Nifty News: World’s Oldest Musical Instrument

Nifty News: World's Oldest Musical InstrumentIn late 2009, Scientists in Germany published details of flutes dating back to the time that modern humans began colonizing Europe, 35,000 years ago. The flutes are the oldest musical instruments found to date. The most well-preserved of the flutes is made from a vulture’s wing bone, measuring 20cm long with five finger holes and two “V”-shaped notches on one end of the instrument.

The best-preserved flute has been played and tonally analyzed in tests and sounds like this: Flute sound one Flute sound two

Tonal analysis of the flutes revealed that the seven holes correspond to a tone scale remarkably similar to the Western eight-note scale that begins “do, re, mi.” This carefully-selected tone scale suggested to the researchers that the Neolithic musician of the seventh millennium BC could play not just single notes, but perhaps even full music. The archaeologists also found fragments of two other flutes carved from ivory that they believe was taken from the tusks of mammoths.

Nifty News: World's Oldest Musical Instrument

A similar discovery was also made at excavations of an early Neolithic site located in Henan province, China, which revealed six complete bone flutes between 7,000 – 9,000 years old.. The Chinese flutes are also made from bird bones, in this the ulnae, or wing bones, of the red-crowned crane and like the German flutes have five, six, seven or eight holes.

Nifty News: World's Oldest Musical Instrument

The collective evidence suggests that playing music was common as far back as 40,000 years ago when modern humans spread across Europe, and that music was part of day-to-day life. And this is what the bone flute has evolved to today, in our modern world, where some people are Thick as a Brick and Bungle in the Jungle with their precious Aqualung.

The Second Oldest Flute in the World!

The Second Oldest Flute in the World!

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July 28, 2010 at 04:03

7 Responses to "Nifty News: World’s Oldest Musical Instrument":

  1. Vod_CSS May 18, 2010 at 10:11

    O_O it was a very nice one post, i liked it. Your blog is very interesting, i will try to read every new post in it :)

  2. Musical Instruments May 16, 2010 at 04:41

    Looks like a flute, and have to agree with the earlier comment that the earliest musical instrument would be a percussive device.

  3. MacepyScat April 29, 2010 at 05:02


  4. mobieloo April 22, 2010 at 09:30

    This is a wind instrument, which may well be very old, but i would guess that the oldest musical instruments are rhythm things like drums and different shaped gords, hollowed out wood, and the like. I am sure that people beat on things for music before finding melodic instruments.

  5. ??????? March 30, 2010 at 11:07

    Hey man, I thought that the world’s oldest musical instrument was Keith Richards. :-)

  6. ????? ?????? ? ????????? March 30, 2010 at 06:04

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