Talk:Prehistoric music

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How does the article need to be leaned up? Hyacinth 11:51, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

No idea what the user who tagged it meant, but I think that the bone flute reference at least needs to be investigated further. It's rather controversial, with many musicologists and archaeologists believing it's just a gnawed bone. --Myke Cuthbert 23:17, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

FYI: Ivan Turk, the finder of the bone "flute" has published in L'Archaeolgie (2005 & 2006) the results of a study using multi-slice tomography (usually used to image various layers of the body, organs, brain functioning, etc.) The bone was imaged and the results, as Turk described them are that most, or all holes, were made before any carnivore damage. The damage had been cited, by those claiming a carnivore origin, to indicate marrow was present, but the tomography results now challenge that conclusion. Turk wrote: "...the origin of the holes on the "flute" are no longer doubtful. We believe it is sufficiently clearly shown that it is really an exceptional discovery, the oldest object which can be considered a flute, and that sooner or later, the community of the paleolithicians will have to accept it." Other recent papers this year have described the bone as a flute, and the dispute may be nearing an end in facvour of it being an artifact. -- C. Norton.

I removed it. Cleanup is for when:
  • You aren't sure whether something should be merged, deleted, or expanded.
  • Needs formatting, proofreading, or rephrasing in comprehensible English.
  • Multiple overlapping problems.
  • The article is very short and might need removal or merging with a broader article
Hyacinth 09:23, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Bob Fink[edit]

Uh, this page reads like an ad for Bob Fink, whoever that is. Here's another page from his website: . Check that out.

That website isn't loading for me (I keep getting time-outs). Do you have a link to a mirror site or another site that has the MIDI file on it?

problems of prehistory[edit]

hello, the term prehistory which lumps in all aboriginals into its defintion reveals how much its lacking. i favor the use of the word 'primitive'. heres an example from the art page:

"In the history of art, primitive art is an inherently overbroad catagory which seeks to describe all art which existed in societies that did not use agriculture as the primary way of making a living. This topic includes both the stone ages of Europe as well as the diverse aboriginal socities of which some continue to exist around the world."

Citation Please[edit]

"The origin of music likely stems from natural sounds and rhythms: the human heartbeat, the songs of birds, the rustling of wind through trees, the thunder and sound of rain, the dripping of water in a cave, the crackle of a burning fire and the sounds of waves breaking on a beach or bubbles in a brook[citation needed]."

Nice as it may sounds, there doesn't seem to be any possible way of knowing this. Considering that music emerged prior to recorded history, any suggestions on where the origin of music stems from is guessing at best. Perhaps if there's some emperically founded notion that the human brain (or organisms in general) are fond of "natural sounds and rhythms" then you can feel free to suggest this, but this should in no way be regarded as an acceptable statement on an encyclopedia. I'm removing it.

Please sign your posts on talk pages per Wikipedia:Sign your posts on talk pages. Thanks! Hyacinth 10:47, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I disagree - it's not unreasonable[edit]

I move to reinstate the deleted text referred to above ("The origin of music" etc). The user did not say it was "known" that prehistoric music stems from those "natural sounds", he said it was "likely". He was not positing a scientific proof and furthermore his description does not seem in the slightest to be out-of-place in any way, or otherwise risible for any reason whatsoever. With regard to the critic's comments about what is an "acceptable statement" in an encyclopaedia, I do not accept his position in the absence of any evidence (not even Wikipedia guidelines have been cited). Therefore unless there are any reasoned objections I will reinstate the writer's comments in due course. --Xdel 18:09, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Music as a precursor for language[edit]

Some attention might be given to the speculative, but possibly world changing theory expounded by Steven Mithen in his recent work "The Singing Neanderthals":

Music is the remnant of a precursor of the current compositional language of men. Homo ergaster, Homo heidelbergensis and Homo Neandertalensis used a Holistic, manipulative, multi-modal, musical and memetic language, which only in the Homo sapiens line gave rise to the present compositional language (... and to music, of course).

