• Mattie Stu

Musical Instruments of the Star Wars Galaxy

As diverse as the aliens playing them, musical instruments provided entertainment all across the galaxy. From the raucous rhythms of a cantina to the soulful songs of an opera, music became a staple of Star Wars culture and thus integral to the saga's lore. This is musical instruments... of the Star Wars Galaxy!

Perhaps the most important musical instruments, at least when it came to providing a melody, were wind and string. The former contained resonating tubes connected to mouthpieces. By blowing into or across the mouthpiece, air in the resonating tubes vibrated, thus creating a jazz-like sound. Some, like the Mon Calamari shell horn and Gungan whistle, were less elaborate than others. Floonorps, cattorobes, kloo horns, sabriquets and Chindinkalu flutes, for example, all combined keys with a varying array of materials. This helped create a diverse range of music. As for the latter – well, sting instruments could be plucked by hand or with a pick to produce noise and vibrations. However, they could also be played with a bow – as was the case with Dillifay Glon in Maz Kanata's Castle. His/her instrument, for those wondering, was a seven-string hallikset.

As instrumental as the aforementioned devices were – pun very much intended, of course – no melody was quite complete without the likes of drums and organs. Percussion, as they were collectively known, provided a beat so long as the player struck, scraped or beat the instrument. One of the most famous percussion instruments, played by none other than Max Rebo, was the red ball jet organ. The xyloxan, drumheller harp and kasta drum were also just as significant – although, at least aesthetically, they were no match for hybrids. These unique and unusual electrical items – which were collected by patrons, from royalty to crime lords alike – could perform several parts of a musical composition at the same time! All of the following hybrid instruments were multi-tasking in this very way; Growdi harmoniques; stompsqueezers; kettlebox blower bells; podport bandfills; Bontormian klesplongs; and sifterbowzers. Of course, no musical instrument would quite be complete without a tuner! The blissl tuner – for example, comprised of a sound receiver, individual note dials, and an analyser board – kept blissl pipes from ever hitting a sour note. It is worth mentioning, however, that some instruments required specialists for a pitch perfect condition.

So there is a detailed look at the various instruments played across the Star Wars galaxy. Let me know which of the aforementioned devices you would consider giving a toot and a whistle, as well as any real life instruments you currently play. I'd be very interested to find out!

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