The Earliest Musicians

26 Dec 2014

Anthropologists say that the earliest evidence of music-making lies with Neanderthals some 45,000 years ago. 

They played flutes apparently based around what’s now known as the diatonic scale (the seven  notes we use in Western music today plus an eighth note, which is the first note of the scale but an octave higher.)  The first of these flutes were unearth in Divje Babe in modern-day Slovenia.

Additional evidence suggests that the Sumerians (c.3100-2000 BCE) and the Babylonians (c. 2000-1600 BCE) also composed music using the diatonic scale.


Some theorize that there are tones that humans naturally find harmonically pleasing which could explain why different cultures (and species!) from vastly different eras favored similar musical sounds.

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