Music personality

Posted on November 11, 2007. Filed under: Music, Spirituality |

Serendipity strikes again. Yesterday’s post was about responding to a meme in which I was to name seven weird or random facts about myself. One of those was the following: “I play several musical instruments, but none of them would be welcome in a standard orchestra or band.” A couple of my generous responders wanted to know what musical instruments they could be?

I was already planning to put up a “light” post for a Sunday, regarding one of those online quizzes many of us take. This quiz is called “What Musical Instrument Should You Play?” Although this is still “post light”, the results of the quiz astounded me for reasons which shall become clear if you care to read further. First, the instruments, in the order I learned them:

Recorder This is a medieval-to-Baroque instrument still very popular today. While used in small chamber groups, it is not used in the modern orchestra.

Bagpipes, specifically The Great Highland Bagpipe. I learned this when very young as part of my multicultural upbringing.


Ocarina Popular in South America, there are versions of this instrument in cultures throughout the world, and it predates written history.


Native American Flute Became interested in this after making my home in the desert of the Southwest of the U.S.


And, finally, my first string instrument since the guitar, the Lyre. I’m in the process of acquiring one of these. The one in the picture is known as “King David’s Lyre”, but variations on this kind of harp go back to ancient Egyptian and Sumerian times. It was popular in ancient Greece, and became associated with Euterpe and Eratō, the muses of the lyre and lyric poetry. Since my blog persona is a Muse, I chose a lyre as my avatar (the symbol or picture that goes with me when I leave comments on blogs). The more I researched the nine Greek muses, and the Celtic Harp, and other kinds of harps, the more I wanted to play the lyre myself.


Then, a few days ago, I came across the quiz. “What’s your instrument?” –Of course I had to take it! I declare I gave honest answers. Imagine my goosebumps when I got these results:
You Should Play the Harp

You are a sensitive soul, with a great admiration for beauty.
You definitely have what it takes to make beautiful music, but most instruments are too harsh for you.

You are subtle, shy, and even a bit spoiled. You’re very picky about most aspects of your life.
It’s just your style to play an eccentric, hard to transport instrument like the harp that few people consider.

Overall, you have the relaxed demeanor of a leisurely upper class person, and your music would reflect that.
Your calm yet soulful harp playing would be sure to help people forget their troubles for a while.

Your dominant personality characteristic: your zen-ness

Your secondary personality characteristic: your quiet independence

What Musical Instrument Should You Play?

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18 Responses to “Music personality”

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i can play the recorder too! ‘cos in malaysia for music class in primary school we’re required to learn it.

wow, you play such exotic instruments. i’d love to learn how to play the harp and the violin some day. i play the piano quite terribly, haha!

[…] You can read the rest of this blog post by going to the original source, here […]

Aha. Thanks.

The quiz thinks I’m a drummer. While wind instruments is what I play on a daily basis, I like percussion and have bought a Zendrum which I’m attempting to learn to play.

When I was a kid, the bagpipes were the one instrument I really, really wanted to learn. (Still haven’t done so yet.)

As for my quiz results:

You Should Play the Accordion

You are eccentric, funky, wacky… definitely one of a kind.
People have trouble putting you in any one particular category. You definitely have your own thing going on.

You are a born entertainer. No wonder you’d be perfect as an one man (or one woman) band.
Your musical influences likely cross all genres – and blend together in a very unusual way.

While you are definitely offbeat, you also enjoy tradition and influences from the past.
It’s just your style to take an old fashioned instrument like the accordion and make it uniquely yours.

Your dominant personality characteristic: your total inhibition

Your secondary personality characteristic: your interest in obscure activities and subjects

What Musical Instrument Should You Play?

I should play the guitar…Looks like my personality quiet a bit..

You’re very independent – both in spirit and in the way you learn.
You can teach yourself almost anything, even if it makes your fingers bleed.

You’re not really the type to sit patiently through a music lesson – or do things by the book.
It’s more your style to master the fundamentals and see where they take you.

