Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Archeologists find 35,000 year old flute

This isn't the first evidence of ancient music making, not by a long way, but it's further corroboration that it wasn't just a phenomenon restricted to one or two small communities. It makes you wonder, what is it that causes people to make music? I mean, I've been surrounded by music my whole life -- when you consider my social and family background the only thing that's remarkable about the fact that I play instruments is that I didn't start until I was 16 -- but these people didn't have radios or written music to inspire them. What makes someone start playing a little ditty, or singing a tune, if they've never heard music before? I suppose music could have been an everyday part of human life even then, but it must have started at some point.

Did someone get a tune stuck in their head one day and have to invent music to play it? Did someone start jamming to the rhythm of flint knapping? Or were animal skin-clothed early humans singing along with the birds, like some kind of surreal disney movie?

And what the hell is music, when you get down to it?


In other news, I've learned today that if you're half asleep a cat sneezing sounds rather a lot like a silenced pistol. I woke up terrified that I was being assassinated, then I remembed that suppressed weapons are actually only marginally quieter than normal guns, not the muffled sneezing noise you hear in films.