The Vulcan lute (sometimes referred to as Vulcan harp, Vulcan lyre, or Vulcan Lyrette) was a twelve-stringed instrument, played on the planet Vulcan, that was tuned on a diatonic scale and noted to be very soothing. (VOY: "Innocence")
Spock was proficient at playing the Vulcan lute and was known to play it often during his off-duty hours. (TOS: "Charlie X", "The Conscience of the King", "Amok Time", "The Way to Eden"; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)
|Violin • Viola • Cello • Double bass|
|Guitar • Double guitar • Lute • Vulcan lute • Klingon guitar|
Background information Edit
In the final draft script of TOS: "Charlie X", this musical instrument was described as "a strange stringed guitar-like instrument that gives off unique and not at all earth scale semi-electronic sounds."
The Vulcan lute in "Charlie X" was designed by Wah Chang.
In VOY: "Innocence", the Vulcan lute is described as a five-stringed instrument tuned in a diatonic scale, but visibly has twelve strings. It is strongly suggested that the lute is instead tuned in a twelve-tone chromatic scale, since a seven-tone diatonic scale can fit in neither five nor twelve strings.
The description of the Vulcan Lyrette from the original Star Fleet Technical Manual reads that this is "An unusually harmonious and melodic accompaniment or solo instrument, whose origin is lost in Vulcan antiquity. It combines the tonal qualities of a harp, lute, sitar, and to some extent, violin." They were usually made of Li'Pon and Sher Skah woods, with a Bahun'ahb inlay. The lowest pitch it can reach is 60 cps, and the highest is an astounding 3180 cps.