The bridge crew of the Enterprise have been shown to be musically inclined during their 'off time'. We've seen Riker play the trombone 'Conundrum' TNG 5x14, and Picard plays the Ressikan flute 'The Inner Light' TNG 5x25. We also know that Data can play a mean violin 'In Theory' TNG 4x25 and an acoustic guitar 'Silicon Avatar' TNG 5x04.

Are there any other musical instruments that Data has been shown to be proficient with?

  • In light of my answer offering a wider range of examples, I'm wondering if you might like to reconsider your acceptance of Sam's answer.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 1:06

2 Answers 2


He plays the Oboe in the episode "In Theory". Presumably he could become proficient in any instrument he chose almost instantly, by imitating other performers. In "The Ensigns of Command" he says about his playing, "Strictly speaking, sir, it is not my playing. It is a precise imitation of the techniques of Jascha Heifetz and Trenka Bron-Ken."


  • 2
    Actually it looks like he's had to practice a fair bit. Merely imitating what he sees is no substitute for actually trying to do it in real life; His whistling is awful; youtu.be/XeyplUvxztE?t=4m27s
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 20:59
  • Which doesn't really make sense when you think about it. I think the practicing is him trying to be creative and failing, usually. That's the difficult part for him. He can imitate exactly, even people's voices. I think he struggles with making something his own. He can play something technically perfect, but with no life, or he can copy someone else, but he can't (or couldn't) create that on his own.
    – Sam
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 23:33
  • Several of the books talk about his difficulty with accidentally breaking guitar strings. For the record, I've yet to meet someone who can whistle perfectly after reading books on the subject.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 23:51

He plays the guitar in TNG : "Silicon Avatar"

Data Guitar

He plays the Oboe in TNG "In Theory"

Data Oboe

He plays the violin in TNG "Inheritance"

Data Violin

He sings competently (TNG : Nemesis)

And of course not forgetting his awesome solo on the LCARS keyboard

  • Ah yes, the Oboe...
    – Morgan
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 20:01
  • 1
    @Morgan - I was hoping to get upvotes for the lcars solo :-)
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 20:23
  • LOL, one step above 'air guitar.
    – Morgan
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 20:53

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