the Pipe and Tabor compendium

the Pipe and Tabor compendium

essays on the three-hole pipe

England: Over one century of the panpipes and tabor

Pandean pipes history - Regency (1790 - 1829)

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The majority are extracts from larger pictures and prints. Links to originals are given, where possible. If you have any more information on any of these images, or you are the copyright holder and I have not managed to get in touch with you, please do let me know.


The pan-pipe has been known
for at least two thousand years:500BCE-1530500BCE-1530 Ecuador
pan-pipe and rattle

Pre-historic stone carvings
show pan-pipes, as do clay
figurines from south America. 100-600AD100-600AD, coastal Peru
pan-pipe and drum



not knownpre 1000 pan-pipe and rattle,



1175manuscript, panpipes
and rattle 1175

Puppet shows were given in
medieval times:

13th century puppet show medieval

600 years later players of the pan-pipes and drum became popular and were associated with puppet shows, other British traditional pastimes. The musicians also formed their own bands with a variety of percussion instruments to accompany the pipes. This continued until the early 20th century when all but association with Punch and Judy puppet shows had gradually died out. These 'bottlers' played music on the pandean pipes and drum and collected money for the puppeteer.

Pandean Pipes - Regency

1895 Grove's Dictionary of Music: entry for Pandean Pipe1895“A” Dictionary of Music and Musicians (A.D. 1450-1889) ... Vol. 1-4 Page 644 Editor:George Grove

Both women and men are shown in Regency illustrations playing the pan-pipes and drum; the drum is played horizontally or vertically. Pan-pipes were also known as pandean pipes, chin-straps or mouth-organ.

A set of pan pipes dated to the late 18th century is in the Science Museum.
Pan-pipe and drum were played by individual entertainers and were also part of a band.
Pandean Musicians  

1801 Royalty Theatre, Wells Street, Goodman’s Fields
‘In the course of the Pasticcio, and for the first time in this kingdom, Signor Allegretti will have the honour to play on the Pandean Pipes.’

Morning Chronicle - Monday 16 March 1801

James Saggiani's household accounts, Gloucestershire, include "pan pipes for the regiment"

(Gloucestershire Archives D2700/RA2/1/21 1798-1801).

1803 Birmingham concert 1803A Century of Birmingham Life Vol. II by John Alfred Langford · 2022 18161816 mixed band
1803 Newspaper advertisement: 1803Hull Advertiser - Saturday 09 July 1803 At the time it was called a pandean pipe whether or not it was accompanied by a drum.

1805 ‘The Infant Mania’1805General Evening Post - Saturday 14 December 1805

1807 at Astley’s Olympic Pavilion, Newcastle Street, Strand, London1807Morning Chronicle - Tuesday 10 March 1807  
1807 at Drury Lane Theatre: 1807British Press - Monday 01 June 1807  
1812 Police Report, London 1812Saint James's Chronicle - Saturday 14 November 1812
playeroutside show musicians 1812
1813 at the Olympic Circus: 1813advertised in the Liverpool Mercury - Friday 01 January 1813

more on the life of
Signor Rivolta here. He first appears as a one-man band in the newspaper in January 1909.




18141814 advertisment for Signor Rivolta's Newcastle performance








18281828 caricarture street entertaiiner

In 1813 a grand concert was held in a theatre in Newcastle at which an Italian gentleman, Signor Rivolta, "exhibited his wonderful performance" on the pandean pipes, tabor, Spanish guitar, triangle, harmonica, Chinese crescent, cymbals and bass drum: he played them all at once. Iin 1820 at the Peale Museum in Philadelphia, USA, when 'Signor Helene and his Pandean Band' performed he played on his 5 different instruments at the same time. These included the Italian viola, Pandean pipes, Chinese bells, Turkish cymbals, and tenor drum; during performances he also imitated a mockingbird and a canary with his voice

.'Building Little Italy, Philadelphia's Italians before Mass Migration' by Richard N. page 70, Juliani Pennsylvania State University Press, 

1814 1814Inverness Journal and Northern Advertiser - Friday 11 February 1814
1814 A concert: 1814Chester Courant - Tuesday 01 November 1814
1816 Middlesex Sessions report: 1816Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser - Thursday 31 October 1816

The panpipe and drum player was loud, which was useful at outdoor events such as fairs, races, street processions and celebrations.

