[Skill] Play Musical Instrument

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[Skill] Play Musical Instrument

Postby Karin on October 7th, 2015, 3:45 pm

Article: Musical Instruments
Author(s): Myself (Karin Ironyach)
Other development:
Additional Info:
Peer Review Thread:
Founder Review Thread:

Synopsis: The musical instruments of Mizahar are broad and unique, with a multitude of purposes in society. This article covers the classification of the instruments, and their uses in Mizahar. It will also look at how to create the instruments, how these instruments are adapted for different races, and how to play these instruments.

Outline:

  1. Introduction
  2. Instrument classes
      a. Stringed instruments
      b. Wind instruments
      c. Percussion instruments
      d. Miscellaneous instruments (including keyboard and others)
  3. Creation and construction of instruments (e.g. Materials used, where to find materials, tools required)
      a. Stringed instruments
      b. Wind instruments
      c. Percussion instruments
      d. Miscellaneous instruments
  4. Races and adapted instruments
      a. Stringed instruments
        i. Race adaptations
        ii. Accessories and customisations
      b. Wind instruments
        i. Race adaptations
        ii. Accessories and customisations
      c. Percussion instruments
        i. Race adaptations
        ii. Accessories and customisations
      d. Miscellaneous instruments
        i. Race adaptations
        ii. Accessories and customisations
  5. How to play (Techniques in general, with skill breakdown at bottom of page)
      a. Stringed instruments
        i. Techniques
        ii. Magic
      b. Wind instruments
        i. Techniques
        ii. Magic
      c. Percussion instruments
        i. Techniques
        ii. Magic
      d. Miscellaneous instruments
        i. Techniques
        ii. Magic
  6. Uses: in performance, dance and religion
      a. Performance (Opera, plays, civic functions and background secular music etc.)
      b. Dance (Accompaniment etc.)
      c. Religion (Religious dance, trance, preaching etc.)
  7. Texture and uses in composition
      a. Stringed instruments
      b. Wind instruments
      c. Percussion instruments
      d. Miscellaneous instruments
  8. Skill breakdown: Novice, Competent, Expert, Master
Last edited by Karin on May 1st, 2016, 5:29 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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[Skill] Play Musical Instrument

Postby Quip on May 2nd, 2016, 3:40 pm

Proposal Accepted
This is a much better outline then what you were working on, and much more flexible as well!
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[Skill] Play Musical Instrument

Postby Karin on May 2nd, 2016, 4:28 pm

Article in progress...

Introduction

Playing a musical instrument is a demanding but highly rewarding activity. With enough time spent practising how to play, anyone can reach exceptional levels, although races such as Kelvic will struggle due to the discipline needed to maintain a regular practise schedule. Music is a sought-after skill across much of Mizahar. Bards are particularly noted as good musicians, often becoming noticed by Rhaus, the god of music and sound. Music is used in a variety of situations, too. From accompaniment to song around a campfire, to being used as a background for a dramatic opera, to a musician/dance combination performance on stage, music has a wide variety of uses in any society in Mizahar.

Prerequisites and Related Skills

Although none of these skills are considered essential, it is helpful for a well-rounded musical practise to be able to understand, or use the following skills.

Music composition: This skill is helpful for performance, especially when trying to improvise a piece. *(Often, music composers will need to have competent or higher in at least two different kinds of musical instrument, as it is vital in composing to be able to understand the instrument you are composing for.)
Endurance: It may not look like it, but playing an instrument is hard work. Wind players especially have to develop a strong diaphragm, and in certain types of performance, the instrumentalist will need to be able to play for bells. Individuals with higher endurance will be able to play for longer, and maintain quality of sound.
Singing: This is not a necessary skill, but an instrumentalist who can sing will find it easier to pick up a tune and recognise note values.

Instrument Classes

[Price List found here, with the majority of instruments listed].

    Stringed Instruments

These include: fiddle, pyfiddle, gamba, mandolin, lute, harp, and gea'tar, alongside regional and specific instruments that can be found in the relevant city lore page/codex.

The definition of a stringed instrument is any instrument which uses strings to produce a sound, whether that be bowed (pulling a hair bow across the strings to create a long, continuous sound), plucked (using fingers or a plectrum to create a quick, sharp sound or a short, soft sound) or strummed (dragging the fingers or plectrum across the strings to create chords - more on chords later!). Stringed instruments are usually made of a hollow wooden body, with gut or occasionally metal strings suspended over a hole in the instrument. This hole acts as a natural amplifier.

