Paleolithic flutes

During regular archaeological excavations several flutes, that date to the European Upper Paleolithic have been discovered in caves in the Swabian Alb region of Germany. Dated and tested independently by two laboratories, in England and Germany, the artifacts are authentic products of the Homo sapiens Aurignacian archaeological culture, made in between 43,000 and 35,000 years ago. The flutes, made of bone and ivory represent the earliest known musical instruments and provide unmistakable evidence of prehistoric music. The flutes were found in the Caves with the oldest Ice Age art, where also the oldest known examples of figurative art were discovered. Music and sculpture as artistic expression have developed simutaneously among the first humans in Europe as the region is considered a key area in which various cultural innovations have developed. Experts say, besides recreation and religious ritual music might have helped to maintain larger social networks, a competitive advantage over the Neanderthals.[1][2]

Flauta paleolítica
Aurignacian flute made from an animal bone, Geissenklösterle (Swabia)

Early flutes

Super alte Flöte
Aurignacian Flute, 35,000–40,000 years old. Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart

In 2008, the Hohle Fels Flute was discovered in the Hohle Fels cave in Germany's Swabian Alb. The flute is made from a vulture's wing bone perforated with five finger holes, and dates to approximately 35,000 years ago.[2] Several years before, two flutes made of mute swan bone and one made of woolly mammoth ivory were found in the nearby Geissenklösterle cave. The team that made the Hohle Fels discovery wrote that these finds were at the time the earliest evidence of humans being engaged in musical culture. They suggested music may have helped to maintain bonds between larger groups of humans, and that this may have helped the species to expand both in numbers and in geographical range.[3] In 2012, a fresh high-resolution carbon dating examination revealed an age of 42,000 to 43,000 years for the flutes from the Geissenklösterle cave, suggesting that they rather than the one from the Hohle Fels cave could be the oldest known musical instruments.[4][5][6]

The artifact known as the Divje Babe flute, discovered in Slovenia in 1995, has been claimed as the oldest flute, though this has been disputed. The artifact is a cave bear femur, 43100 ± 700 years old, that has been pierced with spaced holes. Its discoverer suggested the holes were man made and that there may have been four originally before the item was damaged.[7] However, other scientists have argued that the holes were chewed by an animal.[8][9][10]

Flûte paléolithique (musée national de Slovénie, Ljubljana) (9420310527)
The Divje Babe "flute"

See also

References

  1. ^ Conard, Nicholas J.; Malina, Maria; Münzel, Susanne C. (2009). "New flutes document the earliest musical tradition in southwestern Germany". Nature. 460 (7256): 737. Bibcode:2009Natur.460..737C. doi:10.1038/nature08169. ISSN 0028-0836.
  2. ^ a b "Earliest musical instrument discovered". The New York Times. June 24, 2009. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  3. ^ Conard, N. J. (2009). "A female figurine from the basal Aurignacian of Hohle Fels Cave in southwestern Germany". Nature. 459 (7244): 248–252. Bibcode:2009Natur.459..248C. doi:10.1038/nature07995. PMID 19444215.
  4. ^ Higham, Thomas; Laura Basell; Roger Jacobic; Rachel Wood; Christopher Bronk Ramsey; Nicholas J. Conard (May 8, 2012). "Τesting models for the beginnings of the Aurignacian and the advent of figurative art and music: The radiocarbon chronology of Geißenklösterle". Journal of Human Evolution. Elsevier. 62 (6): 664–76. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2012.03.003. PMID 22575323. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  5. ^ "Earliest music instruments found". BBC News. May 25, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  6. ^ "Earliest musical instrument discovered". International Business Times. May 25, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  7. ^ Turk, Ivan, ed. (1997). Mousterienska Koscena Piscal in druge najdbe iz Divjih Bab I v Sloveniji (Mousterian Bone Flute and other finds from Divje Babe I Cave site in Slovenia). Znanstvenoraziskovalni Center Sazu, Ljubljana, Slovenia. ISBN 978-961-6182-29-4.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  8. ^ d'Errico, Francesco, Paola Villa, Ana C. Pinto Llona, and Rosa Ruiz Idarraga (1998). "A Middle Palaeolithic origin of music? Using cave-bear bone accumulations to assess the Divje Babe I bone 'flute'" (Abstract). Antiquity. 72. (March) (275): 65–79. doi:10.1017/S0003598X00086282.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Diedrich, C. G. (1 April 2015). "'Neanderthal bone flutes': simply products of Ice Age spotted hyena scavenging activities on cave bear cubs in European cave bear dens". Royal Society Open Science. 2 (4): 140022. Bibcode:2015RSOS....240022D. doi:10.1098/rsos.140022. PMC 4448875.
  10. ^ Morley, Iain (2006). "Mousterian Musicianship? The Case of the Dijve Babe I Bone". Oxford Journal of Archaeology. 25 (4): 317–333. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0092.2006.00264.x.