1810 ‘Croydon Fair,  I paid a visit to that scene of jollity induced by the fineness of the weather, and :that natural desire -which I possess - to see the humbler classes of society happy, ... I would have proceeded, notwithstanding the sneers of my auditors, if an accursed Pandean Minstrel had not struck up the famous Paphian melody of “Stoney Batter.”
General Evening Post - Saturday 06 October 1810

1818 Maidstone Michaelmas Fair Maidstone FairMorning Advertiser - Thursday 22 October 1818





at a fair at a fair 1830

In 1819 a man was beaten up and robbed at a fair in Hampstead, London.
Henry Lovell, one of the fair workers, was blamed. His written defence was:

"the prosecutor came into the booth, and said I had robbed him, which I deny.
There were hundreds of people there, some of whom got me into a crowd,
and stole my mouth-organ and drum."

1819 A meeting was held in the Finsbury market-place and the people processed down the street. 1819Hampshire Chronicle - Monday 08 November 1819

1819 " having inherited the musical taste and talents of his father, he has bitten the whole school with the mania. He is a great hand at beating a drum, which is often heard rumbling from the rear of the school-house. He is teaching half the boys of the village, also, to play the fife, and the pandean pipes; and they weary the whole neighbourhood with their vague piping, as they sit perched on stiles, or loitering about the barn-doors in the evenings."

'Bracebridge Hall or The Humorists' by Washington Irving [pseudonym Geoffrey Crayon] (1783-1859), American essayist, historian, and author who spent some years doing the Grand Tour in Europe.

In 1820 at the Peale Museum in Philadelphia, USA, when
'Signor Helene and his Pandean Band' a single performer did play on his 5 different instruments at the same time. These included the Italian viola, Pandean pipes, Chinese bells, Turkish cymbals, and tenor drum; during performances he also imitated a mockingbird and a canary with his voice.

'Building Little Italy, Philadelphia's Italians before Mass Migration' by Richard N. page 70, Juliani Pennsylvania State University Press

1822 Newspaper report:

"Yesterday a company of blind itinerant Musicians, consisting of a clarionet, two violins, and bass viol, were performing in Albemarle Street, Piccadilly, some of the choicest pieces of modern music, in a style which drew together a very numerous audience. In the midst of this delightful harmony an evil genius suddenly appeared in the person of another member of the profession ; who, jealous of the applause his brethren bad obtained, or envious of the harvest they were reaping from their exertions, exerted himself so successfully with a drum and pandean pipes as to stifle in the birth the soul-enlivening notes from the silver toned cremonas. The little band for a short time endured the discord the vile pandean occasioned with the most philosophic forbearance; but finding all their endeavours to be heard completely ineffectual were compelled to desist ,expecting their opponent would immediately discontinue his annoyance. But in this they were disappointed ; the fellow still kept up the most astounding noise with his drum, to the infinite amusement of the bystanders and chagrin of the little band who manifested their displeasure in rather uncourtly terms. Still the provoking pandean was not to be silenced. He continued blowing and thumping, till he was black in the face, without once deigning to notice his enraged brethren. The little band apparently unwilling to yield, and puzzled how to proceed, held a council of war, in which it was resolved to ascertain, who could play longest. The clarionet immediately struck hp, followed by the violins and grumbling bass viol. The full blown cheeks of the former presented an amusing contrast with the lank visage of the Pandean, and the contest was for some time severe and doubtful. The latter, however, who from the commencement had allowed himself but little or no breathing time, began to exhibit evident symptoms of 'exhaustion and ultimately was compelled to cease. The triumph of the little party was, however, but of short duration foe the fellow who appeared to recollect that though short of breath, he had not lost the use of his arms, commenced a solo on the drum which he belaboured so unmercifully as to compel the luckless fiddlers to put up their fiddle-sticks in despair.. A short pause ensued, which was but the prelude to a storm. — The little party, enraged beyond measure at the opposition they had experienced sent forth a volley of abuse which quite overwhelmed their opponent. Four to one, he observed, with the most provoking sang froid, was a fearful odds, and again had recourse to his drum, with which he kept up such a clatter, as completely silenced, and ultimately drove his antagonists from the field.  We understand the poor fiddlers, in the course of their peregrinations, had entered the street in question, and had been pretty successful in drawing the loose pence from the pockets of their hearers. The Pandean, who had for some time enjoyed the exclusive right of playing in this street, viewed this unconscious invasion of the blind men as a direct attack on his privilege, and formed the resolution on which he ultimately succeeded to drum ',em out."

