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Instrumental Weapon

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The inverse of Instrument of Murder and Musical Assassin, Instrumental Weapon is where someone uses his or her weapon as if it were a musical instrument.

Compare Air Guitar. If you pack your weapon as if it were an instrument, that's Senseless Violins. If your weapon IS an instrument, you're an Improbable Weapon User. Sub-Trope of Everything Is an Instrument.


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     Film - Animation  


  • In War of the Spider Queen, Hallistra Melarn loots a sword from a priestess of nature. The hilt of which is basically a flute. Hallistra, being a bard, uses this power to the fullest.
  • In The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R. Delany, Lo Lobey has a machete which has been modified to work as a flute.

     Live Action TV  

  • Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger/Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Green Ranger calls his Dragonzord using his sword as a flute.
    • One episode had a monster was defeated by Tommy playing his dagger and Kim playing on her bow (with extra strings to turn it into a makeshift harp.)
  • Horrible Histories: During the musical number "Literally", two of the Vikings are playing guitars that are really axes.


  • Vocaloid: Kamui Gakupo and his katana, which makes music when it is swung.
  • The 1812 Overture uses cannons.
  • Walk Off the Earth: One of the earlier videos uses a cocked handgun as a beat in the drum loop.
  • Sabaton uses the sound of a .50 caliber machine gun firing in place of drum beats on The Lost Battalion.

     Video Games  

  • World of Warcraft has the rare (and no longer available) Arcanite Ripper item which is an axe in both senses of the word. The handle is a spinal column attached to the skull in the middle of the blade, and has a use ability that turns you into a member of the Elite Tauren Chieftains, where you play a short solo.
  • The Pyro from Team Fortress 2 taunts with its melee weapon by strumming it as if it were a guitar while making guitar-esque sounds. If the Medic has a melee weapon that isn't the Ubersaw or Solemn Vow, he will play the weapon as if it were a violin. A Medic with a Vita-Saw will play a slightly different sound when he taunts, while a Pyro with a Third Degree or Neon Annihilator will play a shredding guitar riff and bass guitar riff (while making guitar sounds), respectively.
  • In LEGO Star Wars II, when infiltrating Jabba's palace, you can build several stereos throughout the level that blast the Imperial March theme, to which the Gammorean guards will drop their fighting and rock out, playing their battle axes like guitars.
  • There's at least one Guitar Hero game where you can unlock Frostmourne and use it as a guitar.
  • The bard epic weapon in Everquest was a sword that "sang". The graphic literally had notes coming out of it.
  • There's a glitch in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time that allows Link to play his sword as an ocarina. This can be applied to any item used while back-flipping after dropping and recapturing a fish.
  • In Battleborn, Rath's "The Artist" taunt has him play one of his two main swords like a violin via using the other sword as its bow.
  • Played with in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn; Archers/Bards use their bows as instruments to "play" their various song buffs; however, the Relic weapon Artemis Bow has an actual harp built in, and Heavensward introduces Berimbau and the Anima weapon Gandiva, both of which look less like bows that can be used as harps and more like harps that can be used as bows.
  • The Shadow Axe from The Bard's Tale can be played like an electric guitar in lieu of one of the eponymous Bard's equipped instrument to summon helpers. The Ego Sword can be used in a similar fashion, only by singing instead of being played.


     Western Animation  

  • Wile E. Coyote of Looney Tunes fame once played a bow and arrow like a harp while trying to figure out why it wouldn't fire. Of course, the plucking eventually did cause it fire at the worst possible moment.
  • In Adventure Time, Marceline plays an Axe-Bass, which is a war axe converted into an electric bass guitar.
  • In "Californy'er Bust", an old Goofy cartoon, some Indians start playing their bows like string instruments when they notice the sounds they make when firing.

     Real Life  

  • Bows were used this way quite often; in fact, there is an entire class of instruments called 'Musical Bows', mostly found in Africa, which come from this.
  • The MIDI standard, among other "sound effects" has a "Gunshot" instrument, and it can be used to play melodies like any other.
  • "Gunstep" or "gunsync" is the idea of creating songs (mainly the percussion) by firing weapons. This is mainly done in video games.
  • The 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky was written to be performed with live artillery as part of the music. It is possible to see this done today as more than a few orchestras will occasionally partner with military units or military reinactors to perform the piece as intended.
  • At least one German folk song uses the cracking of whips.


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