Would an Aarakocra be able to play a flute? [closed]

The name of the pictureThe name of the pictureThe name of the pictureClash Royale CLAN TAG#URR8PPP

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I am playing an Aarakocra bard character that looks like a crow/raven in a D&D campaign.

What kind of instruments would he be proficient in and play? Would an Aarakocra be able to play a flute, given that he has a beak? Would he even need a flute if he can sing like a bird?

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closed as unclear what you’re asking by V2Blast, Ruse, A_S00, Oblivious Sage, Miniman Dec 1 at 6:57

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it’s currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you’re asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Welcome to the RPG.stackexchange. In the body of your question there is another lore question implied, “what musical instruments would an aarakocra play”.
    – Mindwin
    Nov 29 at 14:12

  • 4

    Are you asking “Do the rules support an aarakocra being able to play the flute,” or “Are humanoids with beaks physically capable of playing the flute?” The first is in our wheelhouse; for the second would be better answered at worldbuilding.stackexchange.com
    – chif-ii
    Nov 29 at 15:50

up vote
11
down vote

favorite

I am playing an Aarakocra bard character that looks like a crow/raven in a D&D campaign.

What kind of instruments would he be proficient in and play? Would an Aarakocra be able to play a flute, given that he has a beak? Would he even need a flute if he can sing like a bird?

share|improve this question

closed as unclear what you’re asking by V2Blast, Ruse, A_S00, Oblivious Sage, Miniman Dec 1 at 6:57

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it’s currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you’re asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Welcome to the RPG.stackexchange. In the body of your question there is another lore question implied, “what musical instruments would an aarakocra play”.
    – Mindwin
    Nov 29 at 14:12

  • 4

    Are you asking “Do the rules support an aarakocra being able to play the flute,” or “Are humanoids with beaks physically capable of playing the flute?” The first is in our wheelhouse; for the second would be better answered at worldbuilding.stackexchange.com
    – chif-ii
    Nov 29 at 15:50

up vote
11
down vote

favorite

up vote
11
down vote

favorite

I am playing an Aarakocra bard character that looks like a crow/raven in a D&D campaign.

What kind of instruments would he be proficient in and play? Would an Aarakocra be able to play a flute, given that he has a beak? Would he even need a flute if he can sing like a bird?

share|improve this question

I am playing an Aarakocra bard character that looks like a crow/raven in a D&D campaign.

What kind of instruments would he be proficient in and play? Would an Aarakocra be able to play a flute, given that he has a beak? Would he even need a flute if he can sing like a bird?

dnd-5e bard aarakocra

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edited Dec 1 at 1:20

V2Blast

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asked Nov 29 at 10:58

BirdFace

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584

closed as unclear what you’re asking by V2Blast, Ruse, A_S00, Oblivious Sage, Miniman Dec 1 at 6:57

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it’s currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you’re asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

closed as unclear what you’re asking by V2Blast, Ruse, A_S00, Oblivious Sage, Miniman Dec 1 at 6:57

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it’s currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you’re asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Welcome to the RPG.stackexchange. In the body of your question there is another lore question implied, “what musical instruments would an aarakocra play”.
    – Mindwin
    Nov 29 at 14:12

  • 4

    Are you asking “Do the rules support an aarakocra being able to play the flute,” or “Are humanoids with beaks physically capable of playing the flute?” The first is in our wheelhouse; for the second would be better answered at worldbuilding.stackexchange.com
    – chif-ii
    Nov 29 at 15:50

  • Welcome to the RPG.stackexchange. In the body of your question there is another lore question implied, “what musical instruments would an aarakocra play”.
    – Mindwin
    Nov 29 at 14:12

  • 4

    Are you asking “Do the rules support an aarakocra being able to play the flute,” or “Are humanoids with beaks physically capable of playing the flute?” The first is in our wheelhouse; for the second would be better answered at worldbuilding.stackexchange.com
    – chif-ii
    Nov 29 at 15:50

Welcome to the RPG.stackexchange. In the body of your question there is another lore question implied, “what musical instruments would an aarakocra play”.
– Mindwin
Nov 29 at 14:12

Welcome to the RPG.stackexchange. In the body of your question there is another lore question implied, “what musical instruments would an aarakocra play”.
– Mindwin
Nov 29 at 14:12

4

4

Are you asking “Do the rules support an aarakocra being able to play the flute,” or “Are humanoids with beaks physically capable of playing the flute?” The first is in our wheelhouse; for the second would be better answered at worldbuilding.stackexchange.com
– chif-ii
Nov 29 at 15:50

Are you asking “Do the rules support an aarakocra being able to play the flute,” or “Are humanoids with beaks physically capable of playing the flute?” The first is in our wheelhouse; for the second would be better answered at worldbuilding.stackexchange.com
– chif-ii
Nov 29 at 15:50

3 Answers
3

active

oldest

votes

up vote
19
down vote

accepted

RAW, there is no limitation.

