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).