Indian tunes dominate Beating Retreat ceremony

New Delhi, Jan 29 (IANS) Indian tunes dominated the Beating Retreat ceremony Thursday that brought the curtains down on the 66th Republic Day celebrations, with 20 of the 23 pieces composed by Indian musicians.

Heard for the first time were Indian tunes like “Vir Bharat”, “Chhana Bilauri”, “Jai Janam Bhumi” and “Athulya Bharat”, interspersed with eternal favourites like “Deshon Ka Sartaj Bharat”, “Cutty’s Wedding”, “Piper O’ Drumond”, “Gorkha Brigade”, “Ocean Splendour”, “Blue Field”, “Battle of the Sky”, “Anandloke”, “Dashing Desh”, “Flying Star”, “Glorious India”, “Bhupal”, “Indian Soldiers”, “Hathroi”, “Salam to the Soldiers”, “Giri Raj”, “Abide With Me” and the regular show-stopper, “Sare Jahan Se Acha”.
Fifteen brass and 18 pipes and drums bands of the Indian Army, as also one each from the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force, participated in the hour-long ceremony.
Major Girish Kumar U was the principal conductor of the Beating Retreat ceremony, while Subedar Suresh Kumar was the conductor of the Indian Army brass bands. Subedar Mitter Dev led the pipes and drums, while the buglers performed under Subedar Prabhakaran.
The Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force bands were under the baton of Master Chief Petty Officer (Musician-I) Ramesh Chand.
Beating Retreat owes its origins to an ancient custom when warring armies would call a halt at sundown, case colours and standards and lower flags to attend to the wounded, eat and rest. The present ceremony dates to the early 1950s when Major Roberts of the Indian Army developed this unique display by the massed bands.