As usual, this is not a thing that the ruleset cares about, so Aarakocra can play any instrument just as well as anyone else.

If you’re looking for a well fitting instrument for them, I would go for something small/light (i.e. not flight-hindering) and string based, like a small harp or lyre, since their talons would make some great guitar-picks.

If we go further, we might even think about altering the less fitting instruments to improve the aarakocran user experience. So just imagine a flute that would have a very specifically shaped mouthpiece and finger holes to accomodate the beak and talons.

As for the question about not needing a flute – I, as a human, can whistle and clap my hands and sing (not very well, but still) and yet various musical instruments were a fairly early invention of our history.

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  • google.com/search?q=playing+flute -> Images shows that you do not need to touch flute with lips, so lack of lips shouldn’t be a problem, either?
    – Mołot
    Nov 29 at 12:55

  • 1

    @Mołot note thet you need to curl your lips into quite a specific shape though (I’m sure there is some proper term for that), which would be a bit difficult with a solid beak.
    – J.E
    Nov 29 at 13:14

  • 1

    Corolary to this answer: They can whistle too.
    – Mindwin
    Nov 29 at 14:11

  • 1

    @J.E “Embouchure” is the term for the lip position necessary to make the airstream that makes a flute work. Source: I played flute in high school band.
    – Darth Pseudonym
    Nov 29 at 14:26

  • 2

    A recorder or similar instrument is flute-like but could probably be designed for a beak — instead of blowing across a hole, you’re blowing into what is essentially a variable-length whistle, so lips aren’t necessary. A shawm or bagpipe would be doable too, as the reeds are inside the instrument rather than placed between the lips. But yeah, probably strings and percussion would be better choices. And of course bird-men have a history with accordions.
    – Darth Pseudonym
    Nov 29 at 14:29

up vote
2
down vote

The rules gloss over the issue (but you don’t have to).

You got bard levels? Yes? Great! Someone in your culture can inspire people with some kind of music, and that’s what your bard does. Your society is full of bird people? That’s fine; someone figured out the details.

Our real-world instruments and music were designed to be operated by your typical human with ten fingers, two feet, lips, etc. because that’s the kind of person we have in abundance. Look, though, at Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand. One guy missing his right arm inspired a musician to accommodate that limitation. Surely a world full of beaked people would inspire even more ingenuity?

As a general rule, I’d suggest that, if you blow into an instrument, then the lips version and the beak version have different mouthpieces. I could get into the weeds with further speculation about how bird instruments might work, but what’s the point? It’s a fantasy game. We hand-wave the fact that we can reverse traumatic injuries with a Cure Wounds spell. I think you can invent as much or as little lore as you like to explain how your aarakocra plays the flute.

share|improve this answer

    up vote
    -2
    down vote

    The rules as written angle have been handled, but the idea got me googling. Since you didn’t actually specify rules as written vs lore or whatever, here’s some info and thoughts on real world birds to give you somewhere to start. You can use this to justify or handwave your character, or for roleplaying ideas.

    Real world bird respiration, it turns out, is pretty weird. They have relatively small lungs, then extra air sacs in various places. The lungs actually empty when inhaling, and fill when exhaling. I have no idea what effect this would have on woodwind instruments, and of course there’s no indication Aarakocra work the same way.

    In any case, from what I can google, birds can in fact breath through their noses. A bird-person could potentially play a human-style recorded by wrapping the mouthpiece in a strip of cloth to act like a gasket, cram the thing in one nostril, and plug the other.

