In modern times this instrument has become favored by truckers and other long haul drivers, since the pipe can be played while keeping one hand on the wheel. I would respectfully request that you not try to play the tabor in addition while sharing the roadway with me.
The Betley Window shows a Pipe & Tabor played for dancers at the beginning of the 1500s.
A relief carving dating from the 15th century in St. Mary's Church, Beverly, shows a pipe and tabor player in the company of other musicians.
A similar instrument is the
Basque Txistu, a three-hole pipe, but in a minor-key tuning.
Mikel Penagarikano Badiola)
Renaissance Use, Military History.
See Wm. Shakespeare Much Ado about Nothing act II scene 3 about trading fife and drum for the tabor and the pipe.
Mentioned in Thoinot Arbeau's Orchesography, with a woodcut illustration online at U. Virginia - courtesy of Greg Lindahl. Known also to the New World, for Thomas Paine, in his essay AGE OF REASON in 1794 wrote:
Were we now to speak of prophesying with a fiddle, or with a pipe and tabor, the expression would have no meaning or would appear ridiculous.
Morris Dancing, the one-man-band.
Chris Brady of London has put Francis Darwin's 1914 lecture on pipe-and-tabor on the web. (about 5000 words, one illustration)
Luis Payno writes about la flauta de tres agujeros / three-hole pipe (Espanol/Spanish) with lots of additional information.
Kelischek Workshop Rt 1, Box 26 Brasstown, NC 28902 Tel: 704-837-5833 Orders: 800-747-8755
Early Music Shop Salts Mill Victoria Road Saltaire, West Yorkshire BD18 3LA Tel: (0274) 393753 Fax: (0274) 393516
Early Music Shop of New England 59-65 Boylston Street Brookline, MA 02146 Tel: 617-277-8690 Fax: 617-277-7217
The Harms Percussion website also has some articles about traditional and historic tabors.Harms Historical Percussion 91 Branch Road New Marlborough, MA 01230
Russell Wortley, How to Play the English Pipe and Tabor EFDSS, Cecil Sharp House, London, 1967, revised 1977, 8 pages, originally cost 30p.
Letchworth Morris Men series of Morris Music recordings, available on cassette from the Letchworth Morris Men, Radwell House, Radwell, Baldock, Herts, UK.
Country Dance & Song Society of America (CDSSA) 17 New South St Northampton, MA 01060 413-584-9913
Ishmael's Music | The Black Jokers | Morris Dancing