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In one form or another bugles have been around for centuries. By the end of the 9th century they had evolved from animal horns to metal shapes called war horns, which were used by the military for signaling. They didn't change much until after World War I.
With the advent of the American Legion and V.F.W, it wasn't long before posts put together corps to participate and compete in local parades. The drum corps activity began, and rules were established and governed by the Legion & V.F.W.
Kanstul came into the picture in 1962. By that time bugles had advanced to G/D instruments with a horizontally mounted piston change valve, but often with poor intonation and construction.
Being the horn designer for F.E Olds, Zig Kanstul designed a set of bugles that were so superior that within the first year Olds captured 98% of the market.
Later improvements such as two-valve and three-valve vertically mounted pistons were also introduced by Zig Kanstul and Olds, resulting in the modern bugle of today.
Kanstul bugles are currently used by the United States Naval Academy Drum & Bugle Corps; and by many senior and alumni corps in the U.S. and Canada including the Renegades from San Francisco, the Kilties from Racine, Wisconsin and the Reilly Raiders from Pennsylvania. A set of custom two-valve models were built for the US Marines Drum & Bugle Corps. A special single valve Bb bugle was commissioned for use by the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment "Old Guard" Fife and Drum Corps as they celebrate 50 years of service. Kanstul bugles have been used outside of drum corps by video game composer Kenji Ito and jazz legend Clare Fischer.