History of the Flute

Music dates all the way back to prehistoric times. It was probably first used in rituals and as a universal way to form strong bonds and communicate shared emotions.

The human voice itself was first used to make music followed by possibly drum-like instruments used to keep rhythm.  The flute is the next known musical instrument. 

The flute is a woodwind instrument.  It produces different notes by varying air pressure across the opening and by opening or closing holes in the instruments body.   The flute timbre and pitch are flexible, blending well with other instruments and can vary in tone from sweet to haunting.   The flute is now widely played and can be heard in many songs.  This hub is intended only to give a few examples of the earliest versions of the flute. 

Earliest Flutes

Flute are one of the earliest known instruments dating at least 40 thousand years ago. The first flutes were simply carved out of animal bones or wood with holes to change the intrument's pitch. The flute was enjoyed by many different cultures in some form.

One of the oldest ever discovered, though disputed, dated back to 43,000 years ago in Slovenia.  It was made from the leg bone of a cave bear  with only two holes carved in it.   The oldest confirmed is dated 8,000 years later,  is slightly more advanced piece with a V-shaped mouthpiece and five holes for different pitches.  It was made from the wing bone of a vulture and found in Germany.   Other flutes found near by were made from a mammoth tusk and two more made from swan bones. All these were not too far away from the oldest known human carving. 

In China, examples of flutes are also found, including one made from the wing bones of a crane and playable 9,000 years later.  Another early flute, dating 433 B.C.   It was found in the tomb of Marquis Yi and made from lacquered bamboo.   Flutes are also mentioned in Shi Jing or Book of Songs.

Reliefs from India, and Perusa and coins found show other early examples of flutes being played by people.


My Point

So why am I writing about the flute instead of another video game subject?  Music enhances games.  It is used to make a gamer ready to wipe the floor with their enemies or telling them when they have reached a safe area and can relax.  Games can be instantly recognized by their theme songs such as Halo, Call of Duty and Final Fantasy. 

I choose to write about the flute, since it is often not given the credit it deserves and without this beautiful instrument, I would not be able to share these videos.  So enjoy and comment if you'd like! 

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Comments 16 comments

Golfgal profile image

Golfgal 5 years ago from McKinney, Texas

I have also loved the flute. The picilo in orchestra. Just lovely. Thanks.


evvy_09 profile image

evvy_09 5 years ago from Athens, AL Author

Thanks for reading and commenting Golfgal. The flute is a very beautiful instrument that I have always wanted to learn to play. I am unfortunately musically challenged though.


evvy_09 profile image

evvy_09 5 years ago from Athens, AL Author

Thanks saleheensblog. I've learned alot about the flute while researching this hub and there is so much more history to it. It is an instrument that seems so simple but has much history and influence on culture. Thanks again for commenting and I look forward to more of your poems.


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

evvy_09, the flute makes beautiful music. Wonderful history, very interesting.


evvy_09 profile image

evvy_09 5 years ago from Athens, AL Author

Thanks KoffeeKlatch, much appreciated. The flute does have a very interesting and long history.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 5 years ago from UK

Nice one evvy-09 .I especially love the Link - clip. I enjoy playing Zelda and have fond memories of 'Ocarina of time' !


evvy_09 profile image

evvy_09 5 years ago from Athens, AL Author

Thanks Docmo. I loved the Flute Link too. Legend of Zelda games never get old.


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

Nice hub, Evvy, and and I like especially the way you included the segway / segue into gaming! Cool! :)


evvy_09 profile image

evvy_09 5 years ago from Athens, AL Author

Thanks Cheeky Girl for commenting on another hub!


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

Thanks for a cool hub - I love the flute. Used in many genres of music - Classical, Celtic, Folk, Spa or meditative and even rock. I love the way Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull uses the flute.

Great hub my friend - HUGE hug!


evvy_09 profile image

evvy_09 5 years ago from Athens, AL Author

Thanks Neil for the comment and the hug. lol I didn't know who Ian Anderson was so I looked him up. Awesome flute playing and impressive beard.


spotlight19 profile image

spotlight19 5 years ago from California

Hey there nice article about the flute I have a sister who used to play the flute but she doesnt anymore although it would be good for her to play it again and the instrument is really beautiful and I have a lot of respect for flute players because it is an instrument that not a lot of people can learn to play and for someone that knows how to actually play it means that it is a rewarding experience.


evvy_09 profile image

evvy_09 5 years ago from Athens, AL Author

Thanks spotlight19, I'm glad you enjoyed my hub. I have a lot of respect for anyone that can play such beautiful music.


Seafarer Mama profile image

Seafarer Mama 5 years ago from New England

Enjoyed reading your hub about the history of the flute, and then tying it to a modern use of the instrument. :0) I was particularly fascinated by all the different materials that flutes were made from, such as a bear's bone and wing bones. i do play the flute. Put it down for a while when I became a parent. Now picking it up and playing more again...and so glad to! :0) Thanks so much for your inspiration!


evvy_09 profile image

evvy_09 5 years ago from Athens, AL Author

Seafarer Mama, so glad to be the source of inspiration! What was the first song you played after picking it up again? And of course thanks for stopping by and commenting.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago

Well done hub and very interesting info. Thanks for putting this together, I enjoyed reading it.

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