Primary Source

Neolithic Bone Flutes

  • Neolithic bone flutes


The use of musical instruments, such as clay flutes and bone whistles, has been traced back to the earliest documented historical period in China (Shang dynasty, 1765-1121 BCE). In the case of China (and in pre-Columbian civilizations as well), the discovery of ancient instruments such as ocarinas, or vessel flutes, which were crafted from such material as bird bones, are evidence of a sophisticated musical culture that thrived thousands of years before Europeans composed symphonies and operas.

This source is a part of the Analyzing Music methods module.

"Bone flutes," ca. 6th century BCE.

How to Cite This Source
Neolithic Bone Flutes in World History Commons,