External links

  • 35.000 Jahre alte Flöten gefunden (in German), swr.de, Retrieved on June 29, 2009 [1]
Detailed logarithmic timeline

This timeline shows the whole history of the universe, the Earth, and mankind in one table. Each row is defined in years ago, that is, years before the present date, with the earliest times at the top of the chart. In each table cell on the right, references to events or notable people are given, more or less in chronological order within the cell.

Each row corresponds to a change in log(time before present) of about 0.1 (using log base 10). The dividing points are taken from the R′′20 Renard numbers. Thus each row represent about 21% of the time from its beginning until the present.

The table is divided into sections with subtitles. Note that each such section contains about 68% of all the time from the beginning of the section until now.

Gudi (instrument)

The Jiahu gǔdí (Chinese: 贾湖骨笛) is the oldest known musical instrument from China, dating back to around 6000 BC. Gudi literally means "bone flute".

List of first human settlements

This is a list of dates associated with the prehistoric peopling of the world (first known presence of Homo sapiens).

The list is divided into four categories, Middle Paleolithic (before 50,000 years ago),

Upper Paleolithic (50,000 to 12,500 years ago), Holocene (12,500 to 500 years ago) and Modern (Age of Sail and modern exploration).

List entries are identified by region (in the case of genetic evidence spatial resolution is limited) or region, country or island, with the date of the first known or hypothesised modern human presence (or "settlement", although Paleolithic humans were not sedentary).

Human "settlement" does not necessarily have to be continuous; settled areas in some cases become depopulated due to environmental conditions, such as glacial periods or the Toba volcanic eruption. Early Homo sapiens migrated out of Africa from as early as 270,000 years ago, although permanent presence outside of Africa may not have been established until after about 70,000 years ago.

Music technology

Music technology is the study or the use of any device, mechanism, machine or tool by a musician or composer to make or perform music; to compose, notate, play back or record songs or pieces; or to analyze or edit music. The earliest known applications of technology to music was prehistoric peoples' use of a tool to hand-drill holes in bones to make simple flutes. Ancient Egyptians developed stringed instruments, such as harps, lyres and lutes, which required making thin strings and some type of peg system for adjusting the pitch of the strings. Ancient Egyptians also used wind instruments such as double clarinets and percussion instruments such as cymbals. In Ancient Greece, instruments included the double-reed aulos and the lyre. Numerous instruments are referred to in the Bible, including the horn, pipe, lyre, harp, and bagpipe. During Biblical times, the cornet, flute, horn, organ, pipe, and trumpet were also used. During the Middle Ages, music notation was used to create a written record of the notes of plainchant melodies.

During the Renaissance music era, the printing press was invented, which made it much easier to mass-produce music (which had previously been hand-copied). This helped to spread musical styles more quickly and across a larger area. During the Baroque era (1600–1750), technologies for keyboard instruments developed, which led to improvements in the designs of pipe organs and harpsichords, and the development of a new keyboard instrument in about 1700, the piano. In the classical era, Beethoven added new instruments to the orchestra to create new sounds, such as the piccolo, contrabassoon, trombones, and untuned percussion in his Ninth Symphony. During the Romantic music era (c. 1810–1900), one of the key ways that new compositions became known to the public was by the sales of sheet music, which amateur music lovers would perform at home on their piano or other instruments. In the 19th century, new instruments such as saxophones, euphoniums, Wagner tubas, and cornets were added to the orchestra.

