10 Earliest Known Musical Instruments

The history of musical instruments dates back to the beginnings of human culture.The human voice was probably the first musical instrument, the earliest known invented musical instruments are however considerably different from those what man discovered of course. Most early instruments were made in the Upper Paleolithic age.


1. Percussion Instruments [165,000 years ago]

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A percussion instrument  is any object which produces a sound by being hit with an implement, shaken, rubbed, scraped, or by any other action which sets the object into vibration. The human voice was although the first discovered musical instrument, but percussion instruments such as stones, sticks, rocks, and logs were almost certainly the next steps in the evolution of music especially the stones, they were cut in different shapes and designs to change quality and pitch of sound.


2. Flute by Bob Flink [67,000 years ago]

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The date and origin of the first device of disputed status as a musical instrument dates back as far as 67,000 years old. In July 1995, Slovenian archaeologist Ivan Turk discovered a bone carving in the northwest region of Slovenia. The carving, named the Divje Babe flute, features four holes that Canadian musicologist Bob Fink determined could have been used to play four notes of a diatonic scale. Researchers estimate the flute’s age to be  67,000 years old, making it the oldest known musical instrument and the only musical instrument associated with the Neanderthal culture.


3. Mammoth Ivory Ice-Age Flute [43,400 years ago]

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Second world’s oldest known musical instruments has been discovered by German archaeologists. The 18.7-centimetre-long flute, which is carved from mammoth ivory, has three finger holes and would have been capable of playing relatively complex melodies. The flute was found in 31 pieces in the Geißenklösterle cave in mountains near Ulm in southern Germany. Carving a flute from solid ivory is much more demanding than making a flute from bird bones, which are already hollow. The crooked mammoth tusk had to be split and the two halves carefully hollowed out, then bound and glued together along a perfectly airtight seam.

Recording of mammoth ivory flute can be heard Here


4. Elephant Skin Drum [37,000 years ago]

The earliest known drum was 30,000 years old when man used animal hide stretched to create sound. The first discovered  is from an elephant skin used since it was preserved from scavenging in Antarctica’s ice age.


One thought on “10 Earliest Known Musical Instruments

  1. Yes, every musician should pay a little attention to this article, cause it talks about our history …the history of music!

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