the Pipe and Tabor compendium

the Pipe and Tabor compendium

essays on the three-hole pipe

famous people who also played the pipe and tabor

David Munrow (1942 - 1976)

David Munrow was a musician and early music historian, and pipe and tabor player.

hear Dansa (Ben volgra s'esser Poges) played by David Munrow from the album 'Instruments of Middle Age and Renaissance'

'David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London transformed people's view of medieval music. The impact of their performances far surpassed any that had gone before: by demonstrating how medieval music could sound normal, they created a niche for it in the concert hall and on record that it has never lost' ~ (From Daniel Leech-Wilkinson's notes for Music of the Gothic era)

David Munrow's recorded legacy is considered so important that one of his recordings was included on the Voyager space craft's 'golden disc' that was sent to Mars a year after his death

Arguably, David Munrow did more than anyone else in the second half of the 20th century to popularise early music in Great Britain. He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company as a musician and, self-taught, played early instruments and early music. In 1976 he wrote "Instruments of the Middle Ages and Renaissance" and made many popular records featuring early instruments.

His activities were not confined to concerts and recordings. He used early instruments in the film and television scores which he composed, including The Six Wives of Henry VIII, A Man for All Seasons, and The Devils. He also worked with folk musicians and was actively involved in new music.


Munrow Archive at the Royal Academy of Music is available to the public.
Sound Archive
Catalogue at the British Library; type David Munrow in the search box:

top of page