    Wind Instruments

These include: bagpipes, trumpet, flute, ocarina, alongside regional and specific instruments that can be found in the relevant city lore page/codex. Instruments are usually simple, and most often wooden.

Wind players create sound by blowing, an entirely different process to playing string instruments! Most wind instruments are shaped similarly to a tube, with finger holes or valves to create different note pitches. Wind instrumentalists create sound by blowing through a one/two reed/s or by blowing through a mouthpiece usually made of metal but can be other materials, shaped like a smaller tube or cone. Wind instruments can be made out of a variety of materials, however the trumpet is usually made of metal.

    Percussion Instruments

These include: Buckle drums, kettle drums, clappers, war drums, and rhythm rattles, alongside regional and specific instruments that can be found in the relevant city lore page/codex.

Percussion instruments are instruments that provide rhythm, and are 'instrumental' in many types of musical performance as a way of regulating the beat. As such, they are often instruments to be hit with sticks or hands. Other methods include rattles which are often shaken vigorously or gently, depending on the desired effect.
Percussion instruments come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from the very small to the very large. Drums are usually some kind of roughly cylindrical shape designed to amplify sound, with an animal skin stretched over one end, whereas rattles and clappers are usually small and hand-held.
Most percussion instruments are made of wood, being the most common material. However, kettle drums are the exception and are made of metal.

    Miscellaneous Instruments

These include any instruments which don't comfortably fit into the above three categories, such as: the bellows organ, alongside regional and specific instruments that can be found in the relevant city lore page/codex.

Instruments that don't fit in the categories are few and far between in Mizahar. However, sometimes a newly invented instrument will surface, bearing no relation to the other instruments in its family. For this reason, it is difficult to list what a 'miscellaneous instrument' is. Instead, I will describe what a bellows organ is. This instrument is a keyboard instrument, in that it plays notes assigned to different keys similar to a piano-forte. However, it could almost fit into the wind instrument category, due to its sound being produced by air blown through different pitched pipes with the use of a bellow, or bellows.

Creation and Construction of Instruments

Whilst not required to learn how to play, it is an important skill to be able to understand one's instrument. Master or expert level musicians will often have the skills required to be able to repair their own instruments.

    Stringed Instruments

The majority of string instruments are created with three main ingredients: wood, hair and gut/metal. Primarily the body of the instrument is constructed in separate parts from wood, and assembled with glue. Carpentry is essential for making string instruments. Different instruments also include a wooden soundpost, a post (or dowel) that spans the distance between the top of the instrument and the bottom of the instrument that changes the sound quality (otherwise known as 'tone') dramatically. String instrumentalists might have to reset this if it falls out of place inside their instrument.
For stringed instruments creating sound by drawing a bow over the string, like fiddles and gambas, the bow is a very important tool often overlooked. Bows are long pieces of wood with long stretches of hair spanning from one end to the other. There is a tightening mechanism that allows the hair to be tightened or relaxed for performance. The hair is usually horse hair, but could indeed be human hair, if long enough. Different hairs will produce different sounds, as smoother hairs will produce less sound than a rougher hair.
The strings are made usually out of the guts of sheep or goats, but sometimes cattle or other similar animals. The gut has to be cleaned and spun into string, often using multiple guts for different sized strings. However, other types of strings can be made from other materials. Silk strings are sometimes used for a soft sound, and metal woven strings have a loud and bright sound. Both of these are rarities, especially metal strings due to the difficulty in manufacturing.

    Wind Instruments

Info here

    Percussion Instruments

Info here

    Miscellaneous Instruments

Info here

Races and Adapted Instruments

    Racial Preferences

    Most races are able to play and indeed do play any instrument type available. However, due to limitations, some races cannot or do not play certain instruments. Indeed, some use their natural abilities to adapt instruments for their own societies. Below is some information on race adaptations, although some information on these races musical practices can be find in the relevant lore page.

