the Pipe and Tabor compendium

the Pipe and Tabor compendium

essays on the three-hole pipe

world-wide history: associated pipes - double pipes

gallery contents

Double pipes, or two pipes played at the same time, are found in sculptures, paintings, stained glass, religious manuscripts and archaeology dating back into pre-history, right up to the present day. Sometimes the two pipes are exactly the same; other images show two slightly different shapes, one playing the tune and the other a drone pipe.

It is impossible to see the mouth-piece on some of these images: some may be duct flutes, others may have single or double reeds or be trumpets. If you have information on the mouth-piece of any of these instruments I would be grateful to know.

I have not included images where it is definately not a variety of duct-flute without keys. Around 1810 an English instrument maker, William Bainbridge, patented a keyed double flageolet which consisted of two English flageolets joined together so that the player could harmonise the tunes that s/he played. Flageolets are therefore not included here.

All images are copyright If you would like more information on unacknowledged sources contact the project manager.


Arabic countries
945-525BC statuette Egypt 945-525BC statuette Egypt 900BC statuette Egypt Ancient Egypt711 BCE - 100CE Egypt
900-700BCE box, Lebanon 664 - 525 Egypt664-525BCE Egypt EgyptGod Bes, Egypt EgyptGod Bes, Egypt, copy
332BCE332-30 BCE Egypt, God Bes dancing 100 to 300AD Syria100 to 300AD Syria
8th c BCE Syria
4thcentury BCE Tunisia4th century BCE Tunisia
3rdcBCE to 2ndc CE Iraq3rdc BCE to 2ndc CE Iraq
150 BCE Iraq
(with drum)
Iraq1st Millennium Iraq (cast)
3rdc BCE to 106 AD3rdc BCE -106AD Arabia women musicians Iran2nd century BCE - 3rd century AD, bronze
Masjid-i-Soleiman, Iran
unknown terracotta
200AD south Iraq
IsraelThe Israel Museum Israel8th-6th BC Pheonicia / Israel mid 20th century paintingmid 20th century painting Reuven Rubin
double pipes 2 different lengths
1998 Romania1998 player, Polovragi, Gorj county, Oltenia
Russian Federation
1885 Russia1885 painting detail, Russia

Double svirel has two similar pipes of different lengths. Each of the pipes has a whistle and three finger-holes. Size of the double svirel varies on a great scale. The bigger pipe can be 29 to 47 cm long, and the smaller 22 to 35 cm. The big pipe is usually held in the right hand and the small one in the left hand.

Bringing together two pipes into one instrument makes it possible for one player to perform two-voice melodies. The repertoire of double svirel tunes is quite extensive and versatile. Double svirel was unevenly spread in Russia.

double pipes Svirel, Russia
1775 Letter to newspaper: Dr Matthew Guthrie 1820Bristol Mercury - Monday 11 December 1820
mid 19th centuryMid-19th c. Roslavl district

19401940 Smolensk from: 'FOLK MUSIC
CONSERVATORY', Barbara Krader

RussiaSt. Petersburg Russia

Russiadouble pipes

double pipesdouble pipes being played

20th century, in Ethnological Museum, St Petersburg 20th century
19th century Ukraine19th century Sopilka "Dvodentsivka" from the Verkhovyna district Two sopilka / dentsivkas are combined into one instrument but still only one has playing holes. The other pipe, although it is of the same length, has no holes and acts as a drone.
UkraineUrych village (Lviv region)
3 Ukraine double pipes20th century 3 Ukraine double pipes
Ukraine21st century dzholomyhas UkraineUkrainian Djolomyga, or Double Sopilka  
20152015 graphic by Svetlana Dorosheva 2015  

20112011 Ivan Goderdzishvili

10th century10th century ivory casket, Istanbul, Turkey
1920's Turkey - front [description from an auction site]
Turkey1920's Turkey - back
Mexico300 BCE.–AD 250 Colima culture 19741974 painting
Mexico MexicoAztec music MexicoPrehistoric pipes
Indonesiafoi doa double and triple pipes1942 Ngada, Indonesia stampstamp, part of a set of traditional musical instruments
foi dua being playedfoi doa
Taiwan - nose flutes
Mouth flutes were played by peasants while nose flutes were only played by royalty.
nose flutesnose flutes Tsou player20th century Tsou man from
Dabang community
nose flutePaiwan player playerplayer
nose flutePaiwan player Taiwan double nose fluteplayer another nose flute playerPairang Pavavaljung playing
the double nose flute
woman playerwoman player woman player2012 Sauniaw Tjuveljevelj
children learning the Taiwan double nose flute21st century children learning the double nose flute from
Yu Weimin

2017 music festival2017 Taiwu Ancient Ballads Troupe
at music festivall

Nose flutePaiwan woman playing double nose flute

played by mouthThe nose flute is sometimes played
by the mouth. Pairang Parvavalug

USA and Canada
double droneBlue Bear drone pipes Sarah Spencedrone flute 20232023 Annette Bauer Montreall, Canada
18691869 Euterpe, painting 18821882 Piping Pan statuette belt bucklebelt buckle  
18831883 photograph 20th century arts and craftsearly 20th century tile    
early 20th centuryearly 20th century painting 19151915 illustration 19251925 fantasy art
19841984 ceramic

double Native American

NNative AmericanList of Native American flute makers worldwide


Native Americandouble Native American

Native AmericaHigh Spirits, modified drone:
The left hand flute has three fingerholes, and will come with three leather
patches, so you can choose which ones you'd like to keep closed to create
your prefered pitch of the drone. The right hand flute plays like a normal
Native American flute.
2pipes2 different Native American pipes
2009 fairy2009 Arizona Festival fairy
21st century copy21st century copy

20142014 painting by
Rae Chichilnitsky

20152015 reenactment, Jackson Hole, Wyoming 21st century21st century 'Arethusa' duo
3 pipes2 pipes plus drone 3pipesleather blocks the hole for tuning drone
3 pipes
South and Central America
Mexico (sound) double pipesMayan Maya style, Mesoamerica

100BCE Mexico terracotta figure100BCE-250AD Nayarit People Mexico
double pipe and rattle

Aztec200BCE to200BC Pre-Columbian, West Mexico front back200BCE to200BC Pre-Columbian, West Mexico back

unknown datesource
Mexico300BCE to 300AD Pre Colombian West Mexico front
back300BCE to 300AD Pre Colombian West Mexico back
Mexico prehistoric pipes
300BCE Mexico300 BCE - 250AD Colima culture, Mexico
Mexico prehistoric pipes
diagrams Perudouble pipes from Peru CuscoCusco double pipes
unknown dateJalisco style human effigy flute, unknown date Pre-ColumbianPre-Columbrian, ca. 500 BCE –500 CE
Jalisco, double-pipe and rattle

frontAztec 20th century, made for tourists, front

backAztec 20th century, made for tourists, back

mouthpieceAztec 20th century, made for tourists, mouthpiece
21st centuryclay double pipes currently being made: copies of archeological finds by Arte Talli playersplayers of bamboo double pipes PeruPeru
Cuzcodouble pipes from Cuzco, Peru
Mayanin F#
double flute from the north of Peru; an instrument made of bone, which is part of a tradition of double dulzainas and pinkillos (especially cane and wood) that extends through the Andes from Ecuador to Lake Titicaca. Note the corrected and plugged fingering holes


Peru reporductionCajamarca, Peru reproduction

20162016 Peru Miguel and Gabriel Gordón

20232023 Ecuador, Jhony Garcia Coque     

Morocco Africaunknown Tanzania double nose pipes2016 Africa, Tanzania, double nose pipes cane pipes
India and area
India stone carvingIndia late 2nd century BCE
to early 3rd century CE
2nd century India Satara, India (probably reeded pipes)
2nd-3rd century NW Frontier, Pakistan 100-300AD100-300AD goddess, Gandharan
north-west Pakistan and north-east Afghanistan
21st century Algoza (double flute of Rajasthan), video duet

1975 doneli Baluchistan, Pakistan/Iran/Afganistan

flute doneli audio

another doneli [ two separate
pipes, one a drone]

19761976 satara flute, Thar desert, Barnawa village, Rajasthan Indiasource
21st century desert
RajasthanRajasthan nose pipes 2009 Rajasthan nose double pipe2009 Rajasthan nose pipes India double ose pipes2010 India double nose pipes  
19th century Tibet19th century duct pipes  
South Africa
1949 1949 ceramic  
10th century10th century, Byzantine, country not known    


Videos: 1.
2. - Tre Fontane, anon 14th century
3. - how to play the double whistle
4. - double flute of Rajasthan


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