After the announcement of the discovery of what might be the oldest instrument in the world, I felt quite inspired to look into it and try to bring a semblance of it to my customers. The original flute was found in a cave in Germany and said to be around 35,000 years old, when Europe was first being populated during the Ice Age. Mammoth relics were found in the same layers the flute was found.
The 13 inch Ice Age Flute is finished naturally, bound with an earth-toned binding and comes with instructions and a flute bag.
To Play: Lift the V shaped notch against a soft grin. Press upwards and tilt while gently spitting out watermelon seeds. Lift and tilt. Keep the lifting pressure, but once you have sound you can stop tilting.
Construction of the flute: I placed the original top hole in back to better fit the hand. The broken hole at the bottom of the original flute is again complete and I cut the length of the flute in tune with the scale. The original flute was extremely thin and short giving it a very high pitch. My flute is wider and longer, giving it a more mellow voice which is likely the direction this flute would have evolved into as flutes moved into being made in Europe out of wood.
Research: Researchers working at two Stone Age German sites have unearthed a nearly complete flute made from a vulture's forearm as well as sections of three mammoth-ivory flutes. These 35,000- to 40,000-year-old finds are the oldest known musical instruments in the world, says archaeologist and project director Nicholas Conard of the University of Tuebingen in Germany.
The bone flute, which excavators found in 12 pieces, and the ivory flutes were discovered in the summer of 2008 at Hohle Fels cave, when people first migrated to Europe. The preserved portion of the bone flute is about 8.5 inches long and one-third of an inch wide. Finely incised lines near four finger holes probably indicated where to carve these openings using stone tools. Musicians presumably blew into an end of the bone flute that contains two V-shaped notches. The researchers plan to make a replica of the ancient flute to investigate how it was played and what type of sounds it made.
Update: I was thrilled to get news that my "Ice Age Flute" was taken to the Hohle Fels cave and was played there. To think it's music bounced off those cave walls of our musical past, truly delighted me.
Erik the Flutemaker
14701 SW 18th Court
Davie, FL 33325