Three-hole pipe

Last updated
Three-hole pipe
Other namesGaloubet, Schwegel, Schwiegel, Swegel, Tamerlinpfeife, Tämmerinpfeife
Playing range
1–2 octaves
Related instruments

The three-hole pipe, also commonly known as tabor pipe or galoubet, is a wind instrument designed to be played by one hand, leaving the other hand free to play a tabor drum, bell, psalterium or tambourin à cordes, bones, triangle or other percussive instrument.


The three-hole pipe's origins are not known, but it dates back at least to the 12th century. [1]

It was popular from an early date in France, the Iberian Peninsula and Great Britain and remains in use there today. [2] In the Basque Country it has increasingly gained momentum and prestige during the last century, especially during the last years of the Francoist State, following that it turned into a hallmark of Basque identity and folk culture. New pipe and tabor schools have cropped up since throughout the country, providing along with tabor the musical background for traditional Basque dance ensembles (see txistu). In Andalusia these pipes (flauta or gaita and the tambor or tamboril) are played in celebrations, Cruces de Mayo, sword dances [3] and romerías; in the music used around Romería of El Rocío (Huelva, Andalucía) this same pipe is denominated flauta rociera, gaita rociera or sometimes pito rociero (a higher pitched whistle).

The most common form of tabor pipe in the Basque region is tuned "tone, semitone, tone", as in the pipe of Andalusia. [4] The most common form in Provence is tuned "tone, tone, tone". The English tabor pipe is commonly tuned "tone, tone, semitone", and corresponds to the three lowest holes of a tinwhistle. [1]

See also

Related Research Articles

Bagpipes Musical instrument

Bagpipes are a woodwind instrument using enclosed reeds fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag. The Scottish Great Highland bagpipes are the best known examples in the Anglophone world, but people have played bagpipes for centuries throughout large parts of Europe, Anatolia, the Caucasus, Northern Africa, Western Asia, and around the Persian Gulf.

Uilleann pipes

The uilleann pipes are the characteristic national bagpipe of Ireland. Earlier known in English as "union pipes", their current name is a partial translation of the Irish-language term píobaí uilleann, from their method of inflation. There is no historical record of the name or use of the term uilleann pipes before the 20th century. It was an invention of Grattan Flood and the name stuck. People mistook the term 'union' to refer to the 1800 Act of Union; this is incorrect as Breandán Breathnach points out that a poem published in 1796 uses the term 'union'.

Music of Spain Music and musical traditions of Spain

The music of Spain has a long history. It has played an important role in the development of Western music, and has greatly influenced Latin American music. Spanish music is often associated with traditional styles such as flamenco and classical guitar. While these forms of music are common, there are many different traditional musical and dance styles across the regions. For example, music from the north-west regions is heavily reliant on bagpipes, the jota is widespread in the centre and north of the country, and flamenco originated in the south. Spanish music played a notable part in the early developments of western classical music, from the 15th through the early 17th century. The breadth of musical innovation can be seen in composers like Tomás Luis de Victoria, styles like the zarzuela of Spanish opera, the ballet of Manuel de Falla, and the classical guitar music of Francisco Tárrega. Nowadays commercial pop music dominates.

Galician gaita Traditional bagpipe of Galicia and northern Portugal

The Galician gaita is the traditional instrument of Galicia and northern Portugal.

Northwest Iberia traditional music is a traditional highly distinctive folk style, located along Spain's north-west Atlantic coast, mostly Galicia and Asturias, that has some similarities with the neighbouring area of Cantabria. The music is characterized by the use of bagpipes.


The Basque alboka (albogue), is a single-reed woodwind instrument consisting of a single reed, two small diameter melody pipes with finger holes and a bell traditionally made from animal horn. Additionally, a reed cap of animal horn is placed around the reed to contain the breath and allow circular breathing for constant play. In basque language alboka player have the name albokari. Alboka is usually used to accompany a tambourine singer.


The flabiol is a Catalan woodwind musical instrument of the family known as fipple flutes. It is one of the 12 instruments of the cobla. The flabiol measures about 25 centimeters in length and has five or six holes on its front face and three underneath.

Tabor (instrument) Type of snare drum

A tabor, tabret,, Tambour De Provence, or Tambourin (Provencal) is a portable snare drum typically played either with one hand or with two drumsticks. The word "tabor" is simply an English variant of a Latin-derived word meaning "drum"—cf. French: tambour, Italian: tamburo It has been used in the military as a marching instrument, and has been used as accompaniment in parades and processions.

Pipe (instrument)

A pipe is a tubular wind instrument in general, or various specific wind instruments. The word is an onomatopoeia, and comes from the tone which can resemble that of a bird chirping.

Pipe and tabor

Pipe and tabor is a pair of instruments played by a single player, consisting of a three-hole pipe played with one hand, and a small drum played with the other. The tabor (drum) hangs on the performer's left arm or around the neck, leaving the hands free to beat the drum with a stick in the right hand and play the pipe with thumb and first two fingers of the left hand.


