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Thread: Oldest musical instrument in the world discovered

  1. #1
    Administrator Frederik Magle's Avatar
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    Oldest musical instrument in the world discovered

    German archeologists have found a 35,000-40,000 year old flute, made from a vulture's wing bone, in the Hohle Fels cavern in southwest Germany.

    This is a fantastic discovery, giving insight into not only how advanced and intelligent humans were 40,000 years ago, but also how music have been important to us for a very long time, maybe even an important part of the evolution of our civilization. And not just any music (or sound), mind you, but "complex" melodic music, with instruments capable of playing various notes, as can clearly be seen from this flute complete with finger holes!

    Quoting the archeological team, led by Professor Nicholas Conard of Tübingen University:
    Music could have contributed to the maintenance of larger social networks, and thereby perhaps have helped facilitate the demographic and territorial expansion of modern humans relative to a culturally more conservative and demographically more isolated Neanderthal populations,
    The power of music continues to amaze.

  2. #2
    Commander, Assistant Conductor mathetes1963's Avatar
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    That is seriously cool...
    “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”
    -Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750

    "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing."
    -Duke Ellington, 1899-1974

  3. #3
    Commodore con Forza
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    Fascinating. I'm sure we are often guilty of under-estimating our ancestors.

  4. #4
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    hate to be a kill-joy but I have a feeling that the Australian Aboriginies had the musical instruments long before that, I will do some research with a friend of mine who is a specialist in Australian cultural archaeology.
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

  5. #5
    Administrator Frederik Magle's Avatar
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    Oh, indeed they may very well have had that, but to my knowledge this flute is the oldest instrument that has been found so far.

  6. #6
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Fascinating discovery and find.
    Just knowing that someone even had the insight or desire to create such an instrument without any prior knowledge of what the end result would or could be is equally astounding.
    Kh ~~.
    Administrator


    Amateur musicians practice until they get it right ...
    Pro
    fessional musicians practice until they can't get it wrong ...


  7. #7
    Rear Admiral Appassionata John Watt's Avatar
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    Amazing and beautiful! It makes me think very seriously. The oldest named musician in human history is Jubal, in Genesis. I would have imagined he was a drummer, the most basic form of musical and tribal communication. But now I'm thinking that if he was God's musical host on earth, this whirled, maybe he was capable of beginning everything.

    What a previous writer said about Australia also makes me think, geologists saying Scotland and Australia were the first and second lands to emerge from the water. What an awefull thought.

    Just when I'm excited about posting about my new semi-solid-body invention, this forum amazes me even more. I'm not surprised.
    Thank you again, Mr. Magle, for this symphonic domain.

    as always, John Watt

  8. #8
    Rear Admiral Appassionata John Watt's Avatar
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    Looking through this thread again, I might look like I'm trying to correct
    the untitled Frederik Magle, when he says this flute is the oldest instrument found so far.
    Maybe somewhere there's a piece of petrified wood that was drummed upon by someone,
    going back hundreds of thousands of years... wait a moment... I think I've got something.
    Yes! This two inch diameter fossilized shell that has silver forming part of it.
    I think it was used as a sibilant harbinger of impending doom, millions of years ago.
    One of man's forebears threw it into the shallow riverside to startle some game,
    creating a small, rippling splash.. mixing into the rustling of bull-rushes as a wind picks up,
    and as the wind swirls them towards a crescendo they mix with the sound of a
    vulture with one wing, half in the water, now flapping helplessly on the ground.

    Incredibly, if the conversation could have been preserved as well as the petrified shell,
    you could have heard them saying "yeah.. it's still alive. It's only fair to put it out of it's misery".
    "Aren't you going to make a flute?" "No. Vulture bones have too high a putridity.
    I'm getting married in the fall, so I'm waiting for a big Cinnamonica Danish when they migrate".
    "Yeah... Those Danish got big tones, but we hired The Crowcawcawcaw Wing Band for the hall."
    "That's the trouble with you cro-magnon heads, it's always about the wings.
    When we're traveling far from home, we like to carry a little leg fife in our back pocket".

  9. #9
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Lusaka_Guitarist's Avatar
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    Vulture wing bone flute?!! That's ancient indeed. I wonder what the other musical instruments were made of.

    Lovemore Nanjaya.

  10. #10
    Commodore con Forza
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    The way they keep "discovering" older and older human (or humanoid) remains, they are sure to find an older musica instrument someplace. Wonder who their composers were.

  11. #11
    Rear Admiral Appassionata John Watt's Avatar
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    There are those who only play flutes on top of The Andes Mountains,
    where the fresh breath of our God is the cold air for their inspiration.

  12. #12
    Rear Admiral Appassionata John Watt's Avatar
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    There are those who only blow pipes up in The Highlands, back'a'Brigadoon,
    and sounds can be made accidentally, when the same cold wind wyndes doon,
    forcing the piper get his kilt together.

  13. #13
    Apprentice, Piano
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    what is that? are its tunable?

  14. #14
    Rear Admiral Appassionata John Watt's Avatar
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    Boiling bone flutes to change the pitch, of both the previous tones,
    and the flavour of the water, has been known since time began.
    But please, be forewarned.
    Getting some vulture tones happening tends to bring out the predator in your listeners.
    That's also been happening since time began.

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