Taps is widely played on Memorial Day and this music is a variation of an earlier bugle call known as the Scott Tattoo, which was used in the US from 1835 until 1860 and was arranged in its present form by Union Army Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield a Medal of Honor recipient. His bugler, Oliver Wilcox Norton, was the first to sound the new call. It was officially recognized by the United States Army in 1874.
The first notes in any bugle call tells the troops in a particular
command to pay attention to it, and then tells them what to do, such
as to go forward, stop and lie down, or, in this case to go to
sleep. Taps also concludes many military funerals. Taps is played
The term 'Taps' originates from the Dutch term taptoe, meaning close
the beer taps and send the troops back to camp.
"Military tattoo" comes from the same origin. The original meaning
of military tattoo was a military drum performance, but subsequently
came to mean army displays. Drummers were sent out into the towns at
9:30PM each evening to inform the soldiers that it was time to
return to barracks. Tattoo, tap-too, and taptoo are derived from the
Dutch taptoe and have the same meaning.