    Akalak- The Akalak are a hardy, long-lasting race. As such, many older Akalak will take up an instrument as they grow older. There are no preferred instrument category, but instruments created by the Akalak will often be well-constructed, and often intricately decorated with carvings or paint, in the style of their characteristic tattoos.
    Akvatari- This race is particularly fond of music and the arts. Most instruments can and will be played by them, although 'softer' instruments are often chosen to fit with their melancholy nature.
    Benshira- The Benshira have a strong tendency towards stringed instruments, and much of this is reflected in their culture. [More detailed information found in the lore article].
    Chaktawe- Contrary to their desert companions the Benshira, Chaktawe instruments are usually soft percussion or wind instruments. With the need for portability, these instruments are hardy and easy to maintain, meaning stringed instruments are not suitable for this race.
    Charoda- Some instruments that are preferred by this race are drums, bells, lyres, and harps. Many instruments are modelled on underwater shapes and creatures. Some even have created instruments from coral growth, such as eerie, underwater flutes. (??)
    Dhani- The snake-like race of the Dhani are understandably fond of percussion, especially rattles. However, wind instruments are also often played well by this race, due to the sibilant nature of their speech. Many instruments are carved into their likeness, with wooden flutes patterned with scales, or fiddles with forked tongue sound holes. Stringed instruments are less common, and especially fiddles due to the difficulty in finding raw materials.
    Drykas- The nomadic lifestyle of the Drykas and their position in the Sea of Grass means that instruments and instrumental practices are rare. However, Drykas musicians have a tendency towards wind instruments. Other instruments can typically be seen with the Drykas knotwork, or pottery instruments with double functions, such as bowls with particularly resonant qualities.
    Ethaefal- This race finds many homes throughout Mizahar, and as such does not have any preference towards a particular musical instrument. Some will choose to play an instrument that is designed in the favour of Syna or Leth, however.
    Eypharian- Eypharians commonly favour any instrument that shows off their virtuosity. An instrument particularly suited to this race is the hammered dulcimer, which when played with all six hands can sound incredible. Other instruments such as simple drums can seem lowly, however due to the high regard of dance in their culture, percussion is a common instrument.
    Ghost- Ghosts do not often play an instrument, due to the difficulty of picking such a thing up, and their focus on other affairs! However, the aeolian harp is sometimes credited to be an instrument played by ghosts.
    Human & Human, Mixed- Humans have no preference to any instrument, and instead can choose anything and everything.
    Inarta-
    Isur-
    Jamoura- Most stringed instruments are crafted from wood, and as a result of the Jamouran attitude to harming nature, most if not all Jamoura do not play an instrument, unless it has formed naturally.
    Kelvic-
    Konti-
    Myrian- This warlike race prefers the sounds of wind and percussion instruments, due to
    Nuit-
    Pycon-
    Svefra-
    Symenestra-
    Vantha-
    Zith-

      Wind Instruments
        > Race adaptations
        > Accessories and customisations

    Info here
    _________________________________________________________________

    1. Introduction
    2. Prerequisites and related skills
    3. Instrument classes
        a. Stringed instruments
        b. Wind instruments
        c. Percussion instruments
        d. Miscellaneous instruments (including keyboard and others)
    4. Creation and construction of instruments (e.g. Materials used, where to find materials, tools required)
        a. Stringed instruments
        b. Wind instruments
        c. Percussion instruments
        d. Miscellaneous instruments
    5. Races and adapted instruments
        a. Stringed instruments
          i. Race adaptations
          ii. Accessories and customisations
        b. Wind instruments
          i. Race adaptations
          ii. Accessories and customisations
        c. Percussion instruments
          i. Race adaptations
          ii. Accessories and customisations
        d. Miscellaneous instruments
          i. Race adaptations
          ii. Accessories and customisations
    6. How to play (Techniques in general, with skill breakdown at bottom of page)
        a. Stringed instruments
          i. Techniques
          ii. Magic
        b. Wind instruments
          i. Techniques
          ii. Magic
        c. Percussion instruments
          i. Techniques
          ii. Magic
        d. Miscellaneous instruments
          i. Techniques
          ii. Magic
    7. Uses: in performance, dance and religion
        a. Performance (Opera, plays, civic functions and background secular music etc.)
        b. Dance (Accompaniment etc.)
        c. Religion (Religious dance, trance, preaching etc.)
    8. Texture and uses in composition
        a. Stringed instruments
        b. Wind instruments
        c. Percussion instruments
        d. Miscellaneous instruments
    9. Skill breakdown: Novice, Competent, Expert, Master
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[Skill] Play Musical Instrument

Postby Kaleidoscope on October 19th, 2016, 1:33 am

Posted in error, please ignore.
Last edited by Kaleidoscope on October 19th, 2016, 1:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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[Skill] Play Musical Instrument

Postby Karin on October 19th, 2016, 1:36 am

Article in progress...

