Brit invents cyber-bugle for US military funerals

Sound Engineer Simon Britton was born in Newcastle, but moved to New York in the late 1980s. He invented the Ceremonial Bugle, a little electronic insert which slips into a real bugle. Press the red play button, wait 5 seconds, and it will play 'Taps'. The sound is generated by a speaker and a 40 watt amp. It resonates through the horn, apparently sounding reasonably realistic. Despite costing $525, business is good. Every day, 1,800 former US service personnel die. They all have the right to a military funeral, and the 500-odd military buglers are completely overworked. In 1999, Congress passed a law allowing a recorded version of Taps to be played at military funerals, but families were dismayed to see a boombox instead of a bugler. The Ceremonial Bugle solves the problem, and the Pentagon has ordered 700. Despite irritated real buglers and reports of people buying a Ceremonial Bugle then charging $50 to play at funerals, they've been generally successful. His updated version contains a chip which can play 10 different calls. The full story is in this fantastic article from the St Petersburg (Florida) Times.

right out of starship troopers
1.5years ago at my grandfathers funeral, a soldier had one of these. He started out playing fine and then slowwwwwwwllllllyyyyy died to the point that it could no longer be heard but everyone stood still till the soldier put the trumpet down. I don't think many people knew that he wasn't actually playing it as I am sure the soldier didn't realize the batteries were low.
looks like they're being used in the UK as well now. there's an article in a national newspaper this very morning!

not sure how it 'resonates' through the bugle though when it's practically just tucked inside the bell...
This is so sad. It reminds me of 'a brave new world' and a bit of 'logans run'. it's all fake.
I think if so many people are dying that 500 buglers can't handle the load, the solution is not "more buglers".
Wombat: To be fair, I think most of the 1,800 deaths per day are WWII veterans (when 16 million people served).

I am all in favor of synthesized music, but this is just cynical Pentagon penny-pinching.

It's the same as Donald Rumsfeld signing condolence letters with a machine.

Old news, this has been going on for many many years. The problem is that not enough people trained to play and the massive number of WW2 vets dieing.
This is a non-trend. Thirty years ago, when I was in high school, I made pocket money playing "Taps" at veteran funerals.

I'd get to skip school for the afternoon, and they'd pay me five or ten bucks to boot, which was a pretty fair deal back in the '70s.
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