The Aggie Band has a drum cadence it uses when on the march that is unique to it and only it.  You will not hear it anywhere else and 
it is very distinctive.  People have often asked the question, Where did the Aggie Band Drum Cadence come from?.  This year, 2013, the 
current Texas Aggie Band drum cadence celebrates its 50th year anniversary.
But where did it come from?  In 1962 the Aggie Band had a series of three cadence lines consisting of eight bars each.  But each one 
had to be played twice.  And that was the problem.  Every time the Band started one of those three cadence lines, there was a 
hesitation and a kind of yelling going on trying to get everyone on the same line, playing the same thing.  Where this cadence 
originated from is just lost in time, but as you can see from reading further, much of it is still being used, just in modified form.  

While attending summer session in 1962, one of the Bands Juniors, Jon B. King 64, decided to do something about it.  Jon was a gifted 
individual and schooled in music, was first chair and section leader in his drum line at Abilene High School, and so able to take on 
this task and write up a new cadence.  One day while having some leisure time over at the YMCA Jon began jotting down with pencil and 
paper a new cadence.  What Jon did was take the first eight bars of cadence line #1 and add an additional eight bars that was not a 
repeat of the first making the total of 16 bars.  Jon then did this to the other two cadences thus eliminating the repetition that 
caused the confusion in the drum ranks.

Jon then devised a new Roll-Off to go with this new cadence.  The Roll-Off consists of two dominating 17-stroke rolls(a reflection of 
the colonial Spirit of 76 collection of fife and drum music played for the Continental Army of the United States of America) but with 
one-beat syncopated threes in-between and with a final eighth beat cymbal crash.  The cymbal crash has since disappeared over the 

Jon then worked to modify the snare drums to get a more distinct crisp sound from them rather than the usual roaring indistinct 
clutter.  After that Jon met with the Bands director, Colonel E. V. Adams and played a solo for his approval.  Colonel Adams was so 
enthusiastic about the new sound he asked Jon to draw up a one-page version for his stamp of approval.  This sheet of music is now 
displayed in the Adams Band Hall.

The cadence was implemented in the 1962-1963 school year and is still in use today with minor variations.    The 1963 drum cadence 
consists of this series of three cadences which have a very bold sound and a strong beat.  The snare drums enforce the heavy beat of 
the bass drum, instead of counter balancing as the old cadence.

The drum section came a day early that September of 1962 and set out to learn it before the first football game. Learning the way of 
stick coordination for rolls and general snare drum playing was practiced out on the drill field behind dorm 11.  The drum section 
consisted of one senior, a couple of juniors, and enough sophomores and freshmen to make up one rank (12 cadets) of percussion, which 
included a bass drum and cymbals.   The percussion group felt that they could bring the stadium down with the strong sound of that 
cadence, compared to the pecking sound that was characteristic of the old cadence.

It is exciting to think that this cadence is still in use today.   It seems to be as good as Jon and the Colonel thought it was back 
in 1963.  They never did because the risk that the stadium would collapse, but they may have put a few cracks in it.  

John H Frank 63 from notes by John B. Landers 63 and Jon B King 64