Introduction

Playing a musical instrument is a demanding but highly rewarding activity. With enough time spent practising how to play, anyone can reach exceptional levels, although races such as Kelvic will struggle due to the discipline needed to maintain a regular practise schedule. Music is a sought-after skill across much of Mizahar. Bards are particularly noted as good musicians, often becoming noticed by Rhaus, the god of music and sound. Music is used in a variety of situations, too. From accompanying a singer, to msuic around a campfire, to being used as a background for a dramatic opera, to a musician/dance combination performance on stage, music has a wide variety of uses in any society in Mizahar.

Prerequisites and Related Skills

Although none of these skills are considered essential, it is helpful for a well-rounded musical practise to be able to understand, or use the following skills.

Music composition: This skill is helpful for performance, especially when trying to improvise a piece. *(Often, music composers will need to have competent or higher in at least two different kinds of musical instrument, as it is vital in composing to be able to understand the instrument you are composing for.)
Endurance: It may not look like it, but playing an instrument is hard work. Wind players especially have to develop a strong diaphragm, and in certain types of performance, the instrumentalist will need to be able to play for bells. Individuals with higher endurance will be able to play for longer, and maintain quality of sound.
Singing: This is not a necessary skill, but an instrumentalist who can sing will find it easier to pick up a tune and recognise note values.


Some Definitions

Here is a list of musical terms, for those who might be unfamiliar with musical expressions.

Term Description Where It Might Be Used Example
Scale A set of 8 pitches running in ascending or descending steps Musicians might practice scales to warm up. Composers write music in particular scales. Scale of D Major
Major/Minor To describe a scale, whether one is 'happy' or 'sad' sounding When describing a tune, or during composition. E Minor has 1 sharp in it
Sharps/Flats Used to change the pitches of notes up or down semitones Different scales have different amounts of sharps and flats As above
Pitch A specific tuned sound Scales are made of different pitches The note A#


Instrument Classes

In Mizahar, there are 4 different instrument classes. These are broken down into strings, winds, percussions and miscellaneous. They are broken down below.

Price List found here, with the majority of instruments listed.

    Stringed Instruments

These include: fiddle, pyfiddle, gamba, mandolin, lute, harp, and gea'tar, alongside regional and specific instruments that can be found in the relevant city lore page/codex.

The definition of a stringed instrument is any instrument which uses strings to produce a sound, whether that be bowed (pulling a hair bow across the strings to create a long, continuous sound), plucked (using fingers or a plectrum to create a quick, sharp sound or a short, soft sound) or strummed (dragging the fingers or plectrum across the strings to create chords - more on chords later!). Stringed instruments are usually made of a hollow wooden body, with gut or occasionally metal strings suspended over a hole in the instrument. This hole acts as a natural amplifier.

    Wind Instruments

These include: bagpipes, trumpet, flute, ocarina, alongside regional and specific instruments that can be found in the relevant city lore page/codex.

Wind instruments are musical instruments which use a tube or set of tubes to allow the user's breath and lungs to produce a sound. Most wind instruments have finger holes or valves to create different note pitches. Wind instrumentalists create sound by blowing through a one/two reed/s or by blowing through a mouthpiece usually made of metal but can be other materials, shaped like a smaller tube or cone. Wind instruments can be made out of a variety of materials, however the trumpet is usually made of metal.

    Percussion Instruments

These include: Buckle drums, kettle drums, clappers, war drums, and rhythm rattles, alongside regional and specific instruments that can be found in the relevant city lore page/codex.

Percussion instruments are instruments that provide rhythm, and are 'instrumental' in many types of musical performance as a way of regulating the beat. As such, they are often instruments to be hit with sticks or hands. Other methods include rattles which are often shaken vigorously or gently, depending on the desired effect.
Percussion instruments come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from the very small to the very large. Drums are usually some kind of roughly cylindrical shape designed to amplify sound, with an animal skin stretched over one end, whereas rattles and clappers are usually small and hand-held.
Most percussion instruments are made of wood, being the most common material. However, kettle drums are the exception and are made of metal.

    Miscellaneous Instruments

These include any instruments which don't comfortably fit into the above three categories, such as: the bellows organ, alongside regional and specific instruments that can be found in the relevant city lore page/codex.

Instruments that don't fit in the categories are few and far between in Mizahar. However, sometimes a newly invented instrument will surface, bearing no relation to the other instruments in its family. For this reason, it is difficult to list what a 'miscellaneous instrument' is. Instead, I will describe what a bellows organ is. This instrument is a keyboard instrument, in that it plays notes assigned to different keys similar to a piano-forte. However, it could almost fit into the wind instrument category, due to its sound being produced by air blown through different pitched pipes with the use of a bellow, or bellows.

