Back in 1983, when I was a baby Tiff at Raleigh, we were rounded up and marched to the parade ground with every other recruit on the base to watch the RM Band "Beat Retreat". What we saw was about a dozen drummers put on an incredible, moving display. There were no other instruments, just the drums. They would begin with all the drummers beating a fancy rhthym then, one-by-one, it reduced down to a solitary drummer who played on by himself for about a minute. Then, one-by-one the other drummers joined in again building to a tremendous crescendo. I'm not doing it justice with words, it was incredibly emotional. Afterwards we all agreed it had put a lump in our throats and made our chests swell with pride. In the years since, I've seen a few "Beating Retreats", but they've never been the same. I've seen it done with the pipes and with brass instruments and flutes but none of the performances matched what I saw back in 83. My question is, what is a real "Beating Retreat"?