Napoleonica® les conférences musicales > “Napoleonic Drums, a 20th century myth”, by Thierry Bouzard

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On Thursday 12 October 2023, at 7pm, the Fondation Napoléon will be hosting a musical conference at Saint-Georges Anglican Church (7, rue Auguste Vacquerie 75116 Paris) on the theme of “Napoleonic Drums, a 20th century myth” by Thierry Bouzard. Prior registration is essential from Monday 25 September 2023.

Admission is free, subject to availability.
As soon as registration opens for each lecture, you can register with Emmanuelle Duprez from 9.30am:
– by email: ;
– by telephone on 01 56 43 46 00.
To be kept informed by email of the activities of Napoleonica® les conférences de la Fondation Napoléon, please send your surname, first name, postal address and Internet address by email (

Please note that any request made before this date and time will not be taken into account.

Saint-Georges Anglican Church
7, rue Auguste Vacquerie
75116 Paris

Napoleonica® les conférences musicales > “Napoleonic Drums, a 20th century myth”, by Thierry Bouzard


From 1907 onwards, Napoleonic drums began to emerge as part of the imperial epic. With the development of the recording industry, they became very popular and became part of history. The origins of the myth lie in the meeting between Édouard Philippe and Charles Gourdin, drum major of the Republican Guard. The First World War, followed by the advent of cinema, contributed to its development, especially since the orderly drum had been reformed. Although regularly recorded and used in re-enactments, historians have shown little interest in these sound signals. Yet they were essential to the functioning of the armies. Based on little-known documents, two researchers have worked on these elements, which ultimately embellish Napoleon’s history.

Thierry Bouzard has a doctorate in history and teaches the history of military music at the Commandement des musiques de l’armée de terre (COMMAT, Satory). His publications include Histoire des signaux d’ordonnance, L’Harmattan, 2021.

► See the full programme for the second-half 2023 session of Napoleonica® les conférences [the talks]

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