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.


Natural History Magazine,

How to Cite This Source

"Neolithic Bone Flutes," in World History Commons, [accessed February 20, 2024]