    Transverse flutes–the kind you hold to the side–are likely a different story. They’re played by shaping the lips to blow at a particular angle over an opening. While the corners of birds’ mouths can stretch, as evidenced by the various comical gull-eating-a-starfish photos strewn across the internet, I can’t find any indication of whether birds have muscles that can shape these, and even if they can it’s hard to imagine the rest of the beak seals well enough for it to matter. It’s possible they could hold the flute at a funny angle and get the airflow right, but it’d likely be very difficult to play. Again, real world anatomy may not apply, but it could make for some interesting roleplay.

    As for your last question, not all birds can produce musical vocalizations. You’d be hard-pressed to caw an aria or quack a ballad. This can be used to justify needing or not needing an instrument at your discretion. Even if they can sing musically, various implements could be used to alter or amplify the sound, like how the musician provides the buzz for a trumpet.

    share|improve this answer

      3 Answers
      3

      active

      oldest

      votes

      3 Answers
      3

      active

      oldest

      votes

      active

      oldest

      votes

      active

      oldest

      votes

      up vote
      19
      down vote

      accepted

      RAW, there is no limitation.

      As usual, this is not a thing that the ruleset cares about, so Aarakocra can play any instrument just as well as anyone else.

      If you’re looking for a well fitting instrument for them, I would go for something small/light (i.e. not flight-hindering) and string based, like a small harp or lyre, since their talons would make some great guitar-picks.

      If we go further, we might even think about altering the less fitting instruments to improve the aarakocran user experience. So just imagine a flute that would have a very specifically shaped mouthpiece and finger holes to accomodate the beak and talons.

      As for the question about not needing a flute – I, as a human, can whistle and clap my hands and sing (not very well, but still) and yet various musical instruments were a fairly early invention of our history.

      share|improve this answer

      • google.com/search?q=playing+flute -> Images shows that you do not need to touch flute with lips, so lack of lips shouldn’t be a problem, either?
        – Mołot
        Nov 29 at 12:55

      • 1

        @Mołot note thet you need to curl your lips into quite a specific shape though (I’m sure there is some proper term for that), which would be a bit difficult with a solid beak.
        – J.E
        Nov 29 at 13:14

      • 1

        Corolary to this answer: They can whistle too.
        – Mindwin
        Nov 29 at 14:11

      • 1

        @J.E “Embouchure” is the term for the lip position necessary to make the airstream that makes a flute work. Source: I played flute in high school band.
        – Darth Pseudonym
        Nov 29 at 14:26

      • 2

        A recorder or similar instrument is flute-like but could probably be designed for a beak — instead of blowing across a hole, you’re blowing into what is essentially a variable-length whistle, so lips aren’t necessary. A shawm or bagpipe would be doable too, as the reeds are inside the instrument rather than placed between the lips. But yeah, probably strings and percussion would be better choices. And of course bird-men have a history with accordions.
        – Darth Pseudonym
        Nov 29 at 14:29

      up vote
      19
      down vote

      accepted

      RAW, there is no limitation.

      As usual, this is not a thing that the ruleset cares about, so Aarakocra can play any instrument just as well as anyone else.

      If you’re looking for a well fitting instrument for them, I would go for something small/light (i.e. not flight-hindering) and string based, like a small harp or lyre, since their talons would make some great guitar-picks.

      If we go further, we might even think about altering the less fitting instruments to improve the aarakocran user experience. So just imagine a flute that would have a very specifically shaped mouthpiece and finger holes to accomodate the beak and talons.

      As for the question about not needing a flute – I, as a human, can whistle and clap my hands and sing (not very well, but still) and yet various musical instruments were a fairly early invention of our history.

      share|improve this answer

      • google.com/search?q=playing+flute -> Images shows that you do not need to touch flute with lips, so lack of lips shouldn’t be a problem, either?
        – Mołot
        Nov 29 at 12:55

      • 1

        @Mołot note thet you need to curl your lips into quite a specific shape though (I’m sure there is some proper term for that), which would be a bit difficult with a solid beak.
        – J.E
        Nov 29 at 13:14

      • 1

        Corolary to this answer: They can whistle too.
        – Mindwin
        Nov 29 at 14:11

      • 1

        @J.E “Embouchure” is the term for the lip position necessary to make the airstream that makes a flute work. Source: I played flute in high school band.
        – Darth Pseudonym
        Nov 29 at 14:26

      • 2

        A recorder or similar instrument is flute-like but could probably be designed for a beak — instead of blowing across a hole, you’re blowing into what is essentially a variable-length whistle, so lips aren’t necessary. A shawm or bagpipe would be doable too, as the reeds are inside the instrument rather than placed between the lips. But yeah, probably strings and percussion would be better choices. And of course bird-men have a history with accordions.
        – Darth Pseudonym
        Nov 29 at 14:29

      up vote
      19
      down vote

      accepted

      up vote
      19
      down vote

      accepted

      RAW, there is no limitation.

