I used to be a member of my school's drum and bugle corps in middle school whose entire brass section is composed of US regulation bugles in G (if I'm not mistaken) which are are valveless. They used the tuning slide to gain access to more notes like in trombones.

Was there any point in American drum corps history that a corps utilized this technique in playing the bugle?

  • I don't recall bugles having slides long enough to make even a semitone of difference
    – nuggethead
    Oct 10, 2022 at 10:57
  • @nuggethead my recollection is that the slide can be used to drop the instrument's pitch by a whole tone, to F. (By contrast, as far as I remember, the cavalry bugle in B flat has no tuning slide.)
    – phoog
    Oct 10, 2022 at 12:18
  • @nuggethead see e.g. history.navy.mil/research/library/online-reading-room/…: "When the slide is pushed all the way in, the bugle plays in the key of G.... The slide can be drawn out about three and a half inches. A letter F engraved on the lower sleeve of the slide indicates the approximate setting for the slide so that you can play calls written in the key of F.... Normally, the key of F is used only when a drum and bugle corps is playing with a band."
    – phoog
    Oct 10, 2022 at 12:46
  • @phoog That sounds like an answer, if not an exhaustive one! Oct 10, 2022 at 14:49
  • @AndyBonner maybe. I've never seen a score or heard a performance in which the slide was used during the performance if a single piece. izayoi9300: are you asking whether they would use the slide during a single piece or if they might use bugles tuned both to F and G in the same piece? Did buglers in your school's drum and bugle corps do that? As far as I ever experienced, the slide is like a trumpet's tuning slide: much too tight and moving much too slowly to use like a trombone slide, and lubricated with thick grease, not thin oil.
    – phoog
    Oct 10, 2022 at 15:33


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