The Beating Retreat on Indian notes


The highlight of the evening was a composition titled The Admiral's Insignia, which had a slew of drums and cymbals play simple binary forms of fantasia music and the echo effect created by way of Dhola re Dhola composed by Major General K N Bhatt and Major N Hussain.

The same tune was played from different parts of North and South Block, providing the awed audience with unique reverberations in an open space. The acoustics and tuning, which is a major issue at most open air gigs, did not bother the ones marching in perfect consonance as they played the combat hymns to perfection.

As the sun went down, all the bands marched back to Professor Lobo and Iqbal's Saare jahan se achcha accompanied by a flypast by the Indian Air Force.

The famous hymn Abide with me was the indicator of the ceremony's completion as the flag came down and the Rashtrapati Bhavan was lit up to a thundering applause.

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