Basically, I need an oblong, portable musical instrument. The first one I thought of was the flute or another wind instrument, but for various story-related reasons, it can’t be an instrument you need to breathe in to make it work.
Any ideas? It doesn’t have to be stick-shaped, but it does need to be longer than it is large.
EDIT: wow, thanks for all the answers! I’m inclining towards a variety of stringed instruments (not sure yet if it’s lute/sitar/guitar/erhu, but it looks like my MC won’t know what it is anyway).
Can it be electric-powered/amplified? The Chapman Stick is pretty cool, especially when you’ve seen Tony Levin play one! (Peter Gabriel at the Hammersmith Odeon as was, 1981.) It’s more of a bass instrument though.
Well, it would be ultimately be taken underwater, so I’m not sure electric would be good On the other hand, the physics of playing underwater are goofy, so it might work. Will have a look. Thanks!