This theory would merit an article on its own. Maybe I will write it soon.

Lignomontanus 05:59, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Present-day musicians producing prehistoric music[edit]

If nobody has any reasoned objection then I move to include a section that attempts an anachronistic definition of prehistoric music in the present-day context, to reflect the diversity of present-day musical art forms. - Xdel

There are aboriginal pow-wow music gatherings that are traditional. Whether the sounds are the same as hundreds or thousands of years ago cannot be known. But an analysis of some of the music and people show that (depending on tribes and areas) there is no known scale handed down in the making of this music; no or little harmony; the melodies sung and chanted are extremely limited often within the range of a 5th interval. The tones are usually "just or acoustic intervals" but as said, limited in range and variations. The whole matter is really one of repeating chant and rhythm and dance. It is very powerful. I suspect it hasn't changed all that much for generations, because its tradition and religious aspects may have helped "freeze" it from changes that often affect other peoples' music. Perhaps it is indeed a living form of modern music performance of prehistoric music? If you know of more examples -- then by all means, add the section.
Buffy St Marie has written and sung music that incorporates the pow-wow sound in the western musical context of wide ranging melodies and harmony and complex rhythms, and the effect is emotionally electric. -- Bob Fink 04:54, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Linking vender to book title inappropriate[edit]

Regarding this:

"The Origin of Music (1970, ISBN 0-912424-06-0) claims that influence from the most audible overtones of the three most nearly universal intervals found across time & cultures (namely, a tone's octave, 4th and 5th -- or the notes Do, Fa, and Sol), will cause an evolution into the most widespread of scales as follows:

The overtones of a tonic or "Do" (using the key of C), are C, G, E, B(flat).

The note "Sol," or G, has these overtones: G, D, B, F.

The note "Fa" has these: F, C, A, E(flat). After the first 4 different overtones of any note, the remainder are inaudible to the average ear.

When all the first 3 overtones of each note (in the trio of notes listed) are placed within the range of an octave, they produce the diatonic (or the do, re, mi) scale (C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C). If the weakest two (Mi and Ti) are removed, then the pentatonic scale results (C,D, - F,G,A, - C). If the weakest ones are replaced with the last listed overtones, B(flat) and E(flat), then a harmonic minor scale is made (C, D, E-flat, F, G, A, B-flat, C). Thus the influence from the presence of these overtones, depending how many of the audible overtones are chosen, could have brought into being, over time, the most widespread scales that are known today.

A definition of what are known as the tonic, dominant or subdominant (the "trio" of tones Do, Fa and Sol), evolves because the average strengths of the audible overtones are unequal, some being louder than others. This determines over time the role & power of each note in a scale, which creates tonality (defined as a "sense of key" or "loyalty to a fundamental tonic") and creates tonal scales. The theory has received support from more recent archaeological finds (see below, next)."

I don't think this is an appropriate place to point to any particular website that's selling a book. Instead, a link should be made to Wikipedia's Trio Theory page and the vendor's link should be deleted. This is the course of action I will take at this time.

--Xdel 18:22, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

You're right. BUT -- This terminology being used, namely "the so-called 'trio theory,'" offers no information whatever about where the theory below it comes from. It apparently was a convenient "short-title" by an editor but does not serve as verification or source. Therefore, it will be removed. Also the term "trio theory" exists in no book known at the time the theory it refers to below it was written and published (1970 and again in 1981). The theory is found in the book The Origin of Music. but the term "trio theory" does not exist inside that book. This information is verified by the author. There was a similar theory nearly the same, formulated and published in 1894 by G. L. Raymond in a comparitive esthetics book series by Putnam's & Sons. And before that by Helmholtz; and others in an even more different and less complete form. The view that scale origins are influenced by acoustics is very notable, but this "trio theory" nickname is not.
Therefore, as the term "trio theory" is an innaccurate title, unknown by any but relatively recent Wikipedia editors, it is going to be removed, and replaced with the exact and proper verifying source (the title of the book, but without any vender or sales website link). The newbie editor who linked to the website selling the book did so a year ago, perhaps me or someone else, simply to verify the book existed, and so with apologies, we agree that link should be removed. Any other vender-like link made in error regarding the rules will be removed and is removable. If a new source is needed to verify any statement, please indicate it here in Talk, and someone will replace it with a non-vender source.
As for the "Trio theory" wikipedia page, that was created unilaterally without discussion by an editor who deveoped an extreme attachment to that title. That whole page should be retitled accurately as "Origin of scales," or "An acoustic theory of the Origin of Scales." I hope someone changes the title soon. I don't know how to do it. I hope someone will also replace the demonizing sub-head here with something a little more friendly? - Bob Fink 04:25, 29 November 2006 (UTC) P.s. Rest assured I make only minor edits like spellings, dates, et al, as allowed -- and only when necessary.