      As usual, this is not a thing that the ruleset cares about, so Aarakocra can play any instrument just as well as anyone else.

      If you’re looking for a well fitting instrument for them, I would go for something small/light (i.e. not flight-hindering) and string based, like a small harp or lyre, since their talons would make some great guitar-picks.

      If we go further, we might even think about altering the less fitting instruments to improve the aarakocran user experience. So just imagine a flute that would have a very specifically shaped mouthpiece and finger holes to accomodate the beak and talons.

      As for the question about not needing a flute – I, as a human, can whistle and clap my hands and sing (not very well, but still) and yet various musical instruments were a fairly early invention of our history.

      share|improve this answer

      RAW, there is no limitation.

      As usual, this is not a thing that the ruleset cares about, so Aarakocra can play any instrument just as well as anyone else.

      If you’re looking for a well fitting instrument for them, I would go for something small/light (i.e. not flight-hindering) and string based, like a small harp or lyre, since their talons would make some great guitar-picks.

      If we go further, we might even think about altering the less fitting instruments to improve the aarakocran user experience. So just imagine a flute that would have a very specifically shaped mouthpiece and finger holes to accomodate the beak and talons.

      As for the question about not needing a flute – I, as a human, can whistle and clap my hands and sing (not very well, but still) and yet various musical instruments were a fairly early invention of our history.

      share|improve this answer

      share|improve this answer

      share|improve this answer

      edited Nov 29 at 11:16

      answered Nov 29 at 11:08

      J.E

      3,157929

      3,157929

      • google.com/search?q=playing+flute -> Images shows that you do not need to touch flute with lips, so lack of lips shouldn’t be a problem, either?
        – Mołot
        Nov 29 at 12:55

      • 1

        @Mołot note thet you need to curl your lips into quite a specific shape though (I’m sure there is some proper term for that), which would be a bit difficult with a solid beak.
        – J.E
        Nov 29 at 13:14

      • 1

        Corolary to this answer: They can whistle too.
        – Mindwin
        Nov 29 at 14:11

      • 1

        @J.E “Embouchure” is the term for the lip position necessary to make the airstream that makes a flute work. Source: I played flute in high school band.
        – Darth Pseudonym
        Nov 29 at 14:26

      • 2

        A recorder or similar instrument is flute-like but could probably be designed for a beak — instead of blowing across a hole, you’re blowing into what is essentially a variable-length whistle, so lips aren’t necessary. A shawm or bagpipe would be doable too, as the reeds are inside the instrument rather than placed between the lips. But yeah, probably strings and percussion would be better choices. And of course bird-men have a history with accordions.
        – Darth Pseudonym
        Nov 29 at 14:29

      • google.com/search?q=playing+flute -> Images shows that you do not need to touch flute with lips, so lack of lips shouldn’t be a problem, either?
        – Mołot
        Nov 29 at 12:55

      • 1

        @Mołot note thet you need to curl your lips into quite a specific shape though (I’m sure there is some proper term for that), which would be a bit difficult with a solid beak.
        – J.E
        Nov 29 at 13:14

      • 1

        Corolary to this answer: They can whistle too.
        – Mindwin
        Nov 29 at 14:11

      • 1

        @J.E “Embouchure” is the term for the lip position necessary to make the airstream that makes a flute work. Source: I played flute in high school band.
        – Darth Pseudonym
        Nov 29 at 14:26

      • 2

        A recorder or similar instrument is flute-like but could probably be designed for a beak — instead of blowing across a hole, you’re blowing into what is essentially a variable-length whistle, so lips aren’t necessary. A shawm or bagpipe would be doable too, as the reeds are inside the instrument rather than placed between the lips. But yeah, probably strings and percussion would be better choices. And of course bird-men have a history with accordions.
        – Darth Pseudonym
        Nov 29 at 14:29

      google.com/search?q=playing+flute -> Images shows that you do not need to touch flute with lips, so lack of lips shouldn’t be a problem, either?
      – Mołot
      Nov 29 at 12:55

      google.com/search?q=playing+flute -> Images shows that you do not need to touch flute with lips, so lack of lips shouldn’t be a problem, either?
      – Mołot
      Nov 29 at 12:55

