The Classical Music Minute

The World's Oldest Known Musical Instrument

November 28, 2022 Steven Hobรฉ, Composer & Host Season 1 Episode 88
The Classical Music Minute
The World's Oldest Known Musical Instrument
Show Notes Transcript

What is the oldest known instrument to exist today? Take a minute to get the scoop!

Fun Fact
The Paleolithic, also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek palaios - old, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory, distinguished by the original development of stone tools, that covers 99% of the period of human technological prehistory. It extends from the earliest known use of stone tools by hominins c. 3.3 million years ago, to the end of the Pleistocene c. 11,650 cal BP.

About Steven, Host
Steven is a Canadian composer living in Toronto. He creates a range of works, with an emphasis on the short-form genreโ€”his muse being to offer the listener both the darker and more satiric shades of human existence. If you're interested, please check out his website for more. Member of the Canadian League Of Composers.

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A Note To Music Students et al.
All recordings and sheet music are available on my site. I encourage you to take a look and play through some. Give me a shout if you have any questions.

Support the show

Letโ€™s travel back to Paleolithic times aka The Stone Age. In 1995 an excavation unearthed, The Divje Babe flute.
Findings from Paleolithic archaeology sites suggest that prehistoric people used carving and piercing tools to create musical instruments. This flute is thought to be at least 40,000 years old.
It was cemented near a Neanderthal fire pit, and was made from the thigh bone of a young cave bear into which three holes were drilled and made a sharpened rim for the mouthpiece using tools made of bone and stone. It was also adapted for a right-handed musician.
The artifact is now on public display in the National Museum of Slovenia and said to be the world's oldest known musical instrument.
This find profoundly changed our views of the Neanderthal, who went extinct 30,000 years ago. The discovery represents pivotal evidence that the Neanderthal was, like us, a fully developed spiritual being, capable of sublime artistic creation such as music.