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Making Medieval Instruments
by Nathan Wells, April 11, 2005


It's sad but true. The LEGO Company simply hasn't provided us with enough minifig-scale instruments, medieval or otherwise. Brass and wind instruments are the most popular, with a whopping five instruments:



In percussion, the Islander drum top stands alone:


...Unless, of course, your Duplo figs want to drum the night away:


Stinged instruments, alas, are ignored completely. To make matters worse, about the only instruments that can be used in medieval times (barring time-travel) is the Islanders' drum top and Harry Potter's flute. This will not do. Hurry, and go build some instruments before your minifig bards revolt! Trust me, it ain't pretty when those violin-sawing, guitar-plucking, limrick-spouting guys get mad...

While constructing these instruments, I found this site to be an invaluable resource. Also, I would like to thank Dragon Master for getting my creative juices flowing by starting this thread.


This list is by no means comprehensive. If I am missing proper attributions, please let me know. If you would like me to remove your creation from this page, please let me know. All creations were made by Nathan Wells unless otherwise indicated.




String Instruments

Let's start with one of the most popular types of instruments in the medieval period, the strings. Stringed instruments include a wide berth of music-makers. Of all of these, the easiest to make is probably the guitar.

A guitar is a simple build, and can be constructed with as few as two pieces. Bars such as these:


can be used for the handle, and various clip-on roadsigns such as these:


can be used as the main body, as doctorsparkles and SvenInAChevy demonstrates:


Here's my own verson:


An instrument that looks similar to the guitar is the lute:


Don't forget instruments with bows, like my gamba (or voil) and Reed Anderson's violins and cello:


Not all 'stringed' LEGO minifig instruments need to have 'invisible' strings. 1x2 grille tiles work well as strings, as seen in my hurdy-gurdy and dulcimer:


And lastly, don't forget Jojo's classic harp:





Percussion Instruments

Percussion instruments are probably the easiest instruments to make in minifig scale. Only a few round bricks are needed, as gedy demonstrates:


Don't stop with only one drum! Lenny Hoffman has made an entire band:


Inverting cones also works well:


Radar dishes of all sizes work great for symbals and gongs:


Chimes, too, are percussion instruments, and are easily made with bars:





Woodwind & Brass Instruments

On to the woodwind and brass! These, too, are easy instruments to make. The simplest of horns can be made with two pieces:


If you want your trumpets and horns to sparkle, borrow some lightsabers from your Jedis:


For curving horns, use dinosaur tails:





Miscellaneous Instruments

Here are two organs (one made by hidaka), an accordian, and some bagpipes:




And finally, one last word (tune?) from Anthony Sava's minstrels:


Enjoy!


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