      1

      1

      @Mołot note thet you need to curl your lips into quite a specific shape though (I’m sure there is some proper term for that), which would be a bit difficult with a solid beak.
      – J.E
      Nov 29 at 13:14

      @Mołot note thet you need to curl your lips into quite a specific shape though (I’m sure there is some proper term for that), which would be a bit difficult with a solid beak.
      – J.E
      Nov 29 at 13:14

      1

      1

      Corolary to this answer: They can whistle too.
      – Mindwin
      Nov 29 at 14:11

      Corolary to this answer: They can whistle too.
      – Mindwin
      Nov 29 at 14:11

      1

      1

      @J.E “Embouchure” is the term for the lip position necessary to make the airstream that makes a flute work. Source: I played flute in high school band.
      – Darth Pseudonym
      Nov 29 at 14:26

      @J.E “Embouchure” is the term for the lip position necessary to make the airstream that makes a flute work. Source: I played flute in high school band.
      – Darth Pseudonym
      Nov 29 at 14:26

      2

      2

      A recorder or similar instrument is flute-like but could probably be designed for a beak — instead of blowing across a hole, you’re blowing into what is essentially a variable-length whistle, so lips aren’t necessary. A shawm or bagpipe would be doable too, as the reeds are inside the instrument rather than placed between the lips. But yeah, probably strings and percussion would be better choices. And of course bird-men have a history with accordions.
      – Darth Pseudonym
      Nov 29 at 14:29

      A recorder or similar instrument is flute-like but could probably be designed for a beak — instead of blowing across a hole, you’re blowing into what is essentially a variable-length whistle, so lips aren’t necessary. A shawm or bagpipe would be doable too, as the reeds are inside the instrument rather than placed between the lips. But yeah, probably strings and percussion would be better choices. And of course bird-men have a history with accordions.
      – Darth Pseudonym
      Nov 29 at 14:29

      up vote
      2
      down vote

      The rules gloss over the issue (but you don’t have to).

      You got bard levels? Yes? Great! Someone in your culture can inspire people with some kind of music, and that’s what your bard does. Your society is full of bird people? That’s fine; someone figured out the details.

      Our real-world instruments and music were designed to be operated by your typical human with ten fingers, two feet, lips, etc. because that’s the kind of person we have in abundance. Look, though, at Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand. One guy missing his right arm inspired a musician to accommodate that limitation. Surely a world full of beaked people would inspire even more ingenuity?

      As a general rule, I’d suggest that, if you blow into an instrument, then the lips version and the beak version have different mouthpieces. I could get into the weeds with further speculation about how bird instruments might work, but what’s the point? It’s a fantasy game. We hand-wave the fact that we can reverse traumatic injuries with a Cure Wounds spell. I think you can invent as much or as little lore as you like to explain how your aarakocra plays the flute.

      share|improve this answer

        up vote
        2
        down vote

        The rules gloss over the issue (but you don’t have to).

        You got bard levels? Yes? Great! Someone in your culture can inspire people with some kind of music, and that’s what your bard does. Your society is full of bird people? That’s fine; someone figured out the details.

        Our real-world instruments and music were designed to be operated by your typical human with ten fingers, two feet, lips, etc. because that’s the kind of person we have in abundance. Look, though, at Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand. One guy missing his right arm inspired a musician to accommodate that limitation. Surely a world full of beaked people would inspire even more ingenuity?

        As a general rule, I’d suggest that, if you blow into an instrument, then the lips version and the beak version have different mouthpieces. I could get into the weeds with further speculation about how bird instruments might work, but what’s the point? It’s a fantasy game. We hand-wave the fact that we can reverse traumatic injuries with a Cure Wounds spell. I think you can invent as much or as little lore as you like to explain how your aarakocra plays the flute.

        share|improve this answer

          up vote
          2
          down vote

          up vote
          2
          down vote

          The rules gloss over the issue (but you don’t have to).

          You got bard levels? Yes? Great! Someone in your culture can inspire people with some kind of music, and that’s what your bard does. Your society is full of bird people? That’s fine; someone figured out the details.

