Music

The Rose Tree

Fife

Fife, c. 1780. Massachusetts veterans returning home after the Revolution would have been familiar with military calls, drumbeats and fife tunes. Click for more info. Courtesy Barbara Mathews

As with many marching songs, “The Rose Tree“ also was a popular tune for dancing and singing. It was well-suited to being played at the ordinary marching pace of 75 steps per minute (Modern marching cadence is 128 steps per minute.). The tempo could also be increased to quickstep cadence of 120 steps per minute for maneuvers and elite, trained units. When entering Philadelphia in August 1777, General Washington ordered the Continental Army to march through the city at the quickstep to impress on-lookers with the military precision and spirit of the Continental Army.

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Instrumentation: fife and drum