the Pipe and Tabor compendium

the Pipe and Tabor compendium

essays on the three-hole pipe

World: in bands 1

crowds, duos and processions

gallery contents

Crowd of musicians:

The earliest images show musicians playing a wide range of instruments, wind and string, with some percussion.

Byzantine redrawnByzantine [redrawn] horn and tabor 11701170 triple pipes with string instruments England [folio 21v]

13th century13th century France

12401240 pipe and bell, Paris, France after 1246 Franceafter 1246 Arras, France
14th century14th century France

1325 a crowd1325 East Anglia, England © Bodleian Libraries

14351435 with string instruments, Flanders, Belgium
14401440 Great Malvern
Worcestershire, England
15th century15th century manuscript France

1450-1475 England1450-1475 England fol. 031v

ItalyItaly double pipes, Melpomene Italy playerItaly player
15341534 Saranno, Italy Saranno1534 Saranno Italy


Duos are included here as, the pipe and tabor being two instruments, the addition of one other instrument makes it a band.

with hurdy gurdy:
two instruments1500 unknownunknown 1852 copy, page 351 Fig 25b    
17th century17th century Holland early 17th century 17th century Russia 17th century
17th century
17th century child with hurdy gurdy playing adult, Italy
16251625 with child, Paris, France 1647-16751647-1675 France
Music to bring the Devil to earth 5'
1675-17021675-1702 Netherlands
18th century18th century Portugal 18th century France18th century strolling minstrels, France

18th century18th century Italy

early 20th centuryearly 20th century biscuit advert 20212021 Gloucester
with bagpipes:

14th century England14th century England fol. 140r

1470 1470 Cheshire, England
1564 painting1564 painting Belgium 17th century17th century unknown 17851785 playing for
wedding, France
Catalonia19th century Catalonia, Spain Victorian with bagpipeVictorian Holland Majorca date unknownMajorca, Spain date unknown
duo21st century Catalonia Vilanova, Spain
20212021 Majorca, Spain
with other instruments:

13171317 double pipe
[more double pipe images here]

late 15th centurylate 15th century Burgundy, France 15151515 with bladder pipe Germany  
15201520 Holland 1537 Greece1537 Greece

In medieval France:

Two pipe and tabor players and a rebec player were specifically hired to accompany dances, identified as the “bergeres, bergidios, and morisque,” and one of the pipe and tabor players was paid extra to rehearse with the dancers of the moresque for the banquet. 

from:The Musical Sounds of Medieval French Cities

1545 Germany1545 Nurenberg, Germany 1568 Germany1568 Frankfurt am Maine, Germany
18th century figure18th century Bow ceramic figures, England
18th century Bow cermic figures18th century Bow ceramic figures, England [more images here]

1820 Dance of Death, Basle19th century Dance of Death, Basle, Switzerland
[more images here]

19081908 with accordian
Basque country

20132013 Catalonia, Spain
[more string drum images here]

IbizaIbiza, Spain, with sword leading
procession out of church
with harp:
10th century Scotland10th century triple pipe, Scotland 13001300 double pipe and harp England
1490 Belgium1490 Belgium with harpunknown unknown
1540 Netherlands1540 south Netherlands
newspaper: Hull Packet - Tuesday 06 July 18131813 newspaper cutting a1813 newspaper cutting b
15th century15th century playing for dancing 15th century Italy15th century Abruzzo, Italy 1515 Germany1515 playing for dance display Germany
16th century Switzerlandfirst half of 16th century Switzerland 16th century16th century players, Switzerland 16th century16th century France
16th century16th century unknown 16th century16th century Boi Valley, Catalonia, Spain
17th century17th century unknown
17711771 England [more 18th century images here]  
18th century France18th century France late 18th century dancelate 18th century for dance, France 18th century France18th century France CataloniaCatalonia, Spain

for dancing1792 textile celebrating the fall of the Bastille, Paris, France
'La Fete de la Federation'

playernot known
17941794 ‘The Dancing  Master’s Ball’

1808 newspaper report: 1808 newspaper report1808: newspaper report on a fete at Old Windsor attended by Royalty, England

1809 poem 1809Chester Courant - Tuesday 12 December 1809

1812: picnic as described in ' The Vicar of Wakefield' by Oliver Goldsmith, England

"Our music consisted of two fiddles, with a pipe and tabor. .... The ladies of the town .. swam, sprawled,
languished, and frisked.... after the dance had continued about an hour, the two ladies, who were apprehensive of
catching cold, moved to break up the ball."

1813 A Grand Ball at Mount Shannon as described in the Limerick Advertiser, Ireland
1817 The Dance
1817 The Dance1817 band for dancing, England
18211821Morning Post - Tuesday 09 January 1821
1850 newspaper report1850 Durham, England 1826 Election song for Liddell in Northumberland:

“Liddell for ever
Strike up in full concert
pipe, tabor and fiddle;
Northumbrian freeholders
rejoice one and all...”

reported in the Newcastle Courant - Friday 20 May 1887
1847 painting1847 ' The Village Merry-Making
A Hundred Years Ago'
1863 to celebrate a Royal Wedding in England: 1863Birmingham Daily Gazette - Monday 16 March 1863
1883 Letter to the Editor of an Irish newspaper: 1883Belfast News-Letter - Thursday 04 October 1883    
18901890 Basque country, France
[more Basque country images here]

19th century19th century Basque country

20th century20th century Bearn, France
early 20th century France
Franceearly 20th century France 2015 France2015 Toulouse, France
1926 England1926 England
1852 England 1852 England


Loud and soft medieval bands

In medieval Europe bands were divided into soft (bas) and loud (haut) bands from the 13th century onwards.
The pipe and tabor fitted into both categories:


1047 Spain1047 Leon, Spain 1250 Italy1250 - 1275 Naples, Italy
1473 Italy1473 Italy 15th century France
15th century1496 France
medieval11th century double pipes 1480 France1480 France f11v

14901490 angels, double pipe

15th century Spain15th century Spain
1510 Belgium1510 Bruges, Belgium 16th century16th century France
1519 Germany 1519 loud and soft choirs, Germany 16th century Italy16th century Italy  
16th century Rome16th century Rome, Italy 15701570 Brussels, Belgium 16461646 soft band Belgium
Portugal1515 Lisbon, Portugal Portugalc. 1515 Lisbon, Portugal: Assumption of the Virgin, painting, altarpiece in Convento da Madre de Deus  
1816 Italy1816 Italy  
1545 Procession of putti1545 - 1565 triumphal procession of Bacchus, Italy
1545 Italy procession1545 - 1565 triumphal procession of Bacchus, Italy    
1596 Germany1596 Germany celebration of christening

1702 Germany1702 procession Nuremberg, Germany

player1702 taborer
[at the back of procession]
17661766 wedding procession, Richmond, England
1821 Harvest Home procession, England 18411841 Great Dunmow procession England  
2010 religious procession2010 religious procession, Baztan Valley, Navarre, Spain

Sometimes a pipe and tabor appears to be part of a band in an image at first glance but it just has been
drawn or painted nearby.

1470 Italy1470 Italy

1589 Flemish1589 Belgium

18th century ballet18th century France [more images of Camargo dancing here]


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