I am wondering if there is a typical or traditional side that the cannons for 1812 Overture are usually at in the orchestra and, if there is a preferred side, what reasons there are for choosing that side.

  • 2
    The winning side? With better armoury?
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 22, 2017 at 13:29
  • 1
    and hopefully pointed towards enemy lines...
    – thrig
    Commented Jul 22, 2017 at 14:50
  • 1
    @thrig - do you mean the music critics?
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 22, 2017 at 16:18

1 Answer 1


The outside, as in outside in the rear parking lot synchronized by closed circuit TV. Or possibly 500 feet or so behind the stage pointing out over The Reflecting Pool.

I only know about Army National Guard howitzers, but two or three of those are so loud and create a huge shock wave when firing blanks that I can't imagine them being anywhere near the orchestra, and the three or four times I've seen 1812 live in person, they haven't been near at all. The one time I saw the cannons fire over the Reflecting Pool (in Washington DC), we were right across the pool from the cannons, and so far from the stage we could barely hear the music. But it was fun to see (and feel!!) the cannons fire.

With something that loud, it's never going to matter exactly where they are, only how far away.

  • Yeah, not shooting the audience and not making them go deaf are issues when it comes to these things.
    – Dekkadeci
    Commented Jul 22, 2017 at 14:34
  • 2
    It might work better with traditional cast-iron gunpowder cannons, volume-wise.... but timing that fuse...? ;) [Late thought... are the cannons supposed to be English or French?]
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 22, 2017 at 19:14

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