Music (Emeratu in Ayleidoon) is a major part of most cultures across Nirn with music and poetry commonly being heard in taverns and cities, and dedicated schools and institutions for the musical arts existing across Tamriel. There are a wide variety of muslcal instruments found across all races and cultures, and music is also heavily featured in Tamrielic religions.
The god Jephre the Singer is credited with inventing the music of nature, teaching birds to sing songs and streams of their tinkling tune. Jephre is credited with inspiring the first great ballads of the elves.
The anthology of tales known as the Myths of Sheogorath has a story dubbed "Sheogorath Invents Music", which instead tells of the mad god inventing music. A young woman he encountered commented on how beautiful the birds' songs were. The Mad God agreed, but noted that mortals could not do the same. And so Sheogorath invented the first musical instruments from the body parts of that woman. From her tendons he made lutes, her skull and arm bones he made a drum and from her bones he made flutes. He presented these gifts to the mortals, allowing them to make music.
The Bretons of Glenumbra Moors celebrate the holiday of Broken Diamonds by singing the Sephavre, a song in Old Bretic that is the anthem for the murder of Kintyra II and the sorrow that still pervades Glenumbra Moors. There is a minor deity in the Iliac Bay named Jhim Sei, whose sphere of influence may revolve around music as they are compared to the likes of Jephre.
The Sixth House and Dagoth Ur displayed a pronounced affinity for sound and music, though it's difficult to know if this was part of its makeup before its fall. Nearly every shrine encountered in Vvardenfell featured a set of large bells or chimes, which seemingly played an important role in the House's rituals. Some of the more advanced forms of Ash Creature have long, perforated, trunk-like snouts which may be used as musical instruments.[UOL 1] The fictional epic Poison Song depicts the house having a strong connection to music to the point that its descendants can somehow "hear" its songs still. Dagoth Ur also proclaims he is "OLDER THAN MUSIC".
Imperials have musical symphonies and opera houses to create and enjoy music. The Imperial Legion also has marching songs. The Empire has two officially sanctioned guilds that employ minstrels and bards called the Scenarist Guild and the Minstrels Guild. The former is an ancient guild that is present in every significant city in the provinces, but is headquartered in their citadel in the Dragontail Mountains. The latter was official recognized by the Second Empire with the approval of the Guild Act in 2E 321.
The Dro-m'Athra are linked to music. Khajiit can be transformed into Dro-m'Athra by being exposed to the "Bent Dance", which is a dance without music, only following the rhythm of the beating Heart of Lorkhaj. If a Khajiit is being corrupted by the Bent Dance, the "Chase Away" song (S'virash Sahaala) can be sung to break it if the corruption isn't too strong. The "Chase Away" song is the only song that can break the Heart's tempo; the notes dance up and down the scale, confusing the Darks and making the Heart sluggish and weak. The tempo eventually breaks, and the corruption will pass. The "Chase Away" song is slippery and unpredictable, as Azurah is. The Khajiit hold that it must not be used unless the need is great. In ancient times, it was used to treat diseases and ward off cane-locusts. Singing near Dro-m'Athra gives them a chance to twist the song to their tune and worm their way into a normal Khajiit's heart. Songs, chanting, music, and relics such as Khenarthic Bells, which are rung in reverence to Khenarthi, can also be used to drive back the Darkness.
Music was very important in Kothringi society. They were known to make instruments out of a variety of different materials, such as turning hollow logs into wamasu-sized drums, plucking sinew from cliffstriders to make low humming bow harps and most notable of all, their chimes known to be the Kothringi's most loved instruments. A Kothringi by the name of Baelah molded hundreds of chimes from tin and copper, hanging them from branches and striking them for their sounds. The Kothringi sometimes invited the Saxhleel for feasts and celebrations where they played their instruments for the Argonian people. The Kothringi people also created bugles from horns of leviathan. Glass beads were also worn, serving as wearable instruments.
The Nords of Skyrim have skalds who write and recite songs and poems. These skalds are known to join the Imperial Legion as war bards. "Skald" is an old Nord word meaning "bard". Skald's Retreat on Lake Honrich's Isle of Gold is a place where Skyrim's skalds can study their trade and spend time among others with similar talents and interests. The Bards College in Solitude is another facility where bards can study music, poetry and other similar arts. The College and the Skalds also keep records of the Poetic Edda, an ancient collection of poems, stories, and legends that depict the extensive history of Skyrim to which all bards are said to contribute to in their time. Skyrim's bards can elect to celebrate important occasions by putting on a salskap, a gathering of bards featuring song, poetry, and drink. In Skyrim, exceptional singing voices are said to be a "blessing from Kyne".
Music can be used as a means to cast spells or carry out rituals. The practitioners of the art of using music to cast spells are known as Thaumavocalists. In 2E 582, Vaermina compelled a skald to sing a tune to words found in a specific tome held in Skald's Retreat's library. The song this bard sang plunged Skald's Retreat into a space between Mundus and Quagmire. A performance of The Song of Sinmur, one of the old songs of the Companions was enough to wrench Skald's Retreat from Vaermina's grasp.
- Nilata Search Plan
- Of Jephre
- Myths of Sheogorath — Mymophonus
- The Sky Spirits — Amun-dro, the Silent Priest
- High Elf Songbook in ESO
- Aldmeri Sheet Music in ESO
- Dead-Water Throat Songs in ESO
- Broken Diamonds — Ryston Baylor
- King Edward, Part II
- 36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 15 — Vivec
- Imperial Opera House Poster in ESO
- Renee Geonette's dialogue in Oblivion
- Legionnaire Marching Song in ESO
- The Daggerfall Chronicles — Ronald Wartow
- History of the Fighters Guild
- Augustine Viliane Answers Your Questions — Sybil Augustine Viliane
- Twilight Rites and Hymns
- Events of Chiaroscuro Crossroads in ESO: Dragonhold
- Chimes of Silver — Geem-Shah, Singing Mouth of the Naka-Desh Tribe
- Harpooner's Wading Kilt's codex entries in ESO
- Kothringi Leviathan Horn
- Jorn's dialogue in Skyrim
- The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Skyrim — Flaccus Terentius, 2E 581
- Jorunn the Skald-King — Helgreir Lute-Voice, Bard of Windhelm
- Viarmo's dialogue in Skyrim
- Leiborn's dialogue during A Salskap to Remember in ESO: Greymoor
- Meryline Barthel's dialogue and actions during the quest A Father's Pride in ESO
- Engling's dialogue during Song of Awakening in ESO
- Sage Odana's dialogue during Song of Awakening in ESO
- Events of Song of Awakening in ESO
Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.