History[ edit ] The MIM collection was created in and was originally attached to the Royal Conservatory of Brussels with the purpose of demonstrating early instruments to students. He was noted for his astute judgments in obtaining these large collections by calling on philanthropists, mixing with erudite amateurs who sometimes became generous donors, and through friendly relations with Belgian diplomats in foreign posts, who sometimes brought back instruments from beyond Europe.
The flute's holes are clearly unequally spaced, and it's very unlikely, judging from the compared distances between them, that these would have been done from poor measurements or sloppy punching or drilling. A flute-maker could be off a bit due to that kind of error, but not a lot off.
The holes are a lot off from being equidistantly spaced. So this is assumption 1 -- but a likely one: The unequalness is deliberate. The next assumption is also extremely likely to be true: As we humans seem to show, there is a history of a predisposition toward equality in measurements: The distances between telephone poles; between pickets; between windows on buildings in the architecture of all periods and cultures; between sidewalk slabs; between inches; feet, yards, centimeters -- between ranks and files of all types, etc.
One of the infrequent exceptions to this mental penchant is the historical 5 and 7-note musical scales. One look at a piano keyboard shows that our inclination for equal spacings for intervals between things musical notes in this case has been ignored or was over-ridden. Not only in Western music, but even throughout history and by widely differing musical cultures.
Kilmer, head of Dept of Assyriology at U. Since the distance between fingertips from one tip to another is more or less equal, then the holes in this Neanderthal flute if Neanderthals have the same mental penchant for easy arithmetic and equidistant repetitions as we do should have been equidistant -- if for no other reason than to fit the convenience of the finger widths.
That's the dividing of the continuum of sound into scales, just like us. When we look at history, such a scale would be, and it seems, was felt, to be "out of tune" in most human musical cultures. Therefore, the holes likely were made with the goal in mind of producing some kind of non-equal scale or set of notes.
Using negative logic, the question arises: If the Neanderthals weren't seeking an unequal scale, why not make the holes equally-spaced? There are "probably's" and "likely's" in the above, but I think "very" and "extremely" will be supportable adjectives once we look at accepted conclusions in other disciplines e.
Regarding the actual notes that might have come from the flute: Unless we can know the full original length of the flute, and the placement of holes on it, we cannot know for certain the notes that were played on it.
But all is not lost. Readers may be aware of all, some or none of the following, so excuse me if I assume none. If you take a length of violin or piano string, and press down in the center creating what is called a "node" in the stringthen each half of the string when played will produce an octave up, of the note of the entire string.
A division into thirds makes notes that are called 5ths, and so on. Similarly, a column of air inside a wind instrument can be divided, and each lesser length of air-column can produce other notes, as well. In order to take a long musical horn and get it to produce other notes, we have seen history roll up the horn, and add valves trumpet or a slide trombone to force into existence differing lengths of columns of vibrating air inside the instrument -- hence creating the different notes in the scale.
The holes in a flute can likewise create these changing lengths of air-columns and produce different notes. We might have the last 3 or 4 holes, or the middle 4, of the whole flute.
The unequal spacings would be our best clue as to which holes they were again "assuming" we are looking for a diatonic or pentatonic scale. If we assume the scale is there reasonable to do, I think, just from the unequalness of the hole spacingsthen the hole spacings might possibly lead to the reconstruction of the full-length flute.
Again, we are left with the question above: If the Neanderthals weren't seeking an unequal scale, why didn't they make the holes equally-spaced? On the other hand, if we don't assume a particular scale was sought after by the hole-maker, then we cannot reconstruct anything further than the fragment as found.
First, disregarding for the moment the actual "key" or absolute pitch of notes, the general way in which a flute is made to produce a pentatonic or major diatonic scale is as follows: Whatever the length of the flute bone, bamboo, metal, whateverthat length called L is divided as follows: From the blow-end, if no holes are punched, then the flute will produce its fundamental note and its octavenamely, Do from the Do, Re, Mi scale.
We can label the distances between the holes which will be necessarily unequally-spaced as z, y, x, w, v, u, as many as are needed to suit the number of holes.The monumental five-volume catalogue of the collection Mahillon commissioned, between and , also included four versions of his essay on the methodical classification of both ancient and modern instruments, which was to serve as the basis for the organological Hornbostel-Sachs classification systems, still used today.
Beginning in , Mahillon also created a restoration . Musical Instruments Essay - Musical Instruments A fairly old instrument that is still in use today is the theremin.
It has a particular design that is different from any other instrument around and is played much more differently then other instruments in circulation today. Musical Instrument for kids. Kindergarten, preschool, and elementary school crafts.
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