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Music

While each race (or country) has it’s own musical traditions, there are a few “basics” that are applicable on a racial level. There is a lot of mixing, especially in the Imperium, where everyone gets mixed together. Even though the hurdy gurdy is a Dwarven instrument, the best hurdy gurdy player in Port Karn is a Hobbit, who fell in love with the sound it made.   Orc music uses overtone singing. The HU play Orcish music. So, Mongolian Rock. Stringed instruments, both strummed and bowed, and drums. They don’t typically use horns, as they think that those are best left for war. Here is Yuve Yuve Yu (although Orcs don't use electronic instruments, of course). Another example, called Wolf Totem, and one from a female throat singer called Erbed Sookhor. And another HU example called Shireg Shireg (acoustic this time, which is more like how actual Orcish music sounds). Music by Heilung is also appropriate for Orcish music. Here is an example (LIFA).   Elves tend to use simple, pure instruments: strings, flutes, occasionally horns, bodrun drums, marimba . Often their music is subliminal, sounding much like the echoes of ambient music mixed with natural forest sounds. But this is contrasted with their love of singing and dancing, so their dance music is more active. “Elven” forests are often “detected” first by what sounds like musical wind chimes, although you can really only hear it when you aren’t actively listening for it. If you try to pay attention to the music, all you will hear is the forest. Here is an example of their more ambient music. Another example. Their dance music is similar to Celtic music. For vocals, there is Monica Williams and SPM Music Group. I did find some songs actually sung in Quenya: Lothlorien, used in the LotR movies. And The Passing of the Elves and this Elven Lullaby by Forest Elves. And Lullaby from a Distant Land too (and a version in Sindarin). And down the rabbit hole I went: Karliene's Elven Song, Namárië, Namárië (a different version), and Noble Maiden Fair. And here are beautiful chorale versions of Namárië and A Elbereth Gilthoniel. Here is a version of Amazing Grace.   The Dwarves invented the hurdy gurdy, and is their primary instrument. But they also have octaveharpas, pipe organs, drums, and the mbira. They have a love of complex machines that carries into their favored musical forms. An couple of examples: Aequilibrium, and Reverse Dance. Here is a good video on how a pipe organ works and sounds. Here is one with more music (Phantom of the Opera). Here is an example of the mbira (One Summer's Day). The Dwarves also developed the glass harmonica and the cristal baschet. And another example of the cristal baschet. And another example, Time, from Inception. And here is a version (alas, too short!) of Misty Mountains, in Khuzdul.   Goblins love drums; think African rhythms and Babatunde Olatunje, and taiko drums. They will often add in various other percussion instruments, and sing as well. Here is an example of some Goblin music: Fertility of the Sea(think synchronized drum corps, although they are called "drumdancers"). Another example: Zoku. Heilung's Krigsgaldr is also an example of Goblin music. They also developed the T'rung (Go Hunting), a kind of marimba. Here is another example. Due to their parabolic hearing, Goblins are able to focus in on a single musician if they so desire, tuning out the other instruments. As a result of this ability, Goblin music often sounds rather chaotic and arrythymic, because it's designed to be heard in parts, with the audience focusing in on single (or closely positioned sets of) instruments. This results in a different listening experience each time, as the listener focuses in on different instruments at different times. This style of music isn't really appreciated by the other races, however, since most of the nuance is buried in what seems to be a cacophony (imagine three bands playing different music all at the same time).   Aarakocra music is almost all vocal, although they will add drums (both hand held and taiko) for rhythm. Their syrinxes allow for a wide range of tones and notes. Lakota Lullaby is sort of analogous.   Hobbits, being flexible culturally, are all over the map. Historically, they like flutes, guitar, and fiddle. Jigs and reels are their favorites, since they love to dance almost as much as the Elves do. Think Irish drinking song/folk songs, and the culture that encouraged singing in public houses. Some examples (about two hours of jigs).   Kler’nakthasa tend to drone vocally, sort of like a chant. Deep toned drums accompany the chanting. They will also scrape their claws on slate, much like a zither as an instrument.   Humans, like Hobbits, are all over the map. They like just about everything. Think folk songs, sea shanties, and blue grass. Some examples: The Wellerman, In Hell I'll Be in Good Company, Awake My Soul, Ghost Riders in the Sky, The Dragon is Withered, Lament for Boromir. Dark Ballad of a Warrior, played on a hurdy gurdy.

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