Music 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. Music is also heavily featured in Tamrielic religions.
- 1 History
- 2 Cultures
- 3 Instruments
- 4 Altmer Songs
- 5 Argonian Songs
- 6 Breton Songs
- 7 Dunmer Songs
- 8 Imperial Songs
- 9 Khajiit Songs
- 10 Nord Songs
- 11 Orc Songs
- 12 Redguard Songs
- 13 Non-Specific Songs
- 14 References
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 which is a song in Old Bretic that is the anthem for the murder of Kintyra II and the sorrow that still pervades Glenumbra Moors.
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.
The Dwemer were often known to use tonal architecture, which is the manipulation of sound to alter reality. The Dwemer used sound in mining, medicine, architecture, and even psychology. According to ancient Chimeri scholarship, the Dwemer could employ tonal forces to bend weaker minds to their will, which is a form of complex aural hypnosis.
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. 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".
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".
Music can be used as a means to cast spells or carry out rituals. 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.
Bells And Chimes
Hourglass alarms use pressure-sensitive plates inside them that triggers a wind-up bell when a certain amount of sand falls on it.
Sixth House bell hammer
Drums are a common instrument throughout Tamriel and are commonly used by bards, armies, and tribes.
They can be made from a wide variety of materials, such as the back-teeth of bull alits which make acoustically impressive drum bases, guarskin drumheads, wooden bases, elk skin drumheads and giant snake skin drumheads to just name a few.
Drum of Hircine (right)
Common amongst the Khajiit.
Flutes And Fifes
A flute of the Ateia family
An Argonian instrument similar to Vossa-Satls, they use frogs to produce music.
Dragonhorns are legendary artifacts crafted primarily by the Dragonguard, used as weapons against the Dragons. They are magical warhorns carved out of the horns of dragons, inscribed with various arcane runes, and are capable of producing a tonal sound that incapacitates dragons.
Old Orsinium possessed a horn called the Horn of Beasts which had been crafted by Zbulgat the Wild-Walker. This horn summoned the creatures of the Wrothgarian Mountains. Bears, echatere, and hundreds of other wild creatures rallied to defend the city walls when the horn was blown, however King Golkarr blew the horn three times during a single moon cycle, and on the third blare the horn cracked. This horn was later recovered from Old Orsinium by the House of Orsimer Glories museum.
A Reachman horn that might be from the extinct Markarth musk ox or a minotaur
Lutes are a common instrument throughout Tamriel and are commonly used by bards.
One known type of marimba is an Argonian style marimba made of carefully-selected resonant reptile teeth.
Music boxes are used all over Tamriel and play a specific song.
Music box that plays the traditional New Life Festival song "A Frost Melt Melody"
Psijic Order music box
Pungis are often used by snakecharmers in Hammerfell.
Mostly played by Khajiit
A tanbur with a provenance linking it to Yokuda.
An Argonian instrument.
Whistles are one of the most common instruments across Tamriel, with them being used for a variety of reasons.
Dancing on Eggs
Beans, Bloody Beans
Bold Admiral Richton
Dark Blooded Foes
Dawn and Dusk
Down by the Ginger Garden
Farewell to Colovia
Green and Gracious Land
I'm Glad I'm Not No Orc
Island Lads Down from the Mountain
Pilgrim on the Road
The Golden Grove
The Imperial Volunteer
The Isle of Summerset
The Jolly Archer
The Twelve-Night Drunk
Wind and Rain
- Of Jephre
- Myths of Sheogorath — Mymophonus
- The Sky Spirits — Amun-dro, the Silent Priest
- Aldmeri Sheet Music in ESO
- High Elf Songbook in ESO
- Broken Diamonds — Ryston Baylor
- Dead-Water Throat Songs in ESO
- Augustine Viliane Answers Your Questions — Sybil Augustine Viliane
- Twilight Rites and Hymns
- Events of Chiaroscuro Crossroads in ESO: Dragonhold
- A Guide to Dwemer Mega-Structures — Vorinara Kleeve, Dwemer Scholar
- Imperial Opera House Poster in ESO
- Renee Geonette's dialogue in Oblivion
- Legionnaire Marching Song in ESO
- 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
- Leiborn's dialogue during A Salskap to Remember in ESO: Greymoor
- 36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 15 — Vivec
- 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
- Arenthian Squeeze Box description in ESO
- "Orc-cordian" Squeeze Box in ESO
- Argonian Tail Band in ESO
- Brass Hourglass Alarm in ESO
- Fox-Bone Chime in ESO
- Driftwood Chimes in ESO
- Scrib Chimes in ESO
- Alit Molar Drum in ESO
- Guarskin Drum in Morrowind
- Orsinium's Remembrance War Drum in ESO
- Snakeskin-Head Conga Drum in ESO
- Spinner's Skin Drum in ESO
- Yokudan War Drum in ESO
- Akaviri Pellet Drum in ESO
- Stormhold-Style Silver Slide-Flute in ESO
- Carved Onion Flute in ESO
- Woodhearth Nose Flute in ESO
- Sterling Silver Fife in ESO
- Sugar Cane Flute in ESO
- Pactbreaker's Arm-Flute in ESO
- Concert Kwama Flute in ESO
- Ancient Yokudan Flute in ESO
- Dead-Water Battle Gong in ESO
- Abnur Tharn's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
- Horn of Beasts
- Xal Thak Dental Marimba in ESO
- Windup Flying Nightingale in ESO
- Maormer Snake-Charmer's Pungi in ESO
- Cherrywood Tambourine in ESO
- Hoarvor-Skin Tambourine in ESO
- Baandari Pedlar Crown Crate Season description
- Ancient Brass Sackbut in ESO
- Dog Whistle in ESO
- Bird Call Whistle in ESO
- Brass Duck Call in ESO
Note: the following references are not from official sources. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.