A 40,00 Year Old Flute and the Pentatonic Scale

 photo - H. Jensen

photo - H. Jensen

The pentatonic scale, which fossil evidence suggests is over 40,000 years old, is found in traditional music all over the world and remains at the heart of music we love today. Jazz, Blues, Rock, Soul, R&B, Folk, Gospel, Bluegrass and many other genres. Bone flutes have been found in China, South America, and Africa, but the flute made from a griffin bone, discovered in the the Hohle Fels cave in Germany, is the oldest known intact pitched instrument.  Tom Service, writing for the Guardian observes...

What's so striking about this ancient wind instrument is how familiar it looks. It's basically an ice age penny whistle: anyone can see it's a tool for making music, with its five finger-holes and a V-shaped notch at one end, through which a prehistoric musician would have blown. 

- From The Ice Age Flute That Can Play the Star Spangled Banner by Tom Service (The Guardian 2/15/13)