Around the turn of the 20th century, with the invention and popularization of the gramophone record (commercialized in 1892), and radio broadcasting (starting on a commercial basis ca. 1919-1920), there was a vast increase in music listening, and it was easier to distribute music to a wider public. The development of sound recording had a major influence on the development of popular music genres, because it enabled recordings of songs and bands to be widely distributed. The invention of sound recording gave rise to new subgenre of classical music, the Musique concrete style of electronic composition. The invention of multitrack recording enabled pop bands to overdub many layers of instrument tracks and vocals, creating new sounds that would not be possible in a live performance. In the early 20th century, electric technologies such as electromagnetic pickups, amplifiers and loudspeakers were used to develop new electric instruments such as the electric piano (1929), electric guitar (1931), electro-mechanical organ (1934) and electric bass (1935). The 20th-century orchestra gained new instruments and new sounds. Some orchestra pieces used the electric guitar, electric bass or the Theremin.

The invention of the miniature transistor in 1947 enabled the creation of a new generation of synthesizers, which were used first in pop music in the 1960s. Unlike prior keyboard instrument technologies, synthesizer keyboards do not have strings, pipes, or metal tines. A synthesizer keyboard creates musical sounds using electronic circuitry, or, later, computer chips and software. Synthesizers became popular in the mass market in the early 1980s. With the development of powerful microchips, a number of new electronic or digital music technologies were introduced in the 1980s and subsequent decades, including drum machines and music sequencers. Electronic and digital music technologies are any device, such as a computer, an electronic effects unit or software, that is used by a musician or composer to help make or perform music. The term usually refers to the use of electronic devices, computer hardware and computer software that is used in the performance, playback, recording, composition, sound recording and reproduction, mixing, analysis and editing of music.

Music technology (mechanical)

Mechanical music technology is the use of any device, mechanism, machine or tool by a musician or composer to make or perform music; to compose, notate, play back or record songs or pieces; or to analyze or edit music. The earliest known applications of technology to music was prehistoric peoples' use of a tool to hand-drill holes in bones to make simple flutes. Ancient Egyptians developed stringed instruments, such as harps, lyres and lutes, which required making thin strings and some type of peg system for adjusting the pitch of the strings. Ancient Egyptians also used wind instruments such as double clarinets and percussion instruments such as cymbals. In Ancient Greece, instruments included the double-reed aulos and the lyre. Numerous instruments are referred to in the Bible, including the horn, pipe, lyre, harp, and bagpipe. During Biblical times, the cornet, flute, horn, organ, pipe, and trumpet were also used. During the Middle Ages, hand-written music notation was developed to write down the notes of religious Plainchant melodies; this notation enabled the Catholic church to disseminate the same chant melodies across its entire empire.

During the Renaissance music era, the printing press was invented, which made it much easier to mass-produce music (which had previously been hand-copied). This helped to spread musical styles more quickly and across a larger area. During the Baroque era (1600–1750), technologies for keyboard instruments developed, which led to improvements in the designs of pipe organs and harpsichords, and the development of a new keyboard instrument in about 1700, the piano. In the Classical era (1750–1820), Beethoven added new instruments to the orchestra to create new sounds, such as the piccolo, contrabassoon, trombones, and untuned percussion in his Ninth Symphony. During the Romantic music era (c. 1810 to 1900), one of the key ways that new compositions became known to the public was by the sales of relatively inexpensive sheet music, which amateur middle class music lovers would perform at home on their piano or other instruments. In the 19th century, new instruments such as piston valve-equipped cornets, saxophones, euphoniums, and Wagner tubas were added to the orchestra. Many of the mechanical innovations developed for instruments in the 19th century, notably on the piano, brass and woodwinds continued to be used in the 20th and early 21st century.

Music theory

Music theory is the study of the practices and possibilities of music. The Oxford Companion to Music describes three interrelated uses of the term "music theory":

The first is what is otherwise called "rudiments", currently taught as the elements of notation, of key signatures, of time signatures, of rhythmic notation, and so on. [...] The second is the study of writings about music from ancient times onwards. [...] The third is an area of current musicological study that seeks to define processes and general principles in music—a sphere of research that can be distinguished from analysis in that it takes as its starting-point not the individual work or performance but the fundamental materials from which it is built.

