Military bands to play only Indian tunes at Beating Retreat

New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) For the first time, militarybands would play only Indian tunes during Beating Retreatceremony on Saturday that will bring the curtains down on theRepublic Day celebrations.

An army official said the bands would play only Indiantunes "to boost the morale of their fighting contingents".

"For last three-four years, we have been opting formore Indian tunes in the ceremony. Martial music has a specialplace in the life of a soldier and he feels more connected incase the music is from his own background or country," headded.

"Last year also, we played mostly Indian tunes in theceremony, but this year only Indian compositions would beplayed. In case of pipes and drums, we don''t have any Indiancompositions so they will play their regular western tunes,"Inspectorate of Bands Captain Mahendra Das said here.

The military musicians have composed two new tunescalled ''Gajraj''and ''Reshmi'' specially for the occasion.

''Gajraj'' has been composed by Captain Das himself who was alsothe conducting officer for the military bands played duringthe recently held Commonwealth Games (CWG).

This year the ceremony would be conducted by theIndian Air Force (IAF) and Wing Commander Jaychandran would bethe Chief Conducting Officer for all the bands.

A total of 20 bands- 12 are from army and four eachfrom Navy and Air Force, will play in the hour long ceremony.

Beating the Retreat-- an adoption of ancient Indianmilitary tradition, is held in the honour of the gallantsoldier who return home from the war front.

On Saturday, 32 main retreaters playing bugles and sixtrumpeters would perform on the Rajpath at the Vijay Chowkwhile a group of ten retreaters would follow from North Blockand South Block. Four retreaters would be deployed on the VayuBhavan and Krishi Bhavan here.

"The roads from all these places lead to Vijay Chowkwhere the main ''Flag Down'' ceremony is held. In ancient Indiawhen a gallant warrior came back home the people from all overthe province would welcome him by playing trumpets andbugles," the official said.

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