Highly creative and a bit eclectic, you need a wide range of music to play.
You could emerge as a sensitive songwriter… or a manic rock star.

Your dominant personality characteristic: being rebellious

Your secondary personality characteristic: tenacity

Ah, that’s so cool about the harp, Muse πŸ™‚

I got the guitar too, CV, and it does sound very much like me. The guitar is the only thing I remember wanting to play πŸ™‚ I do remember fleeting thoughts of learning to play the flute in the 6th grade, but aligned with the guitar, I also considered the drums. Although I think I was a little too “straight-laced” to do so, as a kid I did often dream of being in a rock band πŸ™‚

If I were to take the time now to learn an instrument, it would definitely be the guitar. And I love to sing, and the thought of being a songwriter also very much appeals to me.

Great quiz, Muse! πŸ™‚

sulz, that’s cool! Maybe we can play duets together sometime we’re both awake, and have our microphones plugged in. I remember reading that recorders are still used in school music classes because they are relatively portable and easy to learn (at least at first, not like bagpipes, whew!), and can be inexpensive (some really fine ones can cost thousands though). Do you have medieval or Renaissance recorder groups near where you live as we do?

The violin is among my favorite to listen to. It seems really really hard to play well! Have not attempted it. And, I believe you are describing my piano skills as well. If I would only practice more… It’s not my first choice though because of the rigid tuning structure. But I’ll post on that another time.

Rikard, I had not seen a zendrum before, so I took a look at their website. It is awesome. I’ve fooled around with electronic instruments somewhat, as I know you must for your great game music among other things, but I’d never seen anything like this! (I was a little intimidated by the picture to tell you the truth). I knew about your bassoon from your website, but it’s very interesting that the quiz says you’re a drummer. I haven’t seen the personality characteristics of that one yet–I wonder if they fit you?

Deirdra, I don’t actually “know” you, but from what I’ve read on your blog, in articles, and your game development philosophy, I would say they’ve got you spot on! (except for maybe that “total inhibition” characteristic, hmmm). I found myself nodding my head at each sentence. All those qualities have appeared in your games. I don’t know if you have any interest in the accordion, but I can imagine you playing it with a big grin. And you’re just the type to play jazz bagpipes or something πŸ™‚

What a fascinating exploration this is.

Colourful Vision and dovelove,

So, you are guitars! You are both beautiful artistic spiritual souls, from what I’ve seen, so the descriptions seem very nice indeed.

Colourful, I can see all those qualities channeled into your incredible art and poetry. It’s hard to imagine being both eclectic and tenacious, but I believe you could pull it off. Have you ever thought of being a manic rock star? πŸ˜‰ You go, girl!

dovelove, the things you have mentioned here all speak to your electiveness too. I can very much picture you with a guitar singing your original compositions. Perhaps I’ll come and hear you in a cafe sometime. πŸ™‚

I enjoy playing the recorder and was in a recorder consort for awhile.

I also play the tin whistle, a.k.a. the penny whistle. I recommend it.

I have played the accordion in the past.

A new one that I would like to tackle is the mandolin.

I used to play the recorder (very badly) about ten years ago. I still remember they taught us by playing Three Blind Mice over and over again; I guess because it’s so repetitive, they thought it would help us learn. Didn’t work for me. πŸ˜‰

I was going to say I could picture you playing the lyre, Muse! And I’d never have thought of the ocarina, but it made sense as soon as you mentioned it. You should record something and put it on Project Playlist. πŸ™‚

My result for the quiz was the saxophone. That’s probably one instrument I wouldn’t mind learning, actually, but I didn’t expect it. I thought a piano would be more my kind of thing.

You Should Play the Saxophone.
You are charismatic, friendly, and very uninhibited. You have a lot of personal expression to bring your music.

Improvisational and informal, you can’t deal with an instrument that has too many rules or complexities. You are much more interested in creating unique solos than immersing yourself in music theory.

You have a lot of style, and you definitely are one smooth operator. And while you may not play perfectly, no one’s going to accuse you of being boring.

