Pipe and Tabor


pipe and tabor being playedstatue playing pipe and tabor click right image for pipe and tabor sound 
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"If a pipe is joined thereto, 
it renders the melody sweeter."
-Zamora, c.1260 

The pipe is a simple instrument with a fipple like a willow whistle or recorder but usually having only three melody holes (index finger, middle finger, and thumb). The bore is narrow to facilitate overblowing. There is a ridge around the bottom of the instrument to aid in supporting the pipe. This allows the player to handle a the instrument with one hand, leaving the other hand free to strike the tabor. The drum is held with a strap or thong around the arm which fingers the pipe. Thus one performer accompanies himself, making an ideal combination for dance music of a rustic nature, or to supply background music for jugglers or performing animals. The pipe and tabor (also whittle and dubb, or un flagol' un tabourin) player also entertained the audience during scene changes of Shakespeare plays. It takes a player with special talents to handle the unusual fingerings of this instrument.See the percussion page for more information about the drum member of this duet. 

music antiqua's pipe Pipes came in several sizes.
Musica Antiqua's pipe is a tenor by Carlick.
The tabor is by Williamson.




pipe and tabor being played Additional Resources:

  • Buengershammer's Pipe and Tabor page
  • Robyyan Torr d'Elandris's Pipe and Tabor notes
  • THE PIPE AND TABOR - An Address to a Society of Morris Dancers
  • The Pipe and Tabor - An Address to a Society of Morris Dancers, 1914
  • I. Ansorena: Txistu ots gozoa 'nola' (San Sebastian, no date)
  • T. Arbeau: Orchesographie (Langres, 1588/r1965)
  • M. Mersenne: Harmonie universelle (Paris, 1636/r1963)
  • J. Gehot: Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Music (London, 1786)
  • F. Vidal: Lou tambourin (Avignon, 1864)
  • C. Marcel-Dubois: 'Le tambour-bourdon', Arts et traditions populaires, xiv (1966), 3
  • J. Rimmer: 'Tabor Pipes from Aardenburg and Goedereede: some Musical Implications', Berichten van de Rijksdienst voor het oudheidkundig bodemonderzoek, xxix (1979), 527

engraving by I. Van Meckenem depicting pipe and tabor being playedEngraving by I. Van Meckenem 
German Museum, Nuremberg