Wednesday, June 24, 2009

For my 200th post...

I will share this link with you from the New York Times about 30,000+ year old musical instruments.

Early human civilization has always fascinated me. At one point I seriously considered archeology or archeological anthropology as a career. My favorite museums are archeological museums. I love seeing the way people lived so long ago, their objects of daily life, the ways they amused themselves. Why did humans start to paint their pottery? Who decided one day that they wanted to take basic, everyday objects and make them beautiful, and what was their inspiration? Someone had to do all of these things for the first time.

And now we see that music and art have coexsited side by side for 30,000 years. How did music start? How did language transition to vocal music, and who ever thought of creating instruments? These simple flutes are the most basic and yet complicated of instruments (very difficult to actually get music out of!). And somehow music has progressed to brass, string, even electronic instruments. Vocal music is expressed in operas, rock and roll, metal screaming bands. And that isn't even talking about the various uses of music! Why did early homo sapiens sapiens use music? Was is religious, entertaining, used to cement social ties or celebrate hunts, as the article speculates?

Whatever the reason, what is clear is that there is something in us that causes us to want to make our world more beautiful, to create art and music, to express outselves through those mediums.

The human brain is an amazing thing.


Isabelle said...

Have you had the chance to visit the "musée des antiquités nationales" in Saint-Germain en Laye?

It's not exactly near where you live (it's located on the West side of Paris), but I'm sure you would love it since it's "le premier (et toujours aujourd’hui, le seul) musée consacré entièrement à l’archéologie du territoire national" as written on their web site (

au soleil levant said...

Oooh, Isabelle, thanks so much! Great suggestion! I will have to add that one to my list.

Animesh said...

Congrats for the 200th post!

Nice post, and good questions.

Although the last line reminds me of Kyliemac's Zombies :)

au soleil levant said...

Thanks Animesh!

Except that I don't have the same weird paranoia that Kylie Mac does about zombies, so comments like that don't bother me :)