Constitution (London) - Sunday 20 January 1822

1823 Advertisement 1823Morning Advertiser - Tuesday 11 February 1823
1823 ‘from Mr. NATHAN'S entertaining and ingenious Essay on the History and Theory of Music.’1823New Times (London) - Thursday 23 October 1823
1824   "I am the proprietor of a Punch's show," he said. "I goes about with it myself, and performs inside the frame behind the green baize. I have a pardner what plays the music - the pipes and drum - him as you seed with me. I have been five and twenty year now at the business… I couldn't play the drum and pipes, so the young man used to do that himself, to call the people together before he got into the show. 

 The Morning Chronicle : Labour and the Poor, 1849-50; Henry Mayhew - Letter LII

1826 Law report: 1826Fleming's Weekly Express - Sunday 12 March 1826
1827 Michaelmas Fair ‘The attractions prepared for the rustics, were of no ordinary description,...
music of most every description, from the bag-pipe and hurdy gurdy to the box-organ and
pandean pipes.

Berkshire Chronicle - Saturday 22 September 1827
In New Zealand in 1827 at the crowded Sandy Bay races on New Year's Day
"the notes of the rustic Pandean pipe and drum mixed with those of the more jocund fiddle"
Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser, Friday 5th January 1827
1829 The Big Fight 1829Morning Advertiser - Thursday 26 March 1829
Puppet Booths

Some London street entertainers earned their living playing in the streets in conjunction
with puppet booths or Punch and Judy shows. Henry Mayhew interviewed many street
entertainers including a 'street musicianer', a performer on 'drum and pipes',
who recounted what he did some 30 years before.

"I have played the pandean pipes and the drum for thirty years to street exhibitions of all kinds. I married a young woman that I fell in love with, in the music line. She played a hurdy-gurdy in the streets, so I bought pandean pipes, as I was always fond of practising music, and I joined her. Times for street-musicianers were good then, but I was foolish. I 'm aware of that now; but I wasn't particularly partial to hard work; besides, I could make more as a street-musicianer. When I first started, my wife and I joined a fantoccini. [puppet theatre] It did well. My wife and I made from 9s. to 10s. a-day. "

1824 Greenwich Park1824Sussex & Surrey Chronicle - Wednesday 16 June 1824

A street puppet theatre came along the road in 1825:

"Its coming was announced by a man playing the Pan-pipes,
or "mouth-organ," which he accompanied by beating the long drum;
after him followed the theatre, consisting of a square frame-work
about ten feet high, ...
The band of two instruments was set in motion by its performer,
who took his station on one side, and the carrier of the theatre
assuming the important office of money collector....
Boys came running in from the fields, women with children got
"good places," windows were thrown up and well filled, the drummer
beat and blew away lustily, the audience increased every minute, .......
In about a minute the tune altered, and the show began".





























































Henry Mayhew (1812 - 1887) was a social researcher, journalist, playwright and advocate of reform published 'London Labour and the London Poor' in 1851. This was a groundbreaking and influential survey of the poor of London"

1811 playing for Punch and Judy 1811

18241824 The Lady's Magazine

1825 Hone1825 puppet booth

Pandean Band

n his Memoirs Charles Dibdin Jr. says that at Sadler's Wells in the summer season:
"We introduced also to the public, the first band of Pandeans thatever appeared in England, who were brought to me by my Prompter, whose name was Morelli, an Italian; and to whom all the Italian Minstrels and gymnastical performers used to apply, on their arrival in England, as to a House of Call, and he brought them all, first, to me."

