Which were the first ancient cultures to make music?

22nd July 2009

Asked by: Caroline Jones, London

In 1996, two teams of archaeologists claimed to have found fragments of simple flute-like instruments at Neanderthal sites in Slovenia and the Neander Valley in Germany. Both were made from bone - a cave bear's femur and a mastodon's tusk - in which rows of holes had been drilled at intervals that would allow the bones to make musical notes. If confirmed, this would mean that these early humans were making music at least 50,000 years ago, and possibly longer.