Festival Symposium

International Pipe & Tabor Symposium, 2017


International Pipe & Tabor Symposium, 2017

York House Centre, Stony Stratford, MK11 1JQ

Saturday 30 September 2017



9.00 Welcome and Introduction (Andy Richards and Bill Tuck)

9.15  First Session:  Expanding the range of the pipe & tabor

Chuck Wilcox     What to do with those spare limbs and the extra  notes at the bottom?

Chuck Wilcox is a one handed hemi-plegic who attended the IPTF in 2013.  Later Rob and Gillian suggested he try the Farmer (brand) Foot Drum so he could accompany his pipe with a drum. He uses a portable Cajon and tambourine in this demonstration.

Chuck also learned about making sound in the rarely played few notes of the lower register of a tabor pipe. Today’s demonstration will use that register as part of music he learned from Beltane Border Morris when they dance Tolman Stone.

To be followed by an open discussion and presentation of additional examples


10.15 Coffee     

10.30 Second Session:  Exploring the glorious heritage of the pipe & tabor

Juana Etchegoin The history and role of the pipe and tabor in the Basque Country

Bill Tuck               Who was Nardo Taburino?

Compared to France, Spain and the Low Countries, the history of pipe and tabor in Italy gets very little coverage. My talk will present some findings from the court records of 15th century Italy (Milan, Mantua, Ferrara, Naples and Urbino) that demonstrate just how significant this instrument was at that time.

Terry Carter       Improvising and playing by ear

Improvisation was a basic technique for all musicians in the renaissance period. This talk will explore the language of improvisation, including the use of ornamentation and how to fill in the intervals between longer notes (based on the contemporary texts of Ganassi and others); also how to improvise on a ground bass and within a group of several  instruments.

Playing by ear is another fundamental skill that all musicians would have practiced before the advent in the 16th century of printed music. How we might learn this skill today will also be touched upon. The talk will prepare the way for the practical session to follow on Sunday.


12.00 noon         End of Symposium

Symposium Programme (PDF)

Contact symposium coordinator – Bill Tuck