The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stone Age Musicians?

The New York Times reports today that scientists in Germany have authenticated the earliest known musical instrument - a bone flute found last fall in an Ice Age cave in southwestern Germany near Ulm. Archaeologists date the bone flute and two fragments of ivory flutes back 35,000 years. According to an article in the journal "Nature," scientists say "These finds demonstrate the presence of a well-established musical tradition at the time when modern humans colonized Europe.” A replica will be made soon to see what the thing sounds like. You can read the complete story here.

Scientists can only speculate as to exactly why these instruments were made. drive the cold winter away? Of course, musicologists may declare this convincing proof that musical culture did in fact begin in Germany...


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