Instruments used by a Bard to add effects to fellow party members or a party's enemy. Most of the instruments give boosts to certain songs that can be sung by a bard, which is why it's always great to have the +1 versions of the instruments.
Buff songs played with String Instruments have an area of effect that starts at 10' when you first learn the song, and rise with your String skill to a maximum of 20'. For instance, at String Instrument Skill 225 (cap for level 75) Ballad 1 sung with String has an area of 20', and Ballad 2 has an area of 13'. Adding +10 String skill from equipment or merits raises the Ballad 2 area to 14'. String may also increase the area covered by Horde Lullaby, but this is unverified.
Debuff songs played with String Instruments have lower Magic Accuracy than songs played with Wind Instruments. The Nursemaid's Harp and Sorrowful Harp increase the songs' effects more than Mary's Horn and Piccolo +1, but make it harder to land the songs.
Each +1 to a song on an instrument increases its duration by 10%, and also increases its effect. All buff songs have a base duration of 120 seconds, or 2 minutes.
The maximum equipment bonus to String Instrument Skill is +36, from Taillefer's Dagger, String Torque, String Earring, Musical Earring, Lambda Sash, Erato's Cape, Choral Justaucorps +1, and Marduk's Crackows.
The maximum combined bonus to String Instrument Skill and Singing Skill is +65, from Gjallarhorn, Chanter's Staff, Marduk's Tiara, String Torque, String Earring, Musical Earring, Lambda Sash, Choral Justaucorps +1, Choral Cuffs +1, Astute Cape, and Marduk's Crackows.
String Instruments by Level
|Maple Harp +1||1||Minne +1||BRD|
|Harp +1||14||Minne +2||BRD|
|Military Harp||33||Finale +2||BRD|
|Rose Harp||36||Etude +1||BRD|
|Rose Harp +1||36||Etude +2||BRD|
|Ebony Harp||60||Paeon +1||BRD|
|Ebony Harp +1||60||Paeon +2||BRD|
|Ebony Harp +2||60||Accuracy +1, Paeon +2||BRD|
|Nursemaid's Harp||60||Lullaby +2||BRD|
|Mythic Harp||70||+15, Etude +1||BRD|
|Mythic Harp +1||70||+20, Etude +2||BRD|
|Sorrowful Harp||70||Threnody +3||BRD|
|Angel Lyre||71||Hymnus +2, Haste +2%||BRD|
|Cythara Anglica||75||Charisma +2, +5, Virelai +1||BRD|
|Cythara Anglica +1||75||Charisma +3, +6, Virelai +2||BRD|
|Vihuela||81||Mambo +3, Mazurka +3||BRD|
|Crooner's Cithara||85||Ballad +1||BRD|
|Pyf Harp||85||String Instrument Skill +1||BRD|
|Daurdabla||85||Singing Skill +5 String Instrument Skill +5||BRD|
|Oneiros Harp||88||Adds regen effect Paeon+3||BRD|
|Daurdabla||90||Singing Skill +20 String Instrument Skill +20 Increases song effect duration, grants an additional song effect||BRD|
All items (34)