Piping is the Naval method of passing orders and every seaman should know how to use a "boatswain's call". The use of the bosun's call goes as far back as the Crusades (1248).
In former days it was worn in English ships as a badge of rank, because it was always used for passing orders. For years it was even worn as a badge of office os the Lord High Admiral of England and his successors up to 1562. Thereafter it was used in the English fleet for passing all orders and since 1671 it became generally known as the "boatswain's call".
Nowadays the boatswain's call and chain are the badge of office of the Chief Boatswain's Mate, the Quartermaster and Boatswain's Mates. The expression "To Pipe" means, to sound on the boatswain's call and the spoken order to qualify it. Some "Pipes" are even orders and do not require any verbal qualification.
120mm long whistle. with 72cm long chain