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  The Edinburgh Military Tattoo
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo - Everything that you need to know !

Updated: Tuesday, 10th August, 2010

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2010

 
Major Gavin Stoddart the Lone Piper of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Caledonian Brewery
Bagpiper Major Gavin Stoddart meets
Barbara of Edinburgh Castle Biz
at the launch of Edinburgh Tattoo Beer at the Edinburgh Caledonian Brewery.

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2010 celebrates over 50 years of music and spectacle, set against the world famous backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the largest outdoor event in Edinburgh, attracting an annual audience of 217 000. In the Edinburgh Military Tattoo's 61 year history, over 30 countries have been represented amongst the participants.

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the most spectacular show of it's type in the world, and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo is enjoyed by an international television audience of over 100 million.

In the glowing twilight, the floodlit Edinburgh Castle draws all eyes, a hush falls and darkness deepens. Then the great oak gates of Edinburgh Castle sweep open, and the swelling sound of hundreds of pipes and drums cracks through the night sky. Emotions run high: the Edinburgh Military Tattoo unfailingly enthrals, symbolising the Scotland that everyone holds dear in their heart.

Now a dazzling show is spread out on the Castle Esplanade, a whirling and colourful kaleidoscope of music, dance and display. It may be exciting - daredevil motorcycles at speed and the breathtaking re-enactment of battles, or exotic - Turkish music and Chinese dancers, or simply the best of Scottish - Highland dancers wheeling and swirling to a fiddle orchestra.

Then the audience gather themselves together for the finale of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. All 1000 or so performers on the Castle Esplanade, column after column of marchers, dancers and bandsmen. The Tattoo audience joins in a great chorus of singing, cheering, and applause; cries of 'Bravo!' before a hush falls for the singing of the Evening Hymn, the sounding of the Last Post and the lowering of the flags on the Castle.

Finally, all faces turn to the Edinburgh Castle ramparts, where a single spotlight cues the Lone Piper of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo to play his haunting lament, the high notes echoing across the still night sky and over the dark Edinburgh skyline, as the flames of the Castle torch lights and the piper's warming brazier flicker and slowly die.

At the Edinburgh Military Tattoo fireworks burst out from the Castle against the black sky, but the spell is not broken, for when the crowd sing Auld Lang Syne and shake their neighbour's hand, the emotions linger, and the heart is full. Goers to The Edinburgh Military Tattoo all united in international friendship, the shared love of Scotland, its music and its traditions.

The general format for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo has not really changed dramatically over the years - it has, however, evolved somewhat.

The programme Edinburgh Military Tattoo format is best described as four pillars:

Pillar 1 - The mainstay of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the Massed Pipes and Drums. This element has increased in size in the last few years and audiences can now expect to see a minimum of 10 pipe bands and military bands (i.e. 200 musicians) from Scottish regiments and the Commonwealth.

Pillar 2 - Massed Military Bands (brass and woodwind) are also key to the programme - the finest - Guards Bands, Royal Marines, Royal Air Force, etc. They can be relied on to provide the formal military marching music, as well as more modern and contemporary music.

Pillar 3 - The variety in the middle of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo programme is found from home and abroad - such things as Highland dancing and military displays from home. From overseas, a wide range of bands, cultural performances and displays, including military bands from the Commonwealth, USA & Europe, steel bands, and cultural groups such as: Zulus, Maoris, Aboriginals and Polynesians have all provided interest in Edinburgh Military Tattoo's of past.

Pillar 4 - The Finale of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The aim here is to present the whole cast on the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade, which is a spectacular sight, particularly with the unique Edinburgh Castle backdrop. The music is the culmination and climax of the event perhaps, emotional, even patriotic, certainly moving. Combined Bands and Pipes & Drums with choir and sometimes a solo singer. This is followed by the more traditional Evening Hymn and Sunset and the Lone Piper of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Performers from five continents - Africa, North America, Asia, Australia and Europe - are set to feature amongst one of the biggest casts ever assembled at Edinburgh Castle for the 2004 Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Colourful contributions are expected from the RAF's Massed Bands, and renowned RAF drill display team, The Queen's Colour Squadron, the South African Navy Band from Cape Town together with a large cultural and military contingent from India, and that world-famous spectacle of sight and sound, and very essence of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Massed Pipes & Drums.

