the Pipe and Tabor compendium

the Pipe and Tabor compendium

essays on the three-hole pipe

UK terminology


drum and fife player

1819 May Day, Jack in the Green Festival

"In London there are, and have long been, a few forms of May-day festivity in a great measure peculiar. The day is still marked by a celebration, well known to every resident in the metropolis, in which the chimney-sweeps play the sole part. What we usually see is a small band, composed of two or three men in fantastic dresses, one smartly dressed female glittering with spangles, and a strange figure called Jack-in-the-green, being a man concealed within a tall frame of herbs and flowers, decorated with a flag at top. All of these figures or persons stop here and there in the course of their rounds, and dance to the music of a drum and fife , expecting of course to be remunerated by halfpence from the onlookers. It is now generally a rather poor show, and does not attract much regard;"


Washington Irving, (1783 - 1859)
After moving from USA to England for the family business in 1815, he achieved international fame with the publication of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. in 1819

The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., commonly referred to as The Sketch Book, is a collection of 34 essays and short stories written by Washington Irving. Published serially throughout 1819 and 1820, It also marks Irving's first use of the pseudonym "Geoffrey Crayon,"


1891 fife (three-hole pipe) replaced by the fife (as used in the army)

"The old cylindrical ear-piercing fife is an obsolete instrument, being superseded by a small army flute, still, however, called a fife, used with the side drum in the drum and fife band. "

Musical Instruments.--Their construction and capabilities.--By A.J. HIPKINS

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