Re: Neandertal flute

Phillip Bigelow (
Sun, 03 Nov 1996 22:09:14 -0800

Lee Thompson-Herbert wrote:
> In article <55ef3t$>,
> Gary Cruse <> wrote:

> > There is no detail. It is a piece
> > of hollow bone maybe six inches long with
> > two round holes in it.

> When speaking of an instrument, _playability_ is the measure of
> the craftsman. I've seen far too many "pretty" instruments that
> are unplayable.

Speaking of playability, has anything been reported on what this
thing sounds like? I would be curious to know what tonal frequencies
neanderthal musicians thought were "necessary".
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it would seem that with only two
holes, one could only produce a maximum of four primary tones, but
perhaps more tones could be produced if the mouth was constricted
during blowing (ala our modern brass instruments).
Are these frequencies coincident with any notes on our
modern musical scale? (Which could indicate either
cross-cultural exchange of ideas between H. n. and H.s.s, or
perhaps it would be a rough indication of similar
brain, similar "tastes" in desirable
musical frequencies between the two populations.)