Here at Mixdown, we spend a lot of time thinking, talking and writing about gear, by default always looking towards the new and exciting. It’s pretty difficult to say when this fascination with music making machines began, but we do know that humans have been toying with equipment for a long, long time. It’s probably safe to say that the voice was the first musical instrument, and following that scientists have found stones from approximately 165,000 years ago that may have been used as percussive instruments. However, the oldest constructed musical instrument to have been discovered thus far is the flute.
The Divje Babe flute is regarded by some as the world’s oldest, though it’s a point of contention amongst archaeologists. Discovered near Cerkno, Slovenia, many have pointed out that the four holes in the 67,000 year old piece of bear bone is just as likely to have been caused by a carnivore’s teeth rather than a Neanderthal’s musical ingenuity.