Theatre in Dublin, 1745-1820 A Calendar of Performances · Volume 5 by John C. Greene · 2011

1806Pandean Minstrels at Vauxhall Gardens 1806
(The Encyclopaedia of Musical Instruments, ed. R Dearling, 1996)
(in colour here)
“…The Pandean Minstrels were a professional band that played at London's popular Vauxhall Gardens (and elsewhere) from around 1801 …The minstrels were best known for performing at Vauxhall but were also regular performers at the The Pantheon assembly rooms and at society balls.."
1804 Newspaper report:1804Morning Post - Monday 18 June 1804  
1804 Newspaper advertisement 1804Northampton Mercury - Saturday 08 September 1804  
1804 Newspaper report: 1804General Evening Post - Saturday 23 June 1804  
1804 Newspaper report: 1804Caledonian Mercury - Saturday 15 December 1804  
18041804Caledonian Mercury - Thursday 27 December 1804  

1805 advertsiment1805Morning Post - Wednesday 01 May 1805




1805 Mrs Lambert’s Fete at Harrow
‘This elegant and lively Lady gave on Thursday at her Villa, Kenton Green, an entertainment has not been surpassed for the season.... the Pandean Minstrels entertained the company at intervals during diner and supper.’

Oracle and the Daily Advertiser - Thursday 30 May 1805

1805 advertisement: 1805Morning Post - Monday 03 June 1805  

1805 At Vauxhall a Fete in honour of His Majesty's Birthday1805London Courier and Evening Gazette - Friday 07 June 1805

In April 1805 a troupe of pandean minstrels appeared in Dublin for a series of concerts after plays were performed.
1805 Mrs Coke’s Masquerade
‘None of the company appeared more happy than a Royal groupe, consisting of Her Royal Highness the DUT'CHESS of YORK, and the Dukes of CUMBERLAND arid CAMBRIDGE. Their Royal 'Highnesses wore dominos ; that. of Her Royal Highness was blue.  As they entered the house the Pandean Band played God Save the King.'

Sun (London) - Friday 14 June 1805

18051805Oracle and the Daily Advertiser - Thursday 06 June 1805  

1805 Lady Louise Manner’s Grand Masquerade1805Oracle and the Daily Advertiser - Friday 19 July 1805

1805 ‘Mrs. Forsyth's second Concert and Supper took place at Pyrmont-House,
near Broadstairs,’ Kent
1805Morning Post - Wednesday 02 October 1805
1806 1806  
1806 1806York Herald - Saturday 28 June 1806  
1806 New Royal Circus, St. George’s Fields1806Morning Advertiser - Monday 21 July 1806  
18061806Morning Herald (London) - Thursday 19 June 1806  
1806 ‘Miscellaneous Intelligence Domestic’1806Aberdeen Press and Journal - Wednesday 19 November 1806  

"The Marchioness of Lansdowne grand Masquerade. ...
one of the most splendid entertainments ever given,..
.The Pandean Band playing God Save the King"

Chester Chronicle - Friday 18 July 1806

1807 at the Royal Amphitheatre, Westminster1807Morning Advertiser - Monday 30 March 1807  
1807 newspaper advertisement: 1807Morning Post - Tuesday 26 May 1807  
18071807Morning Advertiser - Monday 29 June 1807  
1807 The Countess Spencer’s Fete Champetre, Wimbledon1807Morning Post - Monday 06 July 1807  
1807 Mrs Coke, Hanover Square, opened her house to her friends.1807British Press - Wednesday 08 July 1807  
1807 Ball 1807Morning Post - Monday 13 July 1807  
1807 Rout 1807Morning Post - Thursday 16 July 1807  

1807 Fete1807Morning Post - Friday 31 July 1807



“…I next directed my course to where the charming airs of the Pandean minstrels invited me. These performers were seated in .a kind of circus or pavilion, richly decorated with arms and standards…”

Sporting Magazine


'A Selection of Balls from 1808'

The Pandean Minstrels" were at the height of their fame by 1808. The Morning Chronicle newspaper for the 10th of February 1808 noted of a ball at the Pantheon that “The Vauxhall Pandeans, in their Polish dress, a military band in full uniform, with Gow's famous Scotch band, are engaged to play the whole evening.” …A theatrical performance was advertised later that year (Daily Advertiser, 8th of March 1808) at which “The Vauxhall famous Pandean Musicians are engaged to play between the Acts”; Lady Heathcote held a ball (Morning Herald, 18th of May 1808) at which “The Pandean Band performed in the inner hall as the company entered”, and it was reported of a royal ball (National Register, 21st of August 1808) that the “Pandeans from Vauxhall being introduced after dinner, the juvenile part of the company were gratified by a rustic ball…” 

