPOST.ENC (11.2K)

and here is a Zip file with both of them in: LASTPOST.ZIP (2.4K).

I hope that one of these works for you. If your browser tries to do annoying things when you click one - like play the MIDI file rather than save it - you may find that it helps to right-click the link and then choose something like 'Save Target As ...' but this is quite browser-dependent so you will probably have to sort it out for yourself.

Finally, in case you haven't got Encore or any MIDI program or anything, here is a graphical version as a GIF file:

LASTPOST.GIF

Again, if you just click it your browser will probably just display it. You may need to right-click the link and choose some relevant option in order actually to download it. It's just a screendump from my Encore version so it's probably not brilliant, but marginally better than nothing, I hope.

The other thing you should note is that there are some pauses: specifically, every note that is a minim (half note) or longer has a pause, that is, the first two long notes and the last four long notes in the piece. I couldn't persuade Encore to do these, so they just go flashing past at high speed! The metronome mark in my printed copy is 152 by the way. Oh and each of those long notes (see above) has a crescendo-decrescendo hairpin mark on it too.

The MIDI version is performed in Bb and asks for voice 56 which is meant to be a GM trumpet. But if you notated it, you would notate it in C (like the Encore and Gif versions) and give it to the bugler to sort out. Don't write it out in Bb, they won't thank you! :)

I hope this lot is some help to someone. If so please drop me an email to say so. If you have problems with the files do tell me but goodness only knows whether I will be able to help ... Finally, if you know of some copyright reason why I should not have done this, you'd better warn me! :)

The Last Post is a bugle call used by the UK and Commonwealth armed forces. It is played at military funerals, Remembrance Day and Anzac Day ceremonies, and the like. I'm afraid that I don't know much about its history but if I ever find out more I'll add it here. US readers will probably be familiar with Taps: as I understand it, the two tunes are different, but the role they play is the same.

REVEILLE

To understand what these files are, you need to read through the stuff above about "The Last Post". I haven't repeated it all here. I'll give you the option of the files, then there are a couple of notes which may be interesting and useful. Or not ...

Here is the MIDI file: rev.mid - please note this is NOT a beautiful performance - it is not fettled like "The Last Post"

And here is the Encore file: rev.enc

This is a zip with both in: rev.zip

And this is just a .gif graphic of the score: rev.gif

Finally here is a zip with all 3 filetypes in: revall3.zip

About Reveille

There are notes in the Encore and Gif versions which explain what I've done.

Reveille is quite often but not always used almost as if it were "the other half" of The Last Post in Remembrance Day events. If it is used, the common pattern seems to be that The Last Post starts off the silence (one minute or two, seems to vary) and the flags (e.g. veterans' organizations like the British Legion) are lowered. After the silence you play the Reveille, up come the flags, and you're done.

But please please do not quote me as gospel on this. Take your lead from the religious or military person presiding - it's their show. Only offer guidance if they are clueless, which is unlikely. Make sure you have agreed the procedure and jot it all down so you can have a note on your music stand during the service. Check who is timing the silence, and its length, and write this down too. Unless you have an officiating person right next to you, it's probably safer if you time it - just make sure you have a suitable watch etc (where you can easily look at it without it being obvious - otherwise it looks like you are worried about missing your train! - maybe on the music stand, not your wrist?) and don't forget to start timing! (But if you do, don't panic - just have a guess at it. No-one will know.)

By the way, "Reveille" is one of those Franglicized words that now has an accepted UK English pronunciation. If you try to say it sounding French, people will raise their eyebrows and think you a mite pretentious. The standard English pronunciation is something like "ruhVALLey".

The name - Reveille or Rouse???

It's looking very much like I have been (for many years) the victim of a common confusion about the name of this piece. The piece dealt with here, it appears, is actually Rouse, although it is used as described. The real Reveille is a different tune, much longer, and not used for Remembrance Day (etc) events in the same way, though one source says it does get used for morning services only. My current thinking is that you can probably use the resources here in exactly the same way as proposed, but if you want to be correct you could quietly point out what the real name of the tune is: if someone asks you to do the "LP and Reveille" it is likely that they also have the same confusion, and are expecting to hear the two tunes on this page, whatever their name. But I am working on sorting it out a bit more and if/when I do feel that I know what I am doing I will revise the page accordingly, and explain what I have done. I will mention in rmmt and TPIN when the page is next revised. My thanks are due to Jason Lea for pointing this out, and to a number of Commonwealth Remembrance or military music sites for further information. I will provide links to such sites when I redo this page.

By the way please don't confuse the situation further by mixing all this up with the US Reveille - a different tune completely!

And the same goes for the wonderful Reveille used by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines - again, this is a quite different tune and has no bearing on the Rouse/Infantry Reveille argument above!

If this lot was useful, or you want to comment, please do email me. I enjoy hearing from people about this page. It's also great to know, if you are telling me about a performance, where it took place - which county, or even country? Thanks.

Last Post Links: I'm starting to keep relevant links which people kindly keep sending me. Please click to see them.

If you want to get in touch you will find contact details here. I am sorry that it has become slightly less easy than before.

Thanks for dropping in.

Henry Allingham's funeral

Just a brief note till I get round to writing a proper section on this

Mr Allingham's funeral took place on 30th July 2009. The significance of this gentleman is worth its own page, but for now just Google him and see what you find.

Apart from the momentousness of the whole event, what particularly interested me was the bugle and (perhaps) trumpet calls that were played after the coffin had left the church. The press coverage, and even the MoD press release, was well-meaning but imprecise, at least in how it wrote about this particular aspect of the service. I've been researching this a bit; you can see some discussion here and here, but if you know of more on this anywhere please please get in touch, as it's all grist to the mill!

Pending something more formal, here's a quick summary of what happened:

  • A French musician plays the call Aux Morts. The jury is still out on whether this was a trumpet or bugle - it looks more like a trumpet to me, and I am trying to check. According to the church the player was "Corporal Pascal Quemere, of the French Army Band (Versailles)". You can catch his very nice performance at about 3:50 in this BBC News story. I'm confused about Cpl Quemere's regiment as I'd previously understood the uniform he's wearing to be that of the French Marines, but I may simply have got this wrong. Again, if you can shed any more light here please do: I am still working on it.
  • Two Royal Marines buglers play the Last Post.
  • The silence takes place.
  • The same two RM buglers play the Naval Reveille. Note that this is neither the Rouse nor the "ordinary" (i.e. infantry) Reveille discussed above: It is a quite different piece. It's a rather jolly thing in 3/8 and you can see the music on the Royal Marines site. How nice of them to have put all that music online!

That's it for now, but I hope to add more detail and links when time permits. Hats off to the wonderful researchers whose efforts have been so helpful, thank you very very much: and hats off to the splendid Mr Allingham himself, of course.

Neville Young

Revised September 4, 2009