Alien Musical Instruments?
It is the holiday season, so I hope I can be excused for taking advantage of a pre-made story. Consider the Suzuki Q Chord - as odd an instrument as you're likely to see available for retail purchase.
(Suzuki Q Chord)
The Suzuki Q Chord has been played by David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Brian Eno, Bob Dylan and Ringo Starr. It has an impressive feature list - it "strums like a guitar, plays melody like a keyboard, plays chords like a piano, and has over 100 MIDI voices and rhythms onboard."
The picture on the right is taken from the classic Star Trek episode The Way to Eden. The story explores some good themes, like incurable diseases that develop in technological societies, trying to find yourself, following crazy people with doctorates, and so on. Play this episode for a Trek fan who grew up in the Sixties, and watch him squirm, though; it's embarrassingly groovy.
Story lifted bodily from Suzuki Q Chord lives to fulfill your space opera dreams.
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