Star Trek Trivia: What Instrument Did Riker Play?


Today’s Star Trek trivia question asks, what instrument did Will Riker play?

William Riker wasn’t just commander of a starship, he was also a commander of music.

I never thought of the trombone as a cool instrument, until I saw Commander Riker playing one. Of course if you had given Riker a bassoon he probably could have made that cool too. (Editor’s Note: I play the bassoon, I am not cool.)

This was an easy question of course, but I did it because it gave me an opening to talk about Star Trek and music. Music has always been a huge part of Star Trek; the theme to Star Trek: The Original Series might be the most recognizable theme of all time. The relationship between Star Trek and music goes much deeper than themes however.

Many crew members on the various iterations of Star Trek played musical instruments. The philosophy of Star Trek was that humankind had put monetary incentives behind us and we were now motivated by a desire to better ourselves. Having crewmembers playing musical instruments was  of course an easy way to show this to viewers.

Spock of course played the Vulcan Harp, which pleased this space hippie to no end.

Data of course played the violin, like his hero Sherlock Holmes.

Star Trek: Voyager’s Harry Kim played the clarinet.

The most intriguing crew member playing an instrument though has to be Picard and his flute. Picard didn’t know how to play the flute, until an alien probe gave him a second life in “An Inner Light.” After Picard awoke on the bridge of the Enterprise he retained his memories from that life, including how to play the flute.

Picard’s flute solo also happens to be my ringtone.

This was an easy Star Trek trivia question, and I know you all asked for harder questions! We will be mixing it up hard and easy though, so there should be trivia for lifelong Trekkies and new Trekkies alike.

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