Thanks for removing link to website ad.

--Xdel 21:33, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Some issues[edit]

I've just added clean-up and Expansion templates to the article (two things that are defiantly needed). Also I think the information is somewhat incomplete, there have been many discoveries of Palaeolithic and Neolithic musical instruments (not to mention ones from the Bronze-age). For instance about 2 years ago I saw a Ray Mears documentary about the lives of Stone-age people and it featured a Palaeolithic Flute found in England (he then played a replica of it), if I remember correctly they said it was 12,000 years old (that would be older than the Chinese ones that this article says are the oldest). The museum scientist also speculated about other instruments like drums (although they didn't have any such artefacts), why is this (and other such finds) not mentioned at all? --Hibernian 08:24, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

The article says only that the oldest still-playable (unbroken) flute is among the 9,000 year-old Chinese flutes. The oldest one may be the 50,000+ year-old "Neanderthal Flute," when the debate resolves about that one.
Several artifacts, drums, whistles and so on may remain on back shelves in many countries' museums or archival vaults. Most archaeologists do not even know these exist -- and the documentary you mention may not have had its artifact noted by every archaeologist. The most striking ones (many holes in the object, many strings, etc.), and so on, which signify more than just their age and existence are noted. If the people who know about all the artifacts you refer to decide to write about them, then I suppose they'll be soon mentioned here. I hope so. There are only a basic handful of prehistoric whistles (or debatably, flutes). One or two pages of pictures would illustrate them all. I could probably create a webpage of them -- but would you add it to the article, if I did? Bob F. 11:59, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Oldest known song[edit]

Why is this discussed here? I'm not sure where it belongs, but because it is written down, it clearly is not prehistoric music, but ancient music of some sort. Rigadoun (talk) 19:29, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

8uyuye7rtyb uy —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:08, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

issue with "motherese"[edit]

this term is antiquated. the correct term universally accepted by linguists and child development researchers is "child directed speech". klin06 —Preceding undated comment added 15:31, 9 April 2010 (UTC).

citation on infant musicality[edit] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:48, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

"...there is no clear link between music and sex..." Umm... dance? (talk) 03:11, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Scientific evidence for evolutionary reasoning of music[edit]

It has been shown scientifically (easily found by googling) that various species use the rhythmic nature of sound (music) to coordinate movements, especially between large groups. So we see large flocks of birds coordinating their flight with rhythmic chirps, all turning together and changing positions. The same is true for bees passing information on with a "dance", and fish schools moving in formation, to the sounds of common rhythmic clicks. Dancing music and song are useful for preserving and passing on information, and so it was a mistake to think that music is something "above" nature, or exists only for "emotional" reasons, although this exact reasoning has been preserved in the "scientific" teachings of our age, and found its way to this article. Perhaps we need a section on the history of the scientific perception of music.

In any case, this is a call for serious wikipedians to look it up and bring together the sources for the current scientific perception of music as a natural phenomenon, NOT unique to humans, with VARIOUS evolving uses, and part of the communication system in the natural living world.פשוט pashute ♫ (talk) 13:55, 4 September 2016 (UTC)