Flute: The First Instrument

There is some debate about the beginning of music. The oldest instrument is recognized to be a flute, and while we may never know how old the very oldest of the flutes may be, carbon dating has taken a couple examples with at least 35,000 years ago from ivory, and about 60,000 years ago for a Neanderthal version.

Many of the earliest flutes could have non-durable materials. Animal skins, bone, wood, and other materials that degrade over time have also been used to create instruments like flutes.

While we may never know when exactly the first flute was created, this is the beginning of our musical journey. Over the last several thousand years, we’ve created so many different instruments out of a wide range of materials. Knowing where we began, where do you think we’re going to go from here?

Check out these pictures of old flutes:


Neanderthal flute – NMS

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