What follows is a tentative and incomplete ranking of instruments by difficulty range. This was put together by Serienna and Valren on the bard boards. They, along with several others, are no doubt planning more detailed lists, but are awaiting such implementations as the play rewrite, which Ydrask and Deryka promised would address several difficulty issues that have been raised thus far, and the ability to [appraise] instruments for difficulty.

9/7/03 - Additional thanks to Sircha, Azimee, Niprud, Blaayd, and Kythryn.

2/6/04 - Sorry I haven't updated this page in so long, I've been taking a bit of a sabatical. I want to thank all those that submited information in my absence though. So, thanks to Kalira, Kythryn, Feebs, and Azimee. Listings are from easiest to most difficult.

Stringed Instruments
  1. Lyres
  2. Guti'adars ?
  3. Mandolins +
  4. Faenellica a
  5. Lutes
  6. Sarangi
  7. Cistres
  8. Pi Tambura
  9. Pi Sitars
  10. Gitterns
  11. Lyras =
  12. Viols =
  13. Fiddles #
  14. Violins #
  15. Citterns
  17. Psalteries
  18. Zithers
Percussion Instruments
  1. Tambourines !
  2. Bones
  3. Spoons
  4. Darjes
  5. Bodhrans
  6. Castanets
  7. Shaman's Drums
  8. Tablas
  9. Temple Drums
  12. Tapani
  13. Gansa-gambang
Winds Instruments

  1. Txistus
  2. Mirltons
  3. Fifes
  4. Recorders
  5. Hichiriki
  6. Ocarinas
  7. Flutes
  8. Gemshorn
  9. Minjayrah
  10. Ox Horn *
  11. Hunting Horn
  12. Zurnas **
  13. Yarghuls
  14. Mitbiqs *
  15. Shawms
  17. Cornets
  18. Oboes

There are a number of rankings on this that confuse me, but as I am well aware of the difference between relaity and DR's attempts to make things realistic, I have not altered this list, and will only do so when there is sufficent evidence to do so, with the exception of !.

# - While violins and fiddles in RL are the exact same instrument (see the individual pages for more detail), some bards have informed me that they found violins a fair bit more difficult to play, at least at the higher learning end. Still more bards have found the reverse to be true. I have not heard of any data on the starting end. Thus I put these two together, but with the fiddle below.
* - At least one bard has informed me that their Ox Horn taught them better than their Mitbiq.
** -Further testing indicated zurnas as being much harder than previously labled, so I bumped it up there, but not as much as the others, so down a bit.
= - These instruments appear to be ruffly equivilant, near the violin range, but aren't ranked beyond that general notation.
! - Tambourines were originally posted at 3, but all the non-testable hints put it at 1, and it should be 1 anyway. So I put it there. Further tests show all three of the first percussions to be at roughly the same level, with a number of young bards finding the tambourine a towards the higher end of the 3. Of course, this is yet another example of game mechanics being messed up, as bones are harder to even hold properly. But whatcha gonna do?
+ - Another move with recent testing by the younger crowd.
? - I haven't been able to get the information on what the Haven merchent sells to novices yet, but someone said this was one of them, and around here.
a - The faenellica has been odd to place, originally it seemed on par with the violin family, but later was shown to be easier than a gittern. It was later brought to my attention that it is roughly on par with a mandolin. I've tentatively put it between the mandolin and the lute, and will change this as needed with further testing.

Unlisted instruments, such as kitharas and rebecs, will be added as their ranking is better determined.

If you have any information for this list, feel very free to let me know about it!

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