The fujara originated in central Slovakia as a large sophisticated folk shepherd's overtone fipple flute of unique design. It is technically a contrabass in the tabor pipe class.

La Musgaña

La Musgaña is a Spanish folk music ensemble, founded in 1986 by Enrique Almendros, José María Climent and Rafa Martin. The band incorporates various instruments such as the dulcimer, fiddle, hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes, flutes, guitar and bass, and performs traditional music from the Iberian peninsula, mostly from the Spanish regions of Castile, Zamora, Leon, Extremadura and La Mancha. La Musgaña means "water-rat" in Spanish.

Welsh bagpipes

Welsh bagpipes The names in Welsh refer specifically to a bagpipe. A related instrument is one type of bagpipe chanter, which when played without the bag and drone is called a pibgorn (English:hornpipe). The generic term pibau (pipes) which covers all woodwind instruments is also used. They have been played, documented, represented and described in Wales since the fourteenth century. A piper in Welsh is called a pibydd or a pibgodwr.

Pibgorn (instrument)

The pibgorn is a Welsh species of idioglot reed aerophone. The name translates literally as "pipe-horn". It is also historically known as cornicyll and pib-corn. It utilises a single reed, cut from elder or reed, like that found in the drone of a bagpipe, which is an early form of the modern clarinet reed. The single chambered body of the elder pipe has a naturally occurring parallel bore, into which are drilled six small finger-holes and a thumb-hole giving a diatonic compass of an octave. The body of the instrument is traditionally carved from a single piece of wood or bone. Playable, extant historical examples in the Museum of Welsh Life have bodies cut and shaped of elder. Another, unplayable instrument at the Museum, possibly of a later date, is made from the leg bone of an unspecified ungulate. Contemporary instruments are turned and bored from a variety of fruitwoods, or exotic hardwoods; or turned from, or moulded in plastics. The reed is protected by a reed-cap or stock of cow-horn. The bell is shaped from a section of cow-horn which serves to amplify the sound. The pibgorn may be attached to a bag, with the additional possibility of a drone, which is then called pibau cwd; or played directly with the mouth via the reed-cap.

Psalterium (instrument)

A psalterium, or tambourin à cordes, is an ancient stringed musical instrument, the name of which is synonymous with the psaltery. In specific usage, this name denotes a form of long psaltery that is tuned to provide drone chords. Sometimes called a "string drum", though not to be confused with a friction drum also called a "string drum", it is usually used as rhythm accompaniment with a form of tabor pipe. It is also known as tambourin de Béarn or Tambourin de Gascogne in French, ttun-ttun[cunˈcun] in Basque, salmo in Spanish, and chicotén in Aragonese.


The xirula is a small three holed woodwind instrument or flute usually made of wood akin to the Basque txistu or three-hole pipe, but more high pitched and strident, tuned to D/G and an octave higher than the silbote. The sound that flows from the flute has often been perceived as a metaphor for the tweet cadences of bird songs. Some scholars point out that flutes found in the Caverns of Isturitz and Oxozelaia going back to a period spanning 35,000 to 10,000 years ago bear witness to the early presence of the instrument's forerunner in the region, while this view has been disputed.


The txistu is a kind of fipple flute that became a symbol for the Basque folk revival. The name may stem from the general Basque word ziztu "to whistle" with palatalisation of the z. This three-hole pipe can be played with one hand, leaving the other one free to play a percussion instrument.


A kuisi is a Native American fipple flute made from a hollowed cactus stem, with a beeswax and charcoal powder mixture for the head, with a thin quill made from the feather of a large bird for the mouthpiece. Seagull, turkey and eagle feathers are among the feathers commonly used.

The muiñeira is a traditional dance and musical genre of Galicia (Spain). It is distinguished mainly by its expressive and lively tempo, played usually in 6
, although some variants are performed in other time signatures. There are also variant types of muiñeira which remain in the tempo of 6
but which displace the accent in different ways. Muiñeira is associated with traditional choreographic schemes and the associated instrumentation is a form of bagpipe known as a gaita. It is subject to highly varied interpretation in differing local traditions. According to "Galicia-The Spanish Cousins", an article on Roots World, muiñeira is the Galician "equivalent" of a jig, which is consistent with the time signature of 6
. The word "muiñeira" means literally both millstone and a mill landlady. Galician music is classified as part of Celtic music.

Cumbia (Colombia) Folkloric genre and dance from Colombia.

Cumbia[ˈkumbja] is a folkloric genre and dance from Colombia.


  1. 1 2 Description and History at the Wayback Machine (archived September 8, 2007)
  2. The Pipe and Tabor Worldwide Archived September 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. "DANZAS DE ESPADAS Y TOQUES DE TAMBORIL EN LA SIERRA Y EL ANDÉVALO ONUBENSES (PDF Download Available)". ResearchGate. Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  4. "Flauta y tamboril. Gaita de Huelva, gaita rociera, gaita andaluza". postmusicas. Retrieved 2017-03-16.