the Pipe and Tabor compendium

the Pipe and Tabor compendium

essays on the three-hole pipe

Europe history: Street entertainers


  One person bands using at least a drum and pandean pipes (pan-pipes).
  1400 France1400 France 19101910 illustration from 'Encyclopaedia Britannica
(11th ed., vol. 20) New York, USA
before 1814 France

18071807 France

  19th century Italian19th century Italy Cris de Parisfashion plate

18151815 France

18151815 Germany 18141814 Signor Rivolta (from his advertisement)
in England

Signor Rivolta worked as a one-person-band for at least 16 years from January 1809 to November 1925.
Although primarily based in London he went on extensive tours over England, Scotland and Ireland. At one
point (1818) he got into financial difficulties, but afterwards carried on with his act. At first he is advertised as
playing on 4 or 5 instruments at the same time. By the end he was playing 8 instruments together.
More details of Signor Rivolta's career here.

  1810-18191810-1819 France
18201820 France
1820-30 England1820-30 England
‘Near the Strand’by George Scharf
  1821 ‘the festival of the tutelar Saint of Scotland was celebrated at the London Tavern’1821Westmorland Gazette - Saturday 08 December 1821

1828 1827Inverness Courier - Wednesday 03 September 1828

  18301830 Ignatz Schichtl, Germany
18381838 children's illustration, France
18441844 steam band, France

18451845 political satire, England
18451845 satire © Punch Limited
18591859 playing for dancing bear and other animals
1865 Italy1865 Naples, Italy
1848 -18811848-1881 catchpenny print, Holland
9th March 1867 Punch
18821882 Sweden
18671867 New York, USA
18731873 France painting
  1884 ‘The sunshade, the glove, the muff.’ Avril, Paul, Illustrator, London, England
late Victorianlate Victorian, Whitby, England
19091909 unknown
  19321932 England

“Uncle George Wiley, 90 year old hermit of Sutton, N.H. who plays his old organ, harmonica, bass drum and phonograph all at the same time and his services are in great demand when snap dance music is wanted on a Saturday night.”

19311931 USA
1849 “…Several old acquaintances who once waked the echoes of the quiet streets have gradually departed.
First and foremost, we miss the ingenious professor who shook the hat of Chinese bells, beat the drum and
cymbals with his knees, and played the mouth-organ, all at once. He is gone, and albeit he must have left his
apparatus behind him, no one has supplied his place…”

Sketches of London Life and Character, by Albert Smith et. al., [1849] - Music in the Streets


1850's - 60's "...Another street performer was a foreigner who played, or made a noise on,
five or six instruments at once, drum on his back struck by a stick tied to the elbow; cymbals
on the knee played by a string from the foot; bells on the head jangling when it was shaken;
mouth-organ; accordion, and so on. …”

London and Londoners in the Eighteen-Fifties and Sixties, by Alfred Rosling Bennett, 1924 - Chapter 6 - Street Entertainers

20th centuryearly 20th century advertisement
20th century20th century USA 20th century20th century
2010 hang drum and digeridoo, England
21st century Indonesia21st century Indonesia
20222022 Ecuador
21st century21st century figurine, New Zealand

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