Ancient flute may be key to our musical past


Here's a history lesson for you guys! A few years ago, scientists discovered what may have been the first musical instrument in the history of mankind, or at least the oldest. Any guesses on what that could be? Found in Ach Valley (south of Germany), and dated at 35,000 years old (which is the upper paleolithic era), what may have been the first musical instrument ever created was actually a flute made out of the bone of a giant vulture.


This flute is 8.7 inches long, one-inch in diameter, has five holes for the average caveman musician's fingers, and has two V-shaped notches carved onto one side of it. This V-notch was the part in which the musician would put their lips on to play (the other notch is just the broken end of the flute, cracked near the fifth hole). According to a recent study, this bone flute was actually capable of producing a note range quite similar to that of modern flutes.

I say "caveman" with confidence because the flute was found in a cave with evidence of a small colony of Neanderthals. We can deduce that music played a big role in the culture of the 35,000 year old caveman, because the discovery of this bone flute indicates to us that these people invested the time and energy into creating a flute of this caliber, with both correctly placed holes and a correct length for optimal note playing. Even in modern times, this is not an easy task for the average person. There may have been centuries of musical experimentation before the creation of this flute, which is exciting to historians who are only able to hypothesize, but never conclude, what the first notes and melodies of music actually sounded like.

Can you imagine what the music composed/performed on that vulture flute sounded like? They could at least have the decency to record a voice memo on their iPhone and hit up the Cloud. Neanderthals...