These one piece fifes have a straight bore; that is, the tapered look of the fife is only external. This is the classic fife design, illustrating the most widely accepted definition of a fife as an instrument with a straight bore and six finger holes. All fifes have some lack of agreement among the registers, and with a six hole fife, you will have to cross finger and half hole to get a chromatic scale. The Traditional Model fife is usually chosen for its historical authenticity, and for its marvelous performance as a bright, loud field instrument with a powerful upper register. Each fife is crafted of the finest instrument grade rosewood, with recessed finger holes and an ovaled embouchure hole, and packaged in a wooden slider top box; a cleaning rod is included.
The following U.S. Army Regulations of 1861 and the revised regulations in 1863 provided the following guidance for musicians:
968. The general superintendent will cause such of the recruits as are found to possess a natural talent for music, to be instructed (besides the drill of the soldier) on the fife, bugle, and drum, and other military instruments; and boys of twelve years of age, and upward, may, under his direction, be enlisted for this purpose. But as recruits under eighteen years of age and under must be discharged, if they are not capable of learning music, care should be taken to enlist those only who have a natural talent for music,and, if practicable, they should be taken on trial for some time before being enlisted.
969. Regiments will be furnished with field music on the requisitions of their commanders, made, from time to time, direct on the general superintendent; and, when requested by regimental commanders, the superintendents will endeavor to have suitable men elected from the recruits,or enlisted, for the regimental bands.