An 45,000 to 80,000‐year old bone artifact from a Neanderthal cave has caused some serious head‐scratching among academics. From four holes drilled in the bone, a Saskatoon musicologist demonstrated that it was a flute. Furthermore, the holes correspond to the four most basic notes on the traditional ‘diatonic scale,’ which modern composers love to revile as an arbitrary recent Western fabrication. Discovered in Slovenia in 1995, it was dated using the Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) technique. The bone is commonly called the “Neanderthal flute” thought to be the oldest known musical instrument ever found. Bob suggests that this discovery provides powerful practical evidence supporting the idea of natural or acoustical foundation to the evolution of the (Do, Re, Mi Scale) diatonic scale.
Robert Martin (“Bob”) Fink (1935 – 2016) As a musicologist, Bob achieved international fame in the musicology community for his Internet essay on the world's oldest known flute, the Neanderthal Flute, and books, research and essays on the origins of music, most of which can be found in hundreds of music libraries worldwide.
From the Archives: This live interview was recorded on September 4, 1999 on the nationally syndicated radio program, hosted by Laura Lee . See more at www.lauralee.com