Music theory is frequently concerned with describing how musicians and composers make music, including tuning systems and composition methods among other topics. Because of the ever-expanding conception of what constitutes music (see Definition of music), a more inclusive definition could be that music theory is the consideration of any sonic phenomena, including silence, as they relate to music. This is not an absolute guideline; for example, the study of "music" in the Quadrivium liberal arts university curriculum that was common in medieval Europe was an abstract system of proportions that was carefully studied at a distance from actual musical practice. However, this medieval discipline became the basis for tuning systems in later centuries, and it is generally included in modern scholarship on the history of music theory.Music theory as a practical discipline encompasses the methods and concepts composers and other musicians use in creating music. The development, preservation, and transmission of music theory in this sense may be found in oral and written music-making traditions, musical instruments, and other artifacts. For example, ancient instruments from Mesopotamia, China, and prehistoric sites around the world reveal details about the music they produced and potentially something of the musical theory that might have been used by their makers (see History of music and Musical instrument). In ancient and living cultures around the world, the deep and long roots of music theory are clearly visible in instruments, oral traditions, and current music making. Many cultures, at least as far back as ancient Mesopotamia and ancient China, have also considered music theory in more formal ways such as written treatises and music notation. Practical and scholarly traditions overlap, as many practical treatises about music place themselves within a tradition of other treatises, which are cited regularly just as scholarly writing cites earlier research.

In modern academia, music theory is a subfield of musicology, the wider study of musical cultures and history. Etymologically, music theory is an act of contemplation of music, from the Greek θεωρία, a looking at, viewing, contemplation, speculation, theory, also a sight, a spectacle. As such, it is often concerned with abstract musical aspects such as tuning and tonal systems, scales, consonance and dissonance, and rhythmic relationships, but there is also a body of theory concerning practical aspects, such as the creation or the performance of music, orchestration, ornamentation, improvisation, and electronic sound production. A person who researches, teaches, or writes articles about music theory is a music theorist. University study, typically to the M.A. or Ph.D level, is required to teach as a tenure-track music theorist in a US or Canadian university. Methods of analysis include mathematics, graphic analysis, and especially analysis enabled by Western music notation. Comparative, descriptive, statistical, and other methods are also used. Music theory textbooks, especially in the United States of America, often include elements of musical acoustics, considerations of musical notation, and techniques of tonal composition (harmony and counterpoint), among other topics.

Outline of prehistoric technology

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to prehistoric technology.

Prehistoric technology – technology that predates recorded history. History is the study of the past using written records; it is also the record itself. Anything prior to the first written accounts of history is prehistoric (meaning "before history"), including earlier technologies. About 2.5 million years before writing was developed, technology began with the earliest hominids who used stone tools, which they may have used to start fires, hunt, cut food, and bury their dead.

Prehistoric music

Prehistoric music (previously primitive music) is a term in the history of music for all music produced in preliterate cultures (prehistory), beginning somewhere in very late geological history. Prehistoric music is followed by ancient music in different parts of the world, but still exists in isolated areas. However, it is more common to refer to the "prehistoric" music which still survives as folk, indigenous or traditional music. Prehistoric music is studied alongside other periods within music archaeology.

Findings from Paleolithic archaeology sites suggest that prehistoric people used carving and piercing tools to create instruments. Archeologists have found Paleolithic flutes carved from bones in which lateral holes have been pierced. The Divje Babe flute, carved from a cave bear femur, is thought to be at least 40,000 years old. Instruments such as the seven-holed flute and various types of stringed instruments, such as the Ravanahatha, have been recovered from the Indus Valley Civilization archaeological sites. India has one of the oldest musical traditions in the world—references to Indian classical music (marga) are found in the Vedas, ancient scriptures of the Hindu tradition. The earliest and largest collection of prehistoric musical instruments was found in China and dates back to between 7000 and 6600 BCE.

Timeline of human prehistory

This timeline of human prehistory comprises the time from the first appearance of Homo sapiens in Africa 300,000 years ago to the invention of writing and the beginning of historiography, after 5,000 years ago.

It thus covers the time from the Middle Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) to the very beginnings of the world history.

All dates are approximate subject to revision based on new discoveries or analyses.

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