Talk:Musical Instruments

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DQ people who actually play renaissance musical instruments, could you suggest some good research sources, or make appropriate constructive, corrective comments? Thanks Andreww 21:13, 1 Jan 2009 (NZDT)

I've got access to (i.e. I gave it to Tina for Xmas) a 1964 pb of "Antique Musical Instruments and Their Players: 152 Plates from Bonanni's 18th-Century Gabinetto Armonico". The commentary is 1964 (rather than translations), but we can scan some of the illustrations if wanted?? I'll be hanging out with re-enactors on Saturday, I'll ask them for suggestions. --Errol 21:50, 1 Jan 2009 (NZDT)
Sounds promising. I'm drawing an arbitrary line at instruments common before ~1550, but that's just one opinion. Most of the instruments are likely to have been around that long, but the 1700s seems to be a time for new muscial instruments. If we get many/large pictures, we might need to make multiple pages - woodwind, string, etc. --Andreww 14:26, 2 Jan 2009 (NZDT)
Considered Antique in the 18thC, so should be mainly OK.--Errol 20:09, 2 Jan 2009 (NZDT)

I'm doing a couple of things in this page that should be sanity-checked for desirability, and if desirable, then accuracy.

  1. I'm listing how common it is for Troubadours and Courtiers to play these instruments. About half the instruments are either for folk music only, or are technical instruments only played by professional musicians, so are not listed for Courtier. A few are only played by the wealthy for self-entertainment, and are not listed for Troubadours. This is not intended to be a hard-and-fast rule, but characters playing folk music probably should be Troubadours, and so on.
  2. I'm giving an indication of how fancy one can be with an instrument - whether it is a lead instrument or a background. Think lead guitar vs bass guitar, or Violin vs Viola. I think this helps players to understand the flavour of an instrument, but it doesn't affect 'max rank', and there still can be virtuoso Ocarina players (they can play hollow parsnips and carrots as well as potatoes).

--Andreww 23:58, 3 Jan 2009 (NZDT)


I'm grouping the instruments into broad categories of similar instruments. Someone who can play one of the instruments within a category is passingly competent with the other instruments (half rank as per rules Keith lists below). This is just a simple grouping to base it on. I disagree with some of the particulars in my own categories, but it is simple. --Andreww 23:58, 3 Jan 2009 (NZDT)

It actually states in the rulebook that a Troubadour can play a similar instrument, of the one that they have explicitly, at Rank/2. (p138 under 'Play an Instrument'). --Keith 15:04, 4 Jan 2009 (NZDT)

Instead of the current 8 categories:

  • Lute: Cittern, Gittern, Lute, Rebec, Viol
  • Zither: Dulcimer, Harp, Lyre, Psaltery, Scheitholt, Zither
  • Keyboard: Clavichord, Harpsichord, Hurdy-gurdy, Organetto, Pipe Organ
  • Cornett: Cornett, Curtal, Lizard, Rackett, Serpent, Shawm
  • Recorder: Flute, Gemshorn, Ocarina, Panpipes, Pipe, Recorder
  • Horn: Conch, Finger Horn, Horn, Sackbutt, Trumpet
  • Bagpipe: Bagpipe, Bladderpipe, Crumhorn
  • Drum: Cymbals, Dumbek, Gong, Naker, Tabor, Tambourine, Triangle, Zil

I think the following 14 categories are more accurate:

  • Lutes: Cittern, Gittern, Lute
  • Bowed: Rebec, Viol
  • Zithers: Dulcimer, Psaltery, Scheitholt, Zither
  • Harps: Harp, Lyre
  • Flutes: Flute, Panpipes
  • Fipples: Gemshorn, Ocarina, Pipe, Recorder
  • Reeds: Curtal, Rackett, Shawm
  • Bagpipes: Bagpipe, Bladderpipe, Crumhorn
  • Cornetts: Cornett, Finger Horn, Lizard, Serpent
  • Horns: Conch, Horn, Sackbutt, Trumpet
  • Drums: Dumbek, Naker, Tabor, Tambourine
  • Cymbals: Cymbals, Gong, Triangle, Zil
  • Keyboards: Clavichord, Harpsichord, Pipe Organ
  • Contraptions: Hurdy-gurdy, Organetto

But this might be too many categories, limiting the 'similar instrument' rules of Courtier and Troubadour too much. Does this matter? What do the players of characters who think of themselves as musicians think? --Andreww 22:31, 4 Jan 2009 (NZDT)