Color-coordinated outfits? Check!
LORD OF THE RINGS ONLINE’s community
thrives thanks to its music system by Chris Perry
Dance party in the Shire!
Wannabe rockers have been playing with the music system in The Lord of the Rings Online since the launch of the game in
2007. There’s a lot to have fun with: LotRO
allows you to play songs on a variety of
instruments, and inspired players can create
complex musical creations. Community
events that include musical performances
brighten the darkest day of Middle-earth.
Each of the classes is able to learn the
Lute and one other instrument (which one
depends on your class); you pick up the skill
from the same Bards who help you choose
which traits to equip. The Minstrel class is
the obvious musical expert in LotRO, able
to learn all 10 of the available instruments:
clarinet, flute, harp, horn, lute, drum,
theorbo (bass), bagpipes, and cowbell.
With instrument in hand, players can
choose either to play freestyle, or to use the
built-in ABC system, a type of program
that lets your character automatically
“play” a song for which someone else has
already written a notation script.
A few technical details on how it all works:
all instruments are in concert pitch, and
there are just over two octaves that poten-
tial musical savants can play with. Those
who want to play the notes themselves can
use the 1 through 0 keys to play each of the
notes in the C major scale (think
“Do-Re-Mi” from The Sound of Music).
The Shift key can be used to switch
octaves, and the Ctrl key drops the pitch
one half step. Want to play a blues scale? 1,
Ctrl- 3, 4, Ctrl- 5, 5, Ctrl- 7, 8. With that,
you’ll be strummin’ the blues in no time.