How To Play

    Stringed Instruments

There are three different techniques to playing a stringed instrument which were briefly described above. These are as follows:
Bowed
String instruments such as gambas and fiddles are often bowed. This requires the user to take the bow in their right hand and hold it loosely. Then the bow is dragged across the strings to create a sound. This action works like sawing, i.e. backwards and forwards across the strings. The faster the bow stroke, the louder the sound. Different sounds can be produced depending on where the bow is placed on the string. Nearer to the bridge (where the strings are held up above the body of the instrument) makes a raspier sound, whereas further away makes a softer, airier sound.
Plucked
This can be done on any kind of string instrument. Sound is produced by grabbing the string with one or two fingers and pulling it slightly to the side before letting go, resulting in the string vibrating. Again, different sounds can be produced depending on where you pluck the strings. Further away from the bridge usually makes a softer, warmer sound.
Strummed
Strumming is most often done on instruments like the gea'tar, but can also be done on others in the category. Strumming is very much like plucking, except it usually involves either more fingers, or an aide known as a plectrum. This is where you pull many strings back to produce chords.

Novice (1-25)
Novice level string instrument players often find difficulty is tuning up their instrument, and may not be able to learn new tunes very easily. They will be restricted to bowing and plucking. Bow strokes will be choppy and plucking might be erratic, where some notes sound louder than others. Novice players will have a little grasp of control over their instrument, and will be able to play simple tunes quite well. However, more difficult tunes will require a lot of time and patience to learn.
Competent (26-50)
At competent level, the instrumentalist will find that they can begin to utilise strummed chords into their playing. They will be more proficient at practising, but will still need to devote a lot of time for it if they wish to succeed. At competent, string players will be able to produce much smoother bow strokes, although they will still be choppy at times. Plucking becomes easier and they will find they have much better control over their instrument. More difficult music is playable at this level, but it might take many bells of practice to get to a sufficient level. At this level, instrumentalists may start to play and sing, if they have competent in singing.
Expert (51-75)
Expert stringed instrument players move with confidence and are able to produce a confident sound. They are able to utilise all three techniques, and may also start to experiment with their own techniques. At this level, players can learn new pieces quickly, and find the simpler ones very easy to pick up. Harder pieces might provide some challenge, but the expert will instead aim to put emotion and style into their playing, as the notes are relatively easy to them. Expert instrumentalists are able to teach others the craft, and have a confident control over their instrument. At this level, they will find it easier to play other stringed instruments, even if they don't have much skill in it.
Master (76-100)
Master level musicians make music that sounds more than exquisite. They have total control over their instrument, and are often innovators in their field, coming up with new and interesting ways of playing. They can reach incredible speeds, and can elicit the most harrowing of emotions in others. Masters will find that they can memorise a piece of music and play unaided. They can often reach back into their mind and remember even the most difficult and obscure piece of music.

    Wind Instruments

Novice (1-25)
Competent (26-50)
Expert (51-75)
Master (76-100)

    Percussion Instruments

Novice (1-25)
Competent (26-50)
Expert (51-75)
Master (76-100)

    Miscellaneous Instruments

Novice (1-25)
Competent (26-50)
Expert (51-75)
Master (76-100)


Info here
_________________________________________________________________

  1. Introduction
  2. Prerequisites and related skills
  3. Some definitions
  4. Instrument classes
      a. Stringed instruments
      b. Wind instruments
      c. Percussion instruments
      d. Miscellaneous instruments (including keyboard and others)
  5. How to play (Techniques in general, with skill breakdown at bottom of each section)
      a. Stringed instruments
        i. The Basics
        ii. Skill Breakdown
      b. Wind instruments
        i. The Basics
        ii. Skill Breakdown
      c. Percussion instruments
        i. The Basics
        ii. Skill Breakdown
      d. Miscellaneous instruments
        i. The Basics
        ii. Breakdown
  6. Uses: in performance, dance and religion
      a. Performance (Opera, plays, civic functions and background secular music etc.)
      b. Dance (Accompaniment etc.)
      c. Religion (Religious dance, trance, preaching etc.)
  7. Texture and uses in composition
      a. Stringed instruments
      b. Wind instruments
      c. Percussion instruments
      d. Miscellaneous instruments
Image

10/7/17- All my threads are marked [open] and as such are open to all. :)
User avatar
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