the Pipe and Tabor compendium

the Pipe and Tabor compendium

essays on the three-hole pipe

world wide traditions

USA and Canada

gallery contents
Hawaii - Nose Flute
playerplayer uses the left nostril
player This photo of Maui Nei Native Expeditions is courtesy of Tripadvisor"
groupsmaller pipes give higher notes: auction 1945
decorated nose flutes holding one nostrilholding one nostril
Native Amercian
plus beaded bandolier - Nez Perce Museum The bone flute was used to discourage evil spirits in ceremonial use.  A four-hole Eagle bone flute (instead of the typical five-hole flute) with its high pitch and functionality with one hand, was used for medicinal healing,
“This allowed the healer to have one hand free for passing it over the body of the person being healed,” (source)
ArizonaArizona, playing for Pascola dance

This is the same tribe that still lives in Mexico who were moved on in mid Victorian times.

Bill Baker paintingNew Mexico, painting by Bill Baker
Bill Baker paintingpainting by Bill Baker
USA literary history

1790 'The Rememberancer' in The Colonial Music Institute, Annapolis, Maryland

"To sheep-shear, my boys! pipe and tabor strike up"

 (from pamphlet published in Albany, NY, in the state library):

For the Year 1803.
"Now hark! the Banjo, rub a dub,
Like a washer-woman's tub;
And hear the drum, 'tis rolling now,
Row de dow, row de dow.
The pipe and tabor, flute and fife,
Shall wake the dullest soul to life."

a few verses later in the ode:

"The fiddles touch their sweetest strings,
While the ebon lassie sings;
And the pipe and tabor plays,
Brisk and merry rounde lays.
Again the fife and hollow drum
Calls you-come together come,
And sing a little, and laugh a little,
And fiddle a little, and foot it a little,"

Pinkster was a traditional Dutch celebration of the Christian holiday Pentecost and springtime, and was adopted by early African American communities in New York and New Jersey. It typically ran from three to six days. The festival remained an important feature of regional African American life and culture well into the 19th century. (source)

War of 1812: from the song 'The Patriotic Diggers' by Samuel Woodward. Men from all walks of life volunteered to join the army:

"...How they break the soil! Brewers, butchers, bakers
Here the doctors toil, there the undertakers.
     Bright Apollo's sons leave their pipe and tabor
     Mid the roar of guns, join the martial labor."

1825: a small selection from a song:

 “I will sing of General Jackson/
Who the foe he has ne’er turned his back on,/
But his soldiers, with all their knapsacks on,/
Did make all de English stray./
He fought them one and all,/
And his courage was not very small,/
For he cut them with his sabre,/
And their backs he did belabour;/
Then we’ll sound the pipe and tabor,/
Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!—Hurrah for General Jackson

1842 - The Recreations of Christopher North: Pseud. by John Wilson, page 156

“Even there Genius was happy, and diffused happiness; at its bidding was heard pipe, tabor, and dulcimer ; and to its lips " warbling melody" life floated by, in the midst of all oppression, a not undelightful dream !”

1858 THE O'LINCOLN FAMILY by Mr. Wilson Flagg

 " A flock of merry singing-birds were sporting in the grove;
Some were warbling cheerily, and some were making love:
There were Bobolincon, Wadolincon, Winterseeble, Conquedle,—
A livelier set was never led by tabor, pipe, or fiddle,—
Crying, “Phew, shew, Wadolincon, see, see, Bobolincon,
Down among the tickletops, hiding in the buttercups!"

The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 02, No. 12, October, 1858


“While toward some devil's-dance, we crane the neck,
And sigh unshriven;
Or lightly follow where our leaders go
With pipe and tambour"

poem number 124 from  Poems by Frederick Goddard Tuckerman’


"Come, tune up and summon, with pipe and with tabor",  

'The Cheerless Condition of Bachelorship' by George Moses Horton

'Pipe and tabor' were sometimes used as titles to romantic poetry, tunes and songs: for example in the New York Times 1892, a notice under literary notes: "a volume of poems by W. J. Henderson under the title of " Pipe and Tabor. ...will soon be published"

1881 The Household Cyclopedia of General Information - a handbook of the practical and domestic arts of America in Victorian times, regarding sailors:

"... they should be indulged in any innocent amusement that will keep their minds as well as bodies in a state of pleasant activity, and perhaps none is then more proper than dancing. This makes a fiddle or a pipe and tabor desirable acquisitions on board of every ship bound on a long voyage."

USA early music
early musicplayer
playing for dancing
Victorianearly Victorian
playing for a couple dancing [drum page 4]
19771977 Ernie Fischbach playing in California instrumentsBrad White  

USA playing for morris dancers
Despite early attempts to use the pipe and tabor player to defeat the Native Americans over land, and some early 20th century morris sides, the expansion of morris dancing did not occur until the 1970's.
1964 World Fair1964 World Fair 20062006 Dennis Sherman

20092009 Boston Ale

20092009 Boston Ale 20132013 playing for
morris dancing in California
1968 program on CBS-TV;" The size of the space available limited the dancers to...six morris men and four girls for the country dances. Music was supplied by Fiddle, Accordion and Pipe and Tabor."

Some morris sides are accompanied by the pipe and tabor and some of these are women.

It was reported in 1982 that The Bouwerie Boys are unusual in having a female musician, Jessica Murrow, who freely criticizes or praises their dancing in addition to accompanying them on the pipe and tabor. (source)

Dennis SharmanDennis Sharman teaching
1888 Ye Greate Arte Fayre Toronto - ‘The Piper ... Mr Stuart Morrison’1888Toronto Daily Mail - Thursday 17 May 1888
19841984 Ontario
Ian Morrison

Canada 21st century21st century Canada

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