Hinterland Who’s Who: Music Class

By Diana Lapland


In an average Lisgarian music class, young people sit together in a predetermined formation, each with a small black wall in front of them. These black walls are heavy, and they hold sheets of flattened trees, which have things printed on them, such as a complicated series of black dots and lines, as well as other markings. The young people diligently decipher the symbols during the hour that music classes normally last.

Meanwhile, the students must blow in a complex fashion through tunnels of very expensive piping, all the while shifting their hands and oral orifices to produce the desired sounds- that is, the sounds that match the codes illustrated on the sheets of trees.

In the front of the small space sits an adult, with a large black wall and a much thicker sheet of crushed trees. The adult holds a short white stick, which it flails through the air in a completely random way, as well as shaking and waving its other hand. The young people take care to observe the adult’s convulsive gestures to ensure that they decipher the codes into sounds at the correct time. However, many times the sounds produced by the students have absolutely nothing to do with the patterns in which the adult performs its gesticulations. To try to stay in time together, the students chant numbers silently in their heads, over and over again, very much like a cultish ritual, and they may also smack their lower appendages against the ground.

To create a plethora of different sounds, some students possess different sets of piping from others. Many sets of tubes are made of different materials, and some of them require that the students open a hole in them and huff through it in order to expel excess saliva and other materials from their pipes. In some classes, students own a very different apparatus. Often made of wood, the young people require the use of a wooden stick coated in tree sap to make the object sound, which they do by sliding the wooden stick sideways against thin strips of feline intestines.

Perhaps most interestingly, the students are very caring towards their series of piping or pieces of wood, often speaking to them directly or bundling them up to ensure that they will be happy during transportation. It is also common for the students to spend their saved resources, often translated into discs of metal or rectangles of plastic, on decorations for their objects, which they then use to adorn them. They are also quite careful to always have their pipes in viewing distance when not in use to guarantee that others will not invert the metal or cause any other changes to these possessions. Over their lives, these music students will spend countless hours sitting in the small space in exactly the same way.

To learn more about music class, please contact the Government of Lisgar.