When musicians or music lovers talk about early music, we’re usually talking about Renaissance music, so roughly between 1400 – 1650, if you extend into the early Baroque. So for us, early music goes back a few hundred years. If you speak to an archaeologist, however, early music takes on a totally different meaning, extending back tens of thousands of years.
Archaeologists have found evidence of cultural and artistic innovations including cave paintings, small human and animal figures, and bone and ivory flutes dating to about 40,000 years ago during the Upper Paleolithic era, about the time that early humans first arrived in Europe.
As difficult as it may be to imagine, stone age humans were playing the flute!