While for the very first time in Edinburgh Military Tattoo's history, the enchanting world of contemporary Chinese dance will be provided by an amazing dance troupe from Beijing, China, who will be accompanied by a 50-strong Chinese military band.

Tickets, priced £9.50 to £32.50, can be obtained from the Edinburgh Military Tattoo Ticket Sales Office.

Contact The Edinburgh Military Tattoo Ticket Office for tickets:
Edinburgh, Scotland


 MusicScotland.com - The Edinburgh Military Tattoo DVDs and Tattoo CDs
MusicScotland.com - The Edinburgh Military Tattoo DVDs and Tattoo CDs

 

MusicScotland.com

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo DVDs and Tattoo CDs
 
BUY ONLINE NOW

Web Site: http://www.musicscotland.com/CD/tattoo.htm?ecb

Explore The Edinburgh Military Tattoo videos and music online shop - MusicScotland.com. CDs, DVDs and VHS videos from The Edinburgh Military Tattoo events taken between 1997 and 2003. The sounds of the Pipes and Drums of The Royal Scots, The Black Watch, and more are all captured here at MusicScotland.com

Entry Added: 23rd July 2004

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Entry Added: 28 July 2004

 

The history of Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The first Edinburgh Military Tattoo took place in 1950, with only 8 items on the programme. The Edinburgh Military Tattoo has evolved from these simple beginnings, to an international event witnessed by over 100 million people each year on television, and during the Edinburgh International Festival period, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo is viewed by over 200,000 visitors in person. The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is proud of the fact that not a single performance has ever been cancelled - a tribute to the hardiness of both performers and audience given the occasionally unpredictable Scottish weather!

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo has the finest military bands, bagpipers and drummers and brass bands in the world perform nightly every August on The Edinburgh Castle Esplanade against the backdrop of the spectacular and historic Edinburgh Castle. The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the centrepiece of the citywide, month-long arts festival which includes The Starbucks Jazz & Blues Festival, The Edinburgh International Festival, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Edinburgh Book Festival, The Edinburgh Book Festival, and The Edinburgh Film Festival. Edinburgh is throbbing during this period with the best of theatrical performances, ballets, concerts, jazz, stand-up comedians, street performers and more.

        Edinburgh Military Tattoo - Bagpiper
Figure of The Lone Piper of
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The derivation of the word "tattoo"

The word 'tattoo' comes from the closing time cry in the inns of the Low Countries during the 17th and 18th centuries - Doe den tap toe ('turn off the taps').

What is a "Tattoo"? The word is derived from the old Dutch term that described the scene when a military band and drums would parade through a garrison town to alert the taverns that it was curfew for the soldiers, the beer taps should be cut off, and the soldiers should return to their barracks.
Over the centuries this has evolved into a dazzling display of military band precision, bagpipe glory and emotion, and drum drama that is the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Bagpipers at Edinburgh Castle performing
during the Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Monday 12 May 2003

Edinburgh Military Tattoo News - The Lone Piper of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo Major Gavin Stoddart retires from the Edinburgh Military Tattoo this year (Archive Edinburgh News)

Edinburgh Caledonian Brewery today hosted a press party as they have been chosen as the official suppliers of Edinburgh Tattoo Beer. The Lone Piper Major Gavin Stoddart was on hand looking resplendent in his Red Erskine Kilt and full highland dress along with his famous bagpipes. The interest in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo is worldwide and Edinburgh Military Tattoo tickets are the first tickets to be sold out for the Edinburgh Festival period. Edinburgh Caledonian Brewery are justly proud of their involvement with this prestigious international event and soon their bottles of Edinburgh Tattoo Beer will be seen throughout Edinburgh and Scotland. Edinburgh Caledonian Brewery produce a wide range of specialty beers admired and drunk by beer aficionados in Edinburgh and throughout the world and we are sure that the Edinburgh Tattoo beer will become a great favourite.

This panoramic view shows the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade, home of the annual Edinburgh Military Tattoo
This panoramic picture shows the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade, site of the annual Edinburgh Military Tattoo

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MusicScotland.com - The Edinburgh Military Tattoo 
                    DVDs and Tattoo CDs
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