The World's Oldest Instrument | The Flute

Classical Academy | Instruments


Aside from the voice, the flute is the oldest known musical instrument, and in many respects it has something of the intangible essence of the human voice in its airey tones somewhere between song and whistling. The breadth of tonal colour inherent to this magical instrument offers an enticing range of expressive possibilities for any composer. The earliest flutes have been discovered to date back to as early as 40,000 years ago in the low mountainous regions of Germany and bear testament to the phenomenally longstanding legacy of music production in the history of mankind. A 9000-year old Gudi flute (meaning it is made from bone) discovered in a tomb in central China is still playable today.


Throughout the history of music, and particularly since medieval times through to the modern era of clasiscal music, the flute has some proud moments in acclaimed orchestral pieces, as well as some beautiful solo pieces to showcase its brilliance. Discover just some of the variety of music for this age-old instrument with our selection of flute highlights.