Since different instruments use different verbs for "play" (弾く、叩く、吹く、even 歌う), is there one nice word to wrap them up? [奏]{かな}でる and its variants (演奏、合奏) sound too formal to me. プレイする?

The scenario would be interviewing the members of the band, asking their most/least favourite of their songs to play.

<The "play" verb> の(が)好き[な、じゃない]曲は?

3 Answers 3


演奏していて楽しい曲 doesn't sound overly formal to me, but you can also say やっていて楽しい曲 or 弾【ひ】いていて楽しい曲. The generic word you can use with 楽器 is 弾く (i.e., 楽器を弾く). A drummer won't complain if you ask this to multiple members in a band simultaneously. When you want to include a vocalist, too, probably やる is the only possible choice. 奏でる would sound needlessly poetic when an interviewer asks something like this.


As naruto mentioned, "演奏する" sounds like a perfectly reasonable candidate, and is not too formal.

Another option is to use the "演" of "演奏"; "演じる". This is however perhaps most commonly used in regards to theatrical pieces, such as opera and plays.


楽器をなにか演奏しますか is what I found in jisho.

  • What do you mean you found it in jisho? It's an example sentence there? Jisho doesn't have example sentences that are created or curated by native speakers, they are scraped from databases that are often dodgy.
    – Leebo
    Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 8:46
  • Yes it is an example sentence. Really? To my inexperience eyes I don't see any problems. Interesting. So this sentence is wrong?
    – shoryuu
    Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 11:58
  • I'm not saying there's anything specifically wrong with this sentence. It's just not a useful standard to refer to. The sentences on Jisho may or may not be correct, and for us non-native speakers that means they're often best ignored.
    – Leebo
    Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 12:46

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