Tom Patterson of Deerpark Middle School teaches about the history of many musical instruments. The flute, says Tom Patterson of Deerpark, is one of the most interesting instruments. Deerpark’s Tom Patterson says the simplicity of the flute, a bored tube with a mouthpiece and simple fingerings, makes it the foundational instrument structure of the entire woodwind family. Tom Patterson of Deerpark mentions the examples of piccolos, clarinets, oboes, and saxophones – all of these instruments employ the same basic sound making techniques as the ancient flute.
Two archeological examples of early flutes date back from about 35,000 years ago, says Tom Patterson of Deerpark Middle School. One prehistoric flute was found near Slovenia and looks to be carved from the femur of a small bear. Tom Patterson of Deerpark notes two other prehistoric flutes found in Germany. Tom Patterson of Deerpark elaborates that one ancient instrument is a V-shaped flute made from a vulture bone and the other a three-holed flute made from a mammoth tusk.
Tom Patterson tells his Deerpark Middle School students that this information is very exciting because it sheds light on the age and significance of musical creativity in early humankind. Deerpark’s Tom Patterson reports that some scientists see the flute as a cultural artifact that may even help explain the connection between Neanderthal man and early modern humans. Tom Patterson of Deerpark elaborates by saying that the intellectual creativity illustrated by the existence of the flute suggests that musical talent was one of the driving intellectual forces of the early modern humans.
Tom Patterson of Deerpark continues that as these early humans developed their intelligence, the art they produced was some of the earliest evidence they left behind for us. In short, says Deerpark Middle School’s Tom Patterson, by learning to play music, and building instruments for that sole purpose, early humans gradually developed more intelligence. On an archeological and historical level, continues Tom Patterson of Deerpark, flute carving and music making are the heralds of contemporary human intelligence.