BY GRACE CHAI '23 & JULIA XIAO '24
Strolling down the street one afternoon, you notice two enticing words painted in gold on a window: Music Store. Without thinking twice, you push the door open and your jaw drops as you take in the myriad of shiny bells, strings, and overpriced reeds. Alas, you’re a student with just enough *moolah* to date one instrument. Never fear—two band kids are here to save you from this conundrum: we’ve compiled a ~totally unbiased~ list of instruments YOU should take home.
If you’re a dark academia fan (think medieval castles, libraries, and marble busts), you’ll love the violin. This string instrument embodies that polished, mysterious vibe, and you’d probably spend hours exploring old ruins or crafting a manuscript together. With the ability to produce a range of sounds—whether heart-wrenchingly beautiful or dark and brooding—you’ll easily bond with the violin. A fair warning though: violins are notoriously temperamental, so be prepared for some off-days with screechy high notes.
Suggested pieces: Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor, Bach Partita No. 2, Chaconne
Next up is the glorious silver stick that is the flute *cue Hallelujah chorus*. While it’s best known for its mellifluous high notes, the flute’s lush, warm low range might just make your heart beat fast with joy (note: The Spectrum is not responsible for any cardiac injuries that may occur). If you’ve ever dreamt of leaving the city for a woodland adventure, the flute is an ideal companion; it’s a free spirit, so you’ll enjoy listening to birdsong and sharing secrets beneath a starry sky together. A beautiful relationship with a beautiful instrument—what more could you want?
Suggested pieces: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Poulenc Flute Sonata
Placed in the back of the music shop, the sleek piano is a popular pick. Some might argue that pianos are too stationary and boring for adventurous dates; we disagree. Pianos start off reserved, but once you two strike a chord, the relationship will soar to the next octave. Sampling a seven course meal, attending fashion shows, and visiting museums are some date activities that showcase the piano’s classy life. One warning, though: many pianos have attachment issues to their piano stools, so be prepared to accommodate a persistent third-wheel…
Suggested pieces: Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto in C Minor, Metamorphosis by Philip Glass
The sky is a brilliant blue, and the crisp air ruffles your hair as you coast down the highway with your banjo bosom buddy. With parchment stretched beneath four to five strings that are plucked to produce sound, banjos simply cannot make sad noises. Thus, they are the perfect partners for a spontaneous excursion. Think camping trips, hiking, and cozy bonfires—the possibilities are endless with the banjo!
Suggested pieces: Quasheba by Rhiannon Giddens and Our Native Daughters, Wildwood Flower by June Carter Cash
Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: the mellophone. The mello is a spunky firecracker of a brass instrument, and dating it will require lots of patience and a steadfast commitment to defending your partner from mello jokes. On the bright side, mellophones will stand by you during an existential crisis because they know exactly how that feels.
However, if you prefer a more refined instrument, consider its relative, the French horn. When masterfully played, this instrument can produce majestic melodies, perfectly complimenting your main character persona. You could enjoy reading Regency era novels together or take a trip to the opera, both worthy dates of the horn’s grandeur.
Suggested pieces (for French horn only): Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony Horn Solo, Mozart y Mambo by Sarah Willis
Well, have you made up your mind yet? You’re still staring at that harp in the corner? Forget about it; it costs a small fortune. Don’t worry though—any instrument would be lucky to have you. Whatever you decide, we wish you lots of delightful duets ahead :D.