Boatswain's call


Boatswain's call

A boatswain's call is a pipe that is made of a tube (called the gun), that directs air over a grape-sized metal sphere (called the buoy) with a hole cut in the top(called the hole). The player opens and closes the hand over the hole to change the pitch. Other parts of the boatswain's call are the keel, a flat piece of metal beneath the Gun that holds the call together, and the shackle, a keyring that connects a long silver or brass chain that sits around the collar, when in ceremonial uniform.

The historical use of the boatswain's call was a way to pass commands to the crew when the voice could not be heard over the sounds of the sea. Because of its high pitch, it could be heard over the activities of the crew and bad weather. It is now used in the traditional Colours (or Colors)/Sunset and other ceremonies in most modern navy's, sometimes combined with other auditive features: ruffles and flourishes, voice commands and announcmentsor even a gun salute.

It is also the Official badge of the Quartermaster, chief boatswain's mate, boatswain's mate in the Sea Scouts, and Sea Cadets.

*Haul: The most basic of calls, crews of warships were not allowed to sing work songs or shanties so the pipe coordinated the sailors. The low note was for the pause and preparatory, the high for pulling on the line.
*The Side: Or Away Galley, descends from the tradition of hoisting officers aboard ship in a chair. The higher the rank, the more men an officer received. It is a combination of Haul, and then a command to lower. This call remains in use as an honor given to officers when embarking or disembarking.
*Away Boats: Would be used to order ship's boats to leave the ship's side.
*Call the Boatswain's Mates: The boatswains gang to report
*All Hands on Deck: Crews were split into two watches that stood four hours on and four hours off duty. This is the call that would be used to signal the entire crew to assemble on deck.
*Word to be Passed: Command for silence, an order to follow
*Pipe Down: Dismissal of all the crew not on watch
*Dinner or Supper: Called the crew to this meal
*Still: Used to call the crew to attention
*Carry On: Used after the still, this is used to tell the crew to go back to there duties
*General Call: Piped before an anouncement

External links

* [http://www.hellenicnavy.gr/multimedia_en.asp?multimedia_type_id=4 Hellenic Navy's ceremonial sounds of Boatswain's call in mp3 from Hellenic Navy's (Greek Navy) web page]
* [http://home.earthlink.net/~bosun-m8/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/boatswainpipe.pdf How to use Boatswain pipe] .pdf file
*cite web |url=http://www.sccheadquarters.com/UserData/root/Files/Training/Proficiencies/Piping/Boatswains%20Call%20Handbook.pdf |title=The Botswain's Call handbook |accessdate=2008-06-26 |publisher=The Marine Society & Sea Cadets


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