Ruffles and flourishes are preceding fanfare for honors music; ceremonial music for distinguished people.
In the Israeli Defence Forces, ruffles and flourishes are sounded as a guard of honor presents arms to signify the honors music that will follow. Depending on the status of the person receiving the honors, and will receive between one to three ruffles and flourishes in the honor of the recipient.
Italy uses ruffles and flourishes, particularly at ceremonies where the raising of the Italian national flag takes place. The music that is sounded is known as "Onori" ("Honors") and is played usually before the performance of an abridged version of "Il Canto degli Italiani".
South Korea uses ruffles and flourishes, with a total of four played before the South Korean national anthem, or the "Phoenix Hymn", which is the official honors music for the President of South Korea.
The official ruffles and flourishes for the President of the Philippines is played four times before the playing of "Lupang Hinirang" or "Parangal sa Pangulo" (English: "Honorable Salute to the President"). During military events, the ruffles and flourishes are sounded alongside a 21-gun artillery salute.
U.S. ruffles are played on drums, and flourishes are played on bugles. For example, the President of the United States receives four ruffles and flourishes before "Hail to the Chief." In the U.S., four ruffles and flourishes is the maximum number played. Four ruffles and flourishes are played before national anthems, whether of the U.S. or foreign countries.
Although roughly equivalent, the United States Navy has a different "Table of Honors" - some civilian officials more, others less; often different musical tunes - and includes in its arsenal of formal Honors one more, which is specific to naval traditions: Sideboys, an even number of seamen (in this list eight for guests with quadruple or triple ruffles and flourishes, six for lower ranking dignitaries) posted at the gangway when the dignitary boards or leaves the ship, historically to help (or even hoist) him aboard, currently as a ceremonial sort of guard of honor.