Your dominant personality characteristic: being very outgoing
Your secondary personality characteristic: your flair for the unique and dramatic

Renaissance Guy, I’m glad you came by! Thanks for the recommendation about the tin whistle. I may give it a try. It would go with my other flutes and pipes, and I do like the sound. It must have been very satisfying to play in a consort. I’ve played duets and trios on the recorder, but not in a large group. And the mandolin! Lovely instrument. Did you take the quiz? I wonder what “it” thinks you should play?

They still do that, cj! Just recently a couple of kids near me decided to practice their recorders outside…over and over and over and over! Kill those mice already! (disclaimer: no mice have been or will be harmed in creating this response). Yah, if it’s not innovative and fun, it’s not for me, either. I learned using “shape note” music which was the notation in medieval times.

Huh, Project Playlist? I’m kinda shy about performance, but I’ll look at it! πŸ™‚

So, you’re a smooth operator, cj. Always suspected as much. πŸ˜‰ The characteristics do transfer to your writing, I think. And the saxophone, that would be cool.

I love to sing and up until very recently I was a member of 2 choruses. I’m not keen on performing. I just love to sing.

I’ll sing almost anything from blues, to jazz to gospel – whatever. I do have a keyboard but I have only used it to “pick” out the part I have to sing (mezzo-soprano 2 octave range)in formal choirs. But I far prefer to sing informally and ad lib with others who like to make music and sing too than to be a slave to the written score.

Aside from that I’m into percussion. I have two Tsimshan drums that I love to play. And it doesn’t matter where I am or whether the objects are driftwood sticks, rocks or plastic buckets I love drumming to my own beat.

When I’m not singing or drumming or howling at the moon, I love to dance.

You’re very independent – both in spirit and in the way you learn. You can teach yourself almost anything, even if it makes your fingers bleed.

You’re not really the type to sit patiently through a music lesson – or do things by the book. It’s more your style to master the fundamentals and see where they take you.

Highly creative and a bit eclectic, you need a wide range of music to play. You could emerge as a sensitive songwriter… or a manic rock star.

Your dominant personality characteristic: being rebellious

Your secondary personality characteristic: tenacity

Hi Timethief! Well, another who prefers the rehearsals to the performances! Most of my fellow chorus members want to know why I do it if not for the opportunity to perform. I tell them it’s a transcendent experience. They usually go away then. πŸ˜‰
I understand what you mean about the printed score, and love improvisation, too–but there’s also something about singing the music as the great masters wrote it, and working on interpretation, that I like.

You know, for some reason I haven’t gotten into drumming yet. I know people who say it’s wonderful and spiritually uplifting. What you do sounds really profound, and I like how you use what comes to hand if your drums are not nearby. And, Aaauuuuooooo! from one moon howler to another.

I can see those guitar qualities in you, timethief, even if you don’t play guitar. Your tenacity comes out in the way you have embraced your great quantity of technical knowledge, and then how you organize it and dispense it to us in the forum, and in the tips on your site. And the creative and eclectic is in there too. I’m glad you participated in this. πŸ™‚

In the UK, too, all primary schools have the recorder. Although I think this gives an aversion to it in later life πŸ™‚
One of my sons is very musical and plays keyboard, trumpet and violin. One of my other sons has a strange voice, and is baritone in a choir. As for me, in my youth I was lead guitarist in a rock band. Sadly, I only get to play the occasional acoustic piece nowadays.

Anthony, I’ve read about your rock and roll days on your blog. You sound like one way-out dude! You obviously have a musical family. Did you really mean to say your son has a “strange” voice? I imagine so, as you are precise with word usage. Is this strangeness a prerequisite for being a baritone in the choir? Your family intrigues.

Yes, the voice is rather strange. He sang beautifully as a child, but his voice never broke in the usual way. It just slowly got deeper and deeper.
There’s more to come on my rock days, by the way πŸ™‚

I shall look forward to that, Anthony!

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