Three-holed pipes for one-handed playing are known in many parts of the world since Medieval times.
Tabor-Pipes and Txirula/Txistus have
two finger- holes in front and one thumb-hole in the back.
The instruments are designed to be played with one hand,
so that the other hand is free to play a tabor-drum, a stringed-tambour,
or hurdy-gurdy. The only difference between a Tabor-Pipe
and a Txirula or Txistu is the diameter and position of
the three tone holes and the musical scale resulting from
that difference. Both types can produce a contiguous scale
of one octave and a fifth, ample range for any folktune!
Some people manage to play two 3-hole pipes simultaneously.
It is possible to play contiguous scales because the pipes
are designed to allow the playing of a series of five or
more harmonics, using the three tone-holes only for filling
in those notes that are not part of the harmonic series.
The Tabor-Pipe plays a major scale beginning with a sequence of: whole-tone, whole-tone, semi-tone. The Basque Txirula / Txistu plays a Dorian scale beginning with a sequence of: whole-tone, semi-tone, whole-tone. The useful contiguous scale always begins on the first harmonic, one octave higher than the fundamental.
Pipe and Tabor Players
from the 13th Century illuminated manuscript,
"Cantigas de Santa Maria"
A thumbrest, fingering chart, joint grease
and a vinyl carrying pouch are included
in the price of the Garland Tabor-Pipes.