          Our real-world instruments and music were designed to be operated by your typical human with ten fingers, two feet, lips, etc. because that’s the kind of person we have in abundance. Look, though, at Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand. One guy missing his right arm inspired a musician to accommodate that limitation. Surely a world full of beaked people would inspire even more ingenuity?

          As a general rule, I’d suggest that, if you blow into an instrument, then the lips version and the beak version have different mouthpieces. I could get into the weeds with further speculation about how bird instruments might work, but what’s the point? It’s a fantasy game. We hand-wave the fact that we can reverse traumatic injuries with a Cure Wounds spell. I think you can invent as much or as little lore as you like to explain how your aarakocra plays the flute.

          share|improve this answer

          The rules gloss over the issue (but you don’t have to).

          You got bard levels? Yes? Great! Someone in your culture can inspire people with some kind of music, and that’s what your bard does. Your society is full of bird people? That’s fine; someone figured out the details.

          Our real-world instruments and music were designed to be operated by your typical human with ten fingers, two feet, lips, etc. because that’s the kind of person we have in abundance. Look, though, at Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand. One guy missing his right arm inspired a musician to accommodate that limitation. Surely a world full of beaked people would inspire even more ingenuity?

          As a general rule, I’d suggest that, if you blow into an instrument, then the lips version and the beak version have different mouthpieces. I could get into the weeds with further speculation about how bird instruments might work, but what’s the point? It’s a fantasy game. We hand-wave the fact that we can reverse traumatic injuries with a Cure Wounds spell. I think you can invent as much or as little lore as you like to explain how your aarakocra plays the flute.

          share|improve this answer

          share|improve this answer

          share|improve this answer

          answered Nov 30 at 13:21

          Greg Faust

          1,074215

          1,074215

              up vote
              -2
              down vote

              The rules as written angle have been handled, but the idea got me googling. Since you didn’t actually specify rules as written vs lore or whatever, here’s some info and thoughts on real world birds to give you somewhere to start. You can use this to justify or handwave your character, or for roleplaying ideas.

              Real world bird respiration, it turns out, is pretty weird. They have relatively small lungs, then extra air sacs in various places. The lungs actually empty when inhaling, and fill when exhaling. I have no idea what effect this would have on woodwind instruments, and of course there’s no indication Aarakocra work the same way.

              In any case, from what I can google, birds can in fact breath through their noses. A bird-person could potentially play a human-style recorded by wrapping the mouthpiece in a strip of cloth to act like a gasket, cram the thing in one nostril, and plug the other.

              Transverse flutes–the kind you hold to the side–are likely a different story. They’re played by shaping the lips to blow at a particular angle over an opening. While the corners of birds’ mouths can stretch, as evidenced by the various comical gull-eating-a-starfish photos strewn across the internet, I can’t find any indication of whether birds have muscles that can shape these, and even if they can it’s hard to imagine the rest of the beak seals well enough for it to matter. It’s possible they could hold the flute at a funny angle and get the airflow right, but it’d likely be very difficult to play. Again, real world anatomy may not apply, but it could make for some interesting roleplay.

              As for your last question, not all birds can produce musical vocalizations. You’d be hard-pressed to caw an aria or quack a ballad. This can be used to justify needing or not needing an instrument at your discretion. Even if they can sing musically, various implements could be used to alter or amplify the sound, like how the musician provides the buzz for a trumpet.

              share|improve this answer

                up vote
                -2
                down vote

                The rules as written angle have been handled, but the idea got me googling. Since you didn’t actually specify rules as written vs lore or whatever, here’s some info and thoughts on real world birds to give you somewhere to start. You can use this to justify or handwave your character, or for roleplaying ideas.

                Real world bird respiration, it turns out, is pretty weird. They have relatively small lungs, then extra air sacs in various places. The lungs actually empty when inhaling, and fill when exhaling. I have no idea what effect this would have on woodwind instruments, and of course there’s no indication Aarakocra work the same way.

                In any case, from what I can google, birds can in fact breath through their noses. A bird-person could potentially play a human-style recorded by wrapping the mouthpiece in a strip of cloth to act like a gasket, cram the thing in one nostril, and plug the other.

