There is a great article about a 9000 year old bone flute that was discovered in the 1980s in China. Pretty interesting stuff. Some of the highlights are:
- The form of Jiahu flutes: There are five or six holes in bone flutes of the early period; seven holes on most flutes of the middle period; and seven or eight holes in the latest period.
- The concepts of “scale” (Shu) and “temperament” (Lu) in making the Jiahu bone flute: flutes of each period had some changes in the arrangement of scale and this indicates that our Jiahu ancestors already had certain temperament standards when making different tones.
- Why the world of musical research is amazed by the accuracy of the tuning system of the Jiahu bone flute number 341:2: The method of hole-drilling and the arrangement of the five-tone scale demonstrate that, at that time, the practice of Chinese music had already entered a completely new realm.
- The inheritance and selectivity of musical culture: during a continuous period of 1200 years, Jiahu musical production developed from a four-tone scale to a seven-tone scale through successive changes, and from complexity to a high level of simplicity, and this trend bears an important significance to modern musical composition.