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 Closeup of Tabor from Harms Historical Percussion


General Remarks

Tabors have cylindrical wood shells, two skin heads tightened by rope tension, leather strap, Tambourin provençale, Virdung, Praetorius/English Country, Arbeau/Basque, and 12x12 Taborsadjustable gut snare. Each tabor has a pitch range of about an octave: the larger the tabor, the lower the pitch. Tabors are still used today in the various pipe-and-tabor traditions of Europe. (See the related articles on Historical Tabors and Today's Tabors).

virdung.jpg (8327 bytes)

The Praetorius Tabor played by Ben Harms
Praetorius/English Country

The Arbeau/Basque Tabor demonstrated by Ben Harms

Tambourin provençale from Harms Historical Percussion
Tambourin provençale


- For Small Ensembles (up to 7-8 performers) or one which consists primarily of recorders, viols and/or singers, the Arbeau/Basque Tabor is a good, all-purpose instrument.

- For Pipe-and-Tabor Players: Any size is usable.Virdung, Praetorius/English Country, and Arbeau/Basque tabors are the most popular sizes. For heartier performing, the 12x12 does nicely. The really serious player should consider getting a Tambourin provençale.

- For Brass Groups and Large Ensembles the 12x12 Tabor provides a good pitch and dynamic range. The Tambourin provençale (see below) should also be considered, especially for staged productions.

The Tambourin provençale is a dramatic instrument, its sheer size and deep pitch calling immediate attention to itself. It has a large dynamic range.

(Also see articles on Historical Tabors and Today's Tabors)



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