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.

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

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