The Vulcan Lute

Lute playing Trekkies rejoice – you can now learn the instrument of your choice!

The Vulcan lute (sometimes referred to as Vulcan harp, Vulcan lyre, orVulcan Lyrette) was a twelve-stringed instrument, played on the planet Vulcan, that was tuned on a diatonic scale and noted to be very soothing. (VOY: “Innocence“)

Spock was proficient at playing the Vulcan lute and was known to play it often during his off-duty hours. (TOS: “Charlie X“, “The Conscience of the King“, “Amok Time“, “The Way to Eden“; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

Sounds a bit like “Charlie is my darling”!

Tuvok was also a proficient Vulcan lute player. He would often play his lute while reciting Falor’s Journey to his youngest son. (VOY: “Persistence of Vision“, “Innocence“, “Riddles“)

Melian, an Aldean musician also owned a Vulcan lute. (TNG: “When The Bough Breaks“).

One of Intendant Kira Nerys’ Vulcan eunuchs played a Vulcan harp for her while a second eunuch gave her a massage. (DS9: “Through the Looking Glass“)

Lieutenant Uhura also demonstrated a proficiency for playing a lute somewhat different from Spock’s, suggesting that she has an instrument of her own and was presumably taught by Spock, “The Conscience of the King“. She is the only non-Vulcan shown doing so.

In a deleted scene from “Elaan of Troyius“, Spock revealed that he took second place in the All-Vulcan Music Competition, and that his father had taken first place.

The description of the Vulcan Lyrette from the original Star Fleet Technical Manual reads that this is “An unusually harmonious and melodic accompaniment or solo instrument, whose origin is lost in Vulcan antiquity. It combines the tonal qualities of a harp, lute, sitar, and to some extent, violin.” They were usually made of Li’Pon and Sher Skah woods, with a Bahun’ahb inlay. The lowest pitch it can reach is 60 cps, and the highest is an astounding 3180 cps.

Well, this has to be based on the real thing!


Thanks to Memory Alpha for this wonderfully researched compilation.
Here are some pics of Spock playing the guitar! He is obviously multi talented. Maurice Albin wondered if he played by ear…





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