Pipe & Tabor

Name: Pipe & Tabor.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Duct.
Hornbostel-Sachs No: 421.221.12
Country: Spain, Many.
Region: Western Europe & European continent.

Description: The Pipe and tabor is a pair of instruments played by a single player, consisting of a three-hole pipe played with one hand, and a small drum played with the other. The tabor [drum] hangs on the performer’s left arm or around the neck, leaving the hands free to beat the drum with a stick in the right hand and play the pipe with thumb and first two fingers of the left hand.

History: Mersenne mentions a virtuoso, John Price, who could rise to the twenty-second on the galoubet. Praetorius mentions and illustrates three sizes of the Stamentienpfeiff, the treble [50.8 cm / 20 inches in length], the tenor [66.04 cm / 26 inches in length] and the bass [76.2 cm / 30 inches] the last being played by means of a crook about [58.42 cm / 23 inches in length].

A specimen of the bass in the museum of the Brussels Conservatory has middle C for its lowest note. Three-hole pipes made from bone and dating to the early Middle Ages have been found in England. There are images of medieval tabor players in buildings, for example York Minster, Lincoln and Gloucester cathedrals, and Tewkesbury Abbey.

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