35,000-year-old Flute Is First Instrument Ever

This flute is the first musical instrument in the history of humankind—one of the first examples of technology—which has surprised everyone demonstrating that music already existed 35,000 years ago. Stone Age Rock Band, here we go.

It was made from the bone of a giant vulture during the Upper Paleolithic. Found in Ach Valley, in the south of Germany, the 8.7-inch long, one-inch diameter instrument has five holes, with two V-shaped notches carved on one side of it. This was the part in which the musician put the lips to blow, according to University of Tubingen's professor Nicholas Conard, the lead author of the discovery. The other end is broken just on the fifth hole.

Also according to the study, it was capable of producing a note range similar to those of modern flutes. Conard also points that while music probably didn't have much to do in the success of the first modern humans, it could have given them an advantage against the Neanderthals:

Upper Palaeolithic music could have contributed to the maintenance of large social networks, and thereby have helped facilitate the demographic and territorial expansion of modern humans compared to the more culturally conservative and isolated Neanderthals

[AFP]