1813 Prince Regent's Gala 1813Anti-Gallican Monitor - Sunday 11 July 1813  
[Similar entries can be found in the British Newspaper Archives]
Towns other than London boasted similar events with Pandean Bands and individuals playing at private and public functions such as in Lancaster, Hereford, Dublin, Shrewsbury, Cheltenham and Liverpool
1820 A pandean band 1820Illustration to Pierce Egan's Life in London, page 193  
Pandean Music ' As pandean pipes became more fashionable in the middle and upper classes, music books with arrangements especially for the pandean pipes were printed, such as 1810
'Third Book of Pandean Music
1805 1805Caledonian Mercury - Monday 01 April 1805
1807 1807Caledonian Mercury - Saturday 18 April 1807

Dances and dance tunes were named after them: 1791 'Vauxhall Saloon. A Pandean Dance' 'The Pandean Dance or Lord Wellington' published in 'Hime's Dances for 1812'.


New tunes had 'pandean' in the title, such as in 'The Joseph Kershaw Manuscript; the music of a 19th century Saddleworth Fiddle Player' (begun in 1820).

18091808Morning Post - Monday 10 October 1808
1823 Coroner’s Inquest1823Morning Advertiser - Friday 03 October 1823  

A popular operatic work composed by James Hook (1746-1827) in 1806 was called Tekeli:
it was also a very popular tune which subsequently appeared in many musicians' manuscripts
and published collections. Often the word 'pandean' is coupled with 'Tekeli' ( or Takele, Tekely, Tekeele). The same tune is called 'A Favourite Pandean Dance' in local manuscripts in Shropshire, Dorset and Sussex.', in the Welch MSS of 1800 and the dance also occurs in 1809 in 'Wilson's Treasures of Terpsichore'.

"The instructions for the English country dances Tekeli and the Pandean Dance
in Tekeli 
appeared in many collections of dances published in England, Ireland,
Scotland, and America.  Both these dances were enjoyed at different levels of
society from the Duchess of Richmond’s ball in Dublin Castle, through to rustic
dances in Dorset where Thomas Hardy played." source Similar melodies are in
the Hardy MSS under the title 'Pandean Dance in Tekeli"

playing for dancing
1807 Grand Masquerade at the Pantheon 1807Morning Herald (London) - Wednesday 29 April 1807  
1814 The River Thames, London, froze over and a fair grew up on the ice: 1814 1814The Frost Fair of 1814
by Luke Clenell (detail)

 In 1816 celebrations for the Prince Regent's birthday in Barnstaple included "a rustic dance, accompanied by pandean pipes, clarionets, and tamborines".


1819 pandean pipes in Australia:

“The Queen's Birthday Ball, 23 January 1819
At Governor Macquarie's ball, violins were used in conjunction with wind instruments.
following supper, 'about 170 ladies and gentlemen' were [r]e-summoned to the sprightly dance by the novel and attractive sound of the Pandean pipes, whose shrill tones were mellowed by the softer cadences of flutes, claronets, and violins; the company returned to the ball- room, where the dancing continued with uncommon vivacity and spirit until four o'clock in the morning, when the party retired highly gratified with the superior and truly fascinating amusements of the evening.”

The Sydney Gazette, and New South Wales Advertiser Saturday, 23 January 1819 quoted in The First Fleet Piano: Volume One A Musician’s View · Volume 1 by Geoffrey Lancaster ·chapter 8 page 433, 2013

playerone-man-band fashion plate 1815 in a band for dancing on the frozen River Thames, London 1814 in street band 1820-30
playerstreet entertainer 1820-30 for Jack in the Green 1820-30 tavern entertainment 1821
with fantoccini 1825
for Jack in the Green 1825 with Punch and Judy
playerfor Jack in the Green 1826 with marionettes 1827 with marionettes 1829-31 engraving
1829part of a band composed of demons
with marionettes 1830 with Punch and Judy 1830
playerat a fair 1830 1830music cover 1830  

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