Musical Styles

To round off the musical posts, KGT has a section on musical styles.

Among other activities at the annual Kot'baval Festival, for example, the battle between Kahless and Molor is reenacted. While dueling with their bat'leths, the performers portraying Kahless, Molor, and other warriors sing traditional songs with words and grammatical forms that are archaic indeed, some not in everyday use for well over 1,000 years.

The opera The Story of Kahless and Lukara is about the romance between Kahless and the Lady Lukara in the Battle of Qam-Chee, when Molor sent five hundred warriors to besiege the city and only Kahless and Lukara remained to defeat their many foes.

The opera qul tuq commemorates the honour of the House of Sepich. The opening lines are memorable -

'o meQ qul!Oh, the fire burns!
'o meQ chal!Oh, fire streaks the heavens!

Another classic of Klingon opera is the magnificent Aktuh and Melota, one aria of which was sung by Worf and the alien Amarie (listen to it here).

Before setting off on any mission, it is always important to remember Aktuh and Melota. That way if you die honourably in battle, you need never have to worry about listening to it again, which perhaps is one good incentive for you to die honourably in battle.

There are more styles of music beyond Klingon opera. Klingon youths enjoy a solid, romping beat as much as humans do, and while the words baS metal (n) and nagh rock (n) mean little to Klingons, nonetheless a certain stylistic similarity exists which both species consider admirable.

Klingons enjoy a variety of different kinds of songs, such as drinking songs (HIvje' bommey), hunting songs (chon bommey) and even lullabies (najmoHwI'mey) for children.

A very famous drinking song comes from Kahless and Molor, and describes the day the River Skral ran blood-red and blood rose up to ankle height on that day above all days when Kahless slew the evil Molor dead.

'ej HumtaH 'ej DechtaH 'Iw
'ej Doq SoDtaH ghoSpa' Sqral bIQtIq
'e' pa' jaj law' mo' jaj puS
jaj qeylIS molar mIgh HoHchu'qu'

Klingon music continues to surprise students of the language. As KGT points out,

it is not uncommon for Klingon children to think some of these songs are nonsense songs (Dap bommey), filled with silly words, and then be surprised to find out that they are ancient hunting songs or battle songs.

Such words are likely to have been written down as no' Hol, the ancient language of the ancestors.

It is the ambition of every Klingon to die in honourable circumstances such that people who witness their acts of heroism will compose great songs in their honour, to be passed down from generation to generation by the Klingons' families. The ambition to be honoured in song drives Klingons to acts of great courage in battle.

As they say,

ta'mey Dun, bommey DunGreat deeds, great songs

Great deeds are "deeds worthy of song," as the Klingon leader Gowron once put it, and part of the appeal of engaging in battle is the prospect that, if the battle is a really good one, it will be fought over and over again in song.

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