THE DWARVEN MUSIC
rhythm... the steady beat of a forge hammer or the pound of
dwarven boots against rock underlines every one of
their melodies. Like their
language and their philosophy, their music is neither complex nor compact.
Lyrics/Melodies. Dwarven lyrics are characterized by repetition and parallel structure. The beat is usually short and heavy, and the scansion impeccably in line. Alliteration is a favorite technique, and used quite obviously to create effect. Melodies are often also repetitive, but often incorporate improvisation around a basic chord structure and simple bass line, rather in the type of many sea shanties, hauling chants, and other work songs.
Here you can listen to a Dwarven Work Song: [not yet implemented] The lyrics are here [not implemented yet], transcribed and translated by the Mage Xarl Bluestride.
Dwarven Instruments. Instruments have a good range of sound, but are primarily "earth" (percussive) or "wind" (wind).
Dwarven Wind Instruments can be descirbed as follows (sorted alphabetically):
The Baroomith (Loud-Silver) is a short silver or mithral pipe with finger holes, usually a hand to three hands in length. It is held diagonally, pointing downwards, with the player’s hands on the apertures, left above right. The mouthpiece is a separate thin tube which screws into a hole near the top of the pipe. The sound is clear, sharp, and carrying. It is classified as a soprano wind instrument.
The Knertmor is unique among musical wind instruments in that it is played with nasal air. A short, hollow cylinder of oddly contorted metal with finger holes, the Knertmor is placed firmly against one nostril. The other nostril is blocked with a simple attachment that clips onto the cylinder’s top, and the player breathes out strongly. Human players as yet have not been able to duplicate this, as they simply do not have the lung capacity OR the nasal endowment of the average dwarf! Also, since humans are prone to strange infections and ailments of the head which causes their small noses to secrete fluid, it is felt that the Knertmor is best suited to Thergerim players alone. It is a tenor wind instrument.
The Krumhorn is a long, hollow tube, about a ped and a half in length, curving upwards and flaring outwards at the bottom. It is fabricated of animal horn, although it would be impossible to find a single beast with such huge headgear. It is guessed that the Thergerim have some process of splitting, soaking, and splicing horn which allows them to create the monstrous shape. The Krumhorn contains three simple valves just below the mouthpiece which allow the dwarf musician to chord. It is a bass wind instrument with a deep, hollow resonance.
The Mezusil ("Golden-Quiet") is a slim golden pipe with finger valves, ranging from a quarter ped to a half-ped long. It is held horizontally and placed to one side of the face, with the aperture for the mouth just below the lower lip. The tone is mellow, gentle and relaxing. It is classified as an alto wind instrument.
The VweenHuun ("Out-Of-Air") is a spiral of brass tubing which wraps completely around the dwarf who is playing it. One end rests on her chin and curves up into a mouthpiece. The instrument then loops over her shoulder, behind her back (resting on her waist), around to the front, around one leg, and ends in a flared ‘bell’ just above the knee. As you might guess from the name, it takes good breath control! It is classed as a baritone wind instrument, similar in sound to the human ‘trumpet’.
Dwarven Earth Instruments can be descirbed as follows (sorted alphabetically):
The Dukulpuv is a giant doubleheaded drum. Forged from bronze or iron and set on a huge wooden stand, the drum is played by two musicians, one on either side. Each using a large wooden mallet shaped like a forgehammer, they strike in synchronized beat patterns. The tough, tanned animal skin stretched on both bdrum faces is slightly tauter on one face than the other, so that the drum resounds in a chord, or a "do-so-do-so" rhythm. It is a bass earth instrument.
The Kaorpuveen is the baby sister of the Kaorpuvkor (see below). Also two opposed hemispheres, with bat membrane pulled taut for a higher tone. It can be played with sticks or with the tips of the fingers to soften the sound. Often the wooden frame is carved with bat motifs, just as the Kaorpuvkor is decorated with lizard shapes. This drum belongs in the category of soprano earth instruments.
The Kaorpuvkor is a wooden upright drum. Carved in an elegant semisphere set in a second inverted semisphere, the drum frame resembles a bowl tilted atop a boulder. The face of the drum lies at a 45 degree angle away from the musician, who sets the drum between his knees and uses double sticks to tap out a sharp, clear percussive sound on the lizardskin face. It is classed as a tenor earth instrument.
There are also assorted rattles, shakers,
scrapers, xylophones, celephones, bells, and other various percussion
instruments. Most children grow up learning at least five or six, plus one or
two simple pipes, then graduate to the "group"
instruments above if they have any talent for music.
Vocalists are also encouraged in the early communal schooling, although soloists are not popular; rather, voices which blend with the body of the choir are selected and developed. Resonance is preferred over vibrato, and sincerity over purity. As a result, the overall Thergerim musical tone is consistent, unified, and energetic, with a distinctive deep atmospheric quality.
Information provided by Bard Judith