minstrel: Old Instruments and Musical Deserts

Joshua Badgley fsjlb4 at aurora.alaska.edu
Tue Aug 26 11:44:21 PDT 1997

This is a little out of period, but I thought people on this list would be
interested, especially since it has to do with the evolution of music
BEFORE period, as opposed to after:

  In the September 1997 edition of Scientific American was an interesting
article on what may be the world's oldest known musical instrument: a bone
flute that may be more than 43,000 years old.  The spacing of the holes on
this instrument have led musicologist Bob Fink to believe the flute could
have produced the fundamental elements of the diatonic, or do-re-mi, scale
by playing whole tones and half tones.  For more information, you'll have
to read the article.

  Another interesting article talks about 'booming sands' which has
fascinated many desert travellers as they listen to 'ghostly instruments'
in the deep desert.  Even  Marco Polo was fascinated by their sounds as he
travelled to the East.

  I thought these articles may be of interest to the musically inclined.
If I should not have posted them (or if I should have) please tell me.
I'm trying to improve my netiquette in any way possible.


"One cannot know what one has never learned, no matter what the IQ."

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