The Colonial fife is a small flute with six finger holes. It is played the same way as a tin whistle and is also a diatonic instrument.
Fifes were common in the Middle Ages throughout Europe. They were used not only in folk and dance music, but also found especially in military music. Here they were usually played in accompaniment of drums because their shrill tone was an excellent counter to the muffled drum beats.
The fife went across the Atlantic and established its place in Colonial American folk music. From slave music soon came Fife and Drum Blues, which, however, is hardly heard today.
This two-piece marching fife is made of rosewood. The ends are reinforced with wide metal rings.
Key: Bb and C
Length: 37.5 cm