Lorenzo Da Ponte
Lorenzo Da Ponte was an Italian American opera librettist and Roman Catholic priest. He wrote the libretti for 28 operas by 11 composers, including three of Mozart's most celebrated operas, Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro and Così fan tutte. Lorenzo Da Ponte was born Emanuele Conegliano in 1749 in the Republic of Venice, he was Jewish by birth, the eldest of three sons. In 1764, his father, Geronimo Conegliano a widower, converted himself and his family to Roman Catholicism in order to marry a Catholic woman. Emanuele, as was the custom, took the name of Lorenzo Da Ponte from the Bishop of Ceneda who baptised him. Thanks to the bishop, the three Conegliano brothers studied at the Ceneda seminary; the bishop died in 1768, after which Lorenzo moved to the seminary at Portogruaro, where he took Minor Orders in 1770 and became Professor of Literature. He was ordained a priest in 1773, he began at this period writing poetry in Italian and Latin, including an ode to wine, "Ditirambo sopra gli odori".
In 1773 Da Ponte moved to Venice, where he made a living as a teacher of Latin and French. Although he was a Catholic priest, the young man led a dissolute life. While priest of the church of San Luca, he took a mistress. At his 1779 trial, where he was charged with "public concubinage" and "abduction of a respectable woman", it was alleged that he had been living in a brothel and organizing the entertainments there, he was banished for fifteen years from Venice. Lorenzo Da Ponte moved to Gorizia Görz part of Austria, where he lived as a writer, attaching himself to the leading noblemen and cultural patrons of the city. In 1781 he believed that he had an invitation from his friend Caterino Mazzolà, the poet of the Saxon court, to take up a post at Dresden, only to be disabused when he arrived there. Mazzolà however offered him work at the theatre translating libretti and recommended that he seek to develop writing skills, he gave him a letter of introduction to the composer Antonio Salieri. With the help of Salieri, Da Ponte applied for and obtained the post of librettist to the Italian Theatre in Vienna.
Here he found a patron in the banker Raimund Wetzlar von Plankenstern, benefactor of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. As court poet and librettist in Vienna, he collaborated with Mozart and Vicente Martín y Soler. Da Ponte wrote the libretti for Mozart's most popular Italian operas, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, Soler's Una cosa rara, as well as the text on which the cantata Per la ricuperata salute di Ofelia is based. All of Da Ponte's works were adaptations of pre-existing plots, as was common among librettists of the time, with the exceptions of L'arbore di Diana with Soler, Così fan tutte, which he began with Salieri, but completed with Mozart; however the quality of his elaboration gave them new life. In the case of Figaro, Da Ponte included a preface to the libretto that hints at his technique and objectives in libretto writing, as well as his close working with the composer: I have not made a translation, but rather an imitation, or let us say an extract.... I was compelled to reduce the sixteen original characters to eleven, two of which can be played by a single actor and to omit, in addition to one whole act, many effective scenes....
In spite, however, of all the zeal and care on the part of both the composer and myself to be brief, the opera will not be one of the shortest.... Our excuse will be the variety of development of this drama... to paint faithfully and in full colour the divers passions that are aroused, and... to offer a new type of spectacle.... Only one address of Da Ponte's during his stay in Vienna is known: in 1788 he lived in the house Heidenschuß 316, which belonged to the Viennese archbishop. There he rented a three-room apartment for 200 Gulden. With the death of Austrian Emperor Joseph II in 1790, Da Ponte lost his patron, he was formally dismissed from the Imperial Service in 1791, due to intrigues, receiving no support from the new Emperor, Leopold. In August 1792, not being able to return to Venice, from which he had been banished until the end of 1794, he set off for Paris via Prague and Dresden armed with a letter of recommendation to Queen Marie Antoinette that her brother, the late Emperor Joseph II, had given Da Ponte before his death.
On the road to Paris, on learning about the worsening political situation in France and the arrest of the king and queen, he decided to head for London instead, accompanied by his companion Nancy Grahl. After a precarious start in England, exercising a number of jobs including that of grocer and Italian teacher, he became librettist at the King's Theatre, London, in 1803, he remained based in London undertaking various theatrical and publishing activities until 1805, when debt and bankruptcy caused him to flee to the United States in 1805 with Grahl and their children. In the United States, Da Ponte settled in New York City first Sunbury, where he ran a grocery store and gave private Italian lessons, he returned to New York to open a bookstore. He became friends with Clement Clarke Moore, through him, gained an unpaid appointment as the first professor of Italian literature at Columbia College, he was the first Roman Catholic priest to be appointed to the faculty, he was the first to have been raised a Jew.
In New York he introduced opera and produced in 1825 the first full performance of Don Giovanni in the United States, in which Maria García sa
A harpsichord is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. This activates a row of levers that turn a trigger mechanism that plucks one or more strings with a small plectrum; the term denotes the whole family of similar plucked-keyboard instruments, including the smaller virginals and spinet. The harpsichord was used in Renaissance and Baroque music. During the late 18th century, with the rise of the piano, it disappeared from the musical scene. In the 20th century, it made a resurgence, being used in informed performances of older music, in new compositions, in certain styles of popular music. Harpsichords vary in size and shape; the player depresses a key that rocks over a pivot in the middle of its length. The other end of the key lifts a jack; when the player releases the key, the far end returns to its rest position, the jack falls back. As the key reaches its rest position, a felt damper atop the jack stops the string's vibrations; these basic principles are explained in detail below.
The keylever is a simple pivot, which rocks on a balance pin that passes through a hole drilled through the keylever. The jack is a rectangular piece of wood that sits upright on the end of the keylever; the jacks are held in place by the registers. These are two long strips of wood, which run in the gap between bellyrail; the registers have rectangular mortises through which the jacks pass as they can move down. The registers hold the jacks in the precise location needed to pluck the string. In the jack, a plectrum juts out horizontally and passes just under the string. Plectra were made of bird quill or leather; when the front of the key is pressed, the back of the key rises, the jack is lifted, the plectrum plucks the string. The vertical motion of the jack is stopped by the jackrail, covered with soft felt to muffle the impact; when the key is released, the jack falls back down under its own weight, the plectrum passes back under the string. This is made possible by having the plectrum held in a tongue attached with a pivot and a spring to the body of the jack.
The bottom surface of the plectrum is cut at a slant. When the jack arrives in lowered position, the felt damper touches the string, causing the note to cease; each string is wound around a tuning pin at the end of the string closer to the player. When rotated with a wrench or tuning hammer, the tuning pin adjusts the tension so that the string sounds the correct pitch. Tuning pins are held in holes drilled in the pinblock or wrestplank, an oblong hardwood plank. Proceeding from the tuning pin, a string next passes over the nut, a sharp edge, made of hardwood and is attached to the wrestplank; the section of the string beyond the nut forms its vibrating length, plucked and creates sound. At the other end of its vibrating length, the string passes over the bridge, another sharp edge made of hardwood; as with the nut, the horizontal position of the string along the bridge is determined by a vertical metal pin inserted into the bridge, against which the string rests. The bridge itself rests on a soundboard, a thin panel of wood made of spruce, fir or—in some Italian harpsichords—cypress.
The soundboard efficiently transduces the vibrations of the strings into vibrations in the air. A string is attached at its far end by a loop to a hitchpin. While many harpsichords have one string per note, more elaborate harpsichords can have two or more strings for each note; when there are multiple strings for each note, these additional strings are called "choirs" of strings. This provides two advantages: the ability to vary ability to vary tonal quality. Volume is increased when the mechanism of the instrument is set up by the player so that the press of a single key plucks more than one string. Tonal quality can be varied in two ways. First, different choirs of strings can be designed to have distinct tonal qualities by having one set of strings plucked closer to the nut, which emphasizes the higher harmonics, produces a "nasal" sound quality; the mechanism of the instrument, called "stops" permits the player to select the other. Second, having one key pluck two strings at once changes not just volume but tonal quality.
A vivid effect is obtained when the strings plucked are an octave apart. This is heard by the ear not as two pitches but as one: the sound of the higher string is blended with that of the lower one, the ear hears the lower pitch, enriched in tonal quality by the additional strength in the upper harmonics of the note sounded by the higher string; when describing a harpsichord it is customary to specify its choirs of strings called its disposition. Strings at eight foot pitch sound at the normal expected pitch, strings at four foot pitch sound
The violin, sometimes known as a fiddle, is a wooden string instrument in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body, it is highest-pitched instrument in the family in regular use. Smaller violin-type instruments exist, including the violino piccolo and the kit violin, but these are unused; the violin has four strings tuned in perfect fifths, is most played by drawing a bow across its strings, though it can be played by plucking the strings with the fingers and by striking the strings with the wooden side of the bow. Violins are important instruments in a wide variety of musical genres, they are most prominent in the Western classical tradition, both in ensembles and as solo instruments and in many varieties of folk music, including country music, bluegrass music and in jazz. Electric violins with solid bodies and piezoelectric pickups are used in some forms of rock music and jazz fusion, with the pickups plugged into instrument amplifiers and speakers to produce sound. Further, the violin has come to be played in many non-Western music cultures, including Indian music and Iranian music.
The name fiddle is used regardless of the type of music played on it. The violin was first known in 16th-century Italy, with some further modifications occurring in the 18th and 19th centuries to give the instrument a more powerful sound and projection. In Europe, it served as the basis for the development of other stringed instruments used in Western classical music, such as the viola. Violinists and collectors prize the fine historical instruments made by the Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati families from the 16th to the 18th century in Brescia and Cremona and by Jacob Stainer in Austria. According to their reputation, the quality of their sound has defied attempts to explain or equal it, though this belief is disputed. Great numbers of instruments have come from the hands of less famous makers, as well as still greater numbers of mass-produced commercial "trade violins" coming from cottage industries in places such as Saxony and Mirecourt. Many of these trade instruments were sold by Sears, Roebuck and Co. and other mass merchandisers.
The parts of a violin are made from different types of wood. Violins can be strung with Perlon or other synthetic, or steel strings. A person who makes or repairs violins is called a violinmaker. One who makes or repairs bows is called an bowmaker; the word "violin" was first used in English in the 1570s. The word "violin" comes from "Italian violino, diminutive of viola"; the term "viola" comes from the expression for "tenor violin" in 1797, from Italian viola, from Old Provençal viola, Medieval Latin vitula" as a term which means "stringed instrument," from Vitula, Roman goddess of joy... or from related Latin verb vitulari, "to exult, be joyful." The related term "Viola da gamba" means "bass viol" is from Italian "a viola for the leg"." A violin is the "modern form of the smaller, medieval viola da braccio." The violin is called a fiddle, either when used in a folk music context, or in Classical music scenes, as an informal nickname for the instrument. The word "fiddle" was first used in English in the late 14th century.
The word "fiddle" comes from "fedele, fidel, earlier fithele, from Old English fiðele "fiddle,", related to Old Norse fiðla, Middle Dutch vedele, Dutch vedel, Old High German fidula, German Fiedel, "a fiddle. As to the origin of the word "fiddle", the "...usual suggestion, based on resemblance in sound and sense, is that it is from Medieval Latin vitula." The earliest stringed instruments were plucked. Two-stringed, bowed instruments, played upright and strung and bowed with horsehair, may have originated in the nomadic equestrian cultures of Central Asia, in forms resembling the modern-day Mongolian Morin huur and the Kazakh Kobyz. Similar and variant types were disseminated along East-West trading routes from Asia into the Middle East, the Byzantine Empire; the direct ancestor of all European bowed instruments is the Arabic rebab, which developed into the Byzantine lyra by the 9th century and the European rebec. The first makers of violins borrowed from various developments of the Byzantine lyra.
These included the lira da braccio. The violin in its present form emerged in early 16th-century northern Italy; the earliest pictures of violins, albeit with three strings, are seen in northern Italy around 1530, at around the same time as the words "violino" and "vyollon" are seen in Italian and French documents. One of the earliest explicit descriptions of the instrument, including its tuning, is from the Epitome musical by Jambe de Fer, published in Lyon in 1556. By this time, the violin had begun to spread throughout Europe; the violin proved popular, both among street musicians and the nobility. One of these "noble" instruments, the Charles IX, is the oldest surviving violin; the finest Renaissance carved and decorated violin in the world is the Gasparo da Salò owned by Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria and from 1841, by the Norwegian virtuoso Ole Bull, who used it for forty years and thousands of concerts, for i
Austrian National Library
The Austrian National Library is the largest library in Austria, with more than 12 million items in its various collections. The library is located in the Neue Burg Wing of the Hofburg in center of Vienna. Since 2005, some of the collections have been relocated within the baroque structure of the Palais Mollard-Clary. Founded by the Habsburgs, the library was called the Imperial Court Library; the library complex includes four museums, as well as archives. The institution has its origin in the imperial library of the Middle Ages. During the Medieval period, the Austrian Duke Albert III moved the books of the Viennese vaults into a library. Albert arranged for important works from Latin to be translated into German. In the Hofburg, the treasure of Archduke Albert III had been kept in sacristies inside the south tower of the imperial chapel; the Archduke was a connoisseur of art. The oldest book on record at the library, the 1368 golden Holy Gospels, was owned by Albert III. On scenes depicting the lives of the four Evangelists, four coats of arms show the House of Austria, Tirol and Carinthia, the lands which Archduke Albrecht III had ruled at the time.
Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, had the goal of consolidating the art treasures among the Habsburg possessions. Among other things, he brought some valuable books into the Vienna, among them the Prager Wenzelsbibel and the document of the golden bull. Through his marriage with Mary of Burgundy, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor came into possession of important books from Burgundy and north France, brought these to Wiener Neustadt. With a value at that time estimated at 100,000 guldens, these books represented about an eighth of Mary's dowry. Maximilian's second wife, Bianca Maria Sforza, brought into the marriage books from Italian workshops as part of her dowry. At that time the books of the library were kept in Wiener Neustadt in Vienna, in Innsbruck. After the death of Maximilian, the books were sent to the palace at Innsbruck. In addition to the valuable books from the public treasury, the Bibliotheca Regia, which collected and categorized scientific works, was developed in Vienna during the 16th century.
Besides books, that library contained globes and atlases. Over time the library expanded thanks to donations from the personal libraries of individual scholars; the first head librarian, Hugo Blotius, was appointed in 1575 by Emperor Maximilian II. His most important task was drawing up the inventory of the library, which had grown to 9,000 books; as a consequence, new works were added systematically, other libraries were incorporated. On 26 August, 1624, delivery of copies was regulated by order of Ferdinand II; the Imperial Library increased by purchases. In particular, the library of Philipp Eduard Fugger led to a major expansion; the library has about 17,000 sheets of one of the first periodic printing elements, the Fugger newspapers, from the Fugger library. In 1722, Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor authorized the construction of a permanent home for the library in the Hofburg palace, after the plans of Leopold I; the wing was begun by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and started accommodating the library in the 18th century.
The most valuable addition at that time was the extensive collection of Prince Eugene of Savoy, whose 15,000 volumes included valuable books from France and Italy. The State Hall of the library housed about 200,000 books at this point. During the reorganization there was for the first time criticism regarding the fact that the library served as representation rather than the search for knowledge. Doctor Gerard van Swieten, physician to Maria Theresia, his son Gottfried van Swieten supplemented the collection with numerous scientific works. Gottfried van Swieten successfully introduced the card index; this facilitated the continuous updating of the inventory. After the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved by Napoleon and the Austrian Empire proclaimed in its place, the library was again reorganized. Under custodian Paul Strattmann, the library received a program for the first time which described its order; the collection politics of the Imperial Library separated at the beginning the 19th century appreciably due to the requirements of the representation and its attention to scientific works.
The multinational condition of the Austrian Empire brought with itself that, not only German-language books were collected, but books of the Slavic and Hungarian linguistic area. Substantial parts of the Hungarian collection moved to Budapest, after reconciliation with Hungary. During the March revolution of 1848, the Imperial Library was in extreme danger, when after the bombardment of Vienna caused the burning of the Hofburg, in which the Imperial Library was located. An important addition to the Imperial Library is the papyrus collection, which goes back to the acquisitions of the Viennese of antique dealer Theodor Graf. After the proclamation of the Republic of Austria, the Imperial Library was rena
Oboes belong to the classification of double reed woodwind instruments. Oboes are made of wood, but there are oboes made of synthetic materials; the most common oboe plays in the soprano range. A soprano oboe measures 65 cm long, with metal keys, a conical bore and a flared bell. Sound is produced by blowing into the reed at a sufficient air pressure, causing it to vibrate with the air column; the distinctive tone is versatile and has been described as "bright". When the word oboe is used alone, it is taken to mean the treble instrument rather than other instruments of the family, such as the bass oboe, the cor anglais, or oboe d'amore A musician who plays the oboe is called an oboist. Today, the oboe is used in concert bands, chamber music, film music, some genres of folk music, as a solo instrument, heard in jazz, rock and popular music. In comparison to other modern woodwind instruments, the treble oboe is sometimes referred to as having a clear and penetrating voice; the Sprightly Companion, an instruction book published by Henry Playford in 1695, describes the oboe as "Majestical and Stately, not much Inferior to the Trumpet."
In the play Angels in America the sound is described as like "that of a duck if the duck were a songbird". The rich timbre is derived from its conical bore; as a result, oboes are easier to hear over other instruments in large ensembles due to its penetrating sound. The highest note is a semitone lower than the nominally highest note of the B♭ clarinet. Since the clarinet has a wider range, the lowest note of the B♭ clarinet is deeper than the lowest note of the oboe. Music for the standard oboe is written in concert pitch, the instrument has a soprano range from B♭3 to G6. Orchestras tune to a concert A played by the first oboe. According to the League of American Orchestras, this is done because the pitch is secure and its penetrating sound makes it ideal for tuning; the pitch of the oboe is affected by the way. The reed has a significant effect on the sound. Variations in cane and other construction materials, the age of the reed, differences in scrape and length all affect the pitch. German and French reeds, for instance, differ in many ways.
Weather conditions such as temperature and humidity affect the pitch. Skilled oboists adjust their embouchure to compensate for these factors. Subtle manipulation of embouchure and air pressure allows the oboist to express timbre and dynamics. Most professional oboists make their reeds to suit their individual needs. By making their reeds, oboists can control factors such as tone color and responsiveness. Novice oboists may begin with a Fibrecane reed, made