Intro to Pipe and Tabor



These notes are the handouts from a class on Pipe and Tabor, first taught at the University of Atlantia, Dec. 2, 1995 in Kapellenberg, Barony of Windmaster's Hill. (Chapel Hill, NC)

The class was taught by Robyyan Torr d'Elandris, OL. Contact the instructor at the address at the bottom of this page.

NOTE: these are notes from a class, altered for this distribution method. They are not intended to be a complete introduction to pipe and tabor. I recommend purchasing either or both of the method books referenced below to develop skill at this instrument combination.

NOTE 2: Two places on the web that all pipe and tabor players should know about are:

Pipe and Tabor Overview

Pipe and Tabor Method Books

Bagwell, Dick. The Pipe & Tabor Tutor. Berkeley, CA: Piper HQ, 1988, 2005.
Kelischek, George. Tabor-Pipe Primer. Brasstown, NC: Susato Press, 1993.

Suppliers of Methods and Pipes

There are many makers of Pipes and Tabors around the world.  Your intended use and preference  in sound should determine what you get.  I recommend the links section of the tabor_n_pipe group referenced above as a place to find makers.

That said, here's a link to The Kelischek Workshop, makers and suppliers of the "Susato" brand tabor pipe, a good quality, inexpensive plastic pipe in a variety of keys.  I play these, and find them quite acceptable. 

I also play pipes by Charles Wells (, Sweetheart ( and Generation (many suppliers, search Google.)

Pipe and Tabor Cheat Sheet

Here's a cheat sheet, showing the fingering of the first few notes of a number of pieces, primarily dance tunes, that I've worked out on pipe and tabor. The numbers in the fingering charts indicate which overtone to begin on. 

Notes on the Arrangements

The arrangements are all PDF files you may download and print. The first, Intro to Pipe and Tabor, provides a fingering chart for a pipe in the key of C and D, examples of the harmonic overtones that allow the pipe to work with only three holes, and some beginning exercises with suggestions for tabor rhythms. The numbers in the fingering charts indicate which overtone to begin on. 

Caution: these melodies may have been transposed from the most familiar key for ease of fingering on the pipe.

Also note that the sheet music archive contains more music than is generally provided with this class.  Feel free to explore.

The Arrangements 

Copyright 1995,1996,2006 by Dennis R. Sherman. Permission granted for not-for-profit copying and distribution, provided this notice remains attached.