                Transverse flutes–the kind you hold to the side–are likely a different story. They’re played by shaping the lips to blow at a particular angle over an opening. While the corners of birds’ mouths can stretch, as evidenced by the various comical gull-eating-a-starfish photos strewn across the internet, I can’t find any indication of whether birds have muscles that can shape these, and even if they can it’s hard to imagine the rest of the beak seals well enough for it to matter. It’s possible they could hold the flute at a funny angle and get the airflow right, but it’d likely be very difficult to play. Again, real world anatomy may not apply, but it could make for some interesting roleplay.

                As for your last question, not all birds can produce musical vocalizations. You’d be hard-pressed to caw an aria or quack a ballad. This can be used to justify needing or not needing an instrument at your discretion. Even if they can sing musically, various implements could be used to alter or amplify the sound, like how the musician provides the buzz for a trumpet.

                share|improve this answer

                  up vote
                  -2
                  down vote

                  up vote
                  -2
                  down vote

                  The rules as written angle have been handled, but the idea got me googling. Since you didn’t actually specify rules as written vs lore or whatever, here’s some info and thoughts on real world birds to give you somewhere to start. You can use this to justify or handwave your character, or for roleplaying ideas.

                  Real world bird respiration, it turns out, is pretty weird. They have relatively small lungs, then extra air sacs in various places. The lungs actually empty when inhaling, and fill when exhaling. I have no idea what effect this would have on woodwind instruments, and of course there’s no indication Aarakocra work the same way.

                  In any case, from what I can google, birds can in fact breath through their noses. A bird-person could potentially play a human-style recorded by wrapping the mouthpiece in a strip of cloth to act like a gasket, cram the thing in one nostril, and plug the other.

                  Transverse flutes–the kind you hold to the side–are likely a different story. They’re played by shaping the lips to blow at a particular angle over an opening. While the corners of birds’ mouths can stretch, as evidenced by the various comical gull-eating-a-starfish photos strewn across the internet, I can’t find any indication of whether birds have muscles that can shape these, and even if they can it’s hard to imagine the rest of the beak seals well enough for it to matter. It’s possible they could hold the flute at a funny angle and get the airflow right, but it’d likely be very difficult to play. Again, real world anatomy may not apply, but it could make for some interesting roleplay.

                  As for your last question, not all birds can produce musical vocalizations. You’d be hard-pressed to caw an aria or quack a ballad. This can be used to justify needing or not needing an instrument at your discretion. Even if they can sing musically, various implements could be used to alter or amplify the sound, like how the musician provides the buzz for a trumpet.

                  share|improve this answer

                  The rules as written angle have been handled, but the idea got me googling. Since you didn’t actually specify rules as written vs lore or whatever, here’s some info and thoughts on real world birds to give you somewhere to start. You can use this to justify or handwave your character, or for roleplaying ideas.

                  Real world bird respiration, it turns out, is pretty weird. They have relatively small lungs, then extra air sacs in various places. The lungs actually empty when inhaling, and fill when exhaling. I have no idea what effect this would have on woodwind instruments, and of course there’s no indication Aarakocra work the same way.

                  In any case, from what I can google, birds can in fact breath through their noses. A bird-person could potentially play a human-style recorded by wrapping the mouthpiece in a strip of cloth to act like a gasket, cram the thing in one nostril, and plug the other.

                  Transverse flutes–the kind you hold to the side–are likely a different story. They’re played by shaping the lips to blow at a particular angle over an opening. While the corners of birds’ mouths can stretch, as evidenced by the various comical gull-eating-a-starfish photos strewn across the internet, I can’t find any indication of whether birds have muscles that can shape these, and even if they can it’s hard to imagine the rest of the beak seals well enough for it to matter. It’s possible they could hold the flute at a funny angle and get the airflow right, but it’d likely be very difficult to play. Again, real world anatomy may not apply, but it could make for some interesting roleplay.

                  As for your last question, not all birds can produce musical vocalizations. You’d be hard-pressed to caw an aria or quack a ballad. This can be used to justify needing or not needing an instrument at your discretion. Even if they can sing musically, various implements could be used to alter or amplify the sound, like how the musician provides the buzz for a trumpet.

                  share|improve this answer

                  share|improve this answer

                  share|improve this answer

                  edited Dec 3 at 18:59

                  answered Nov 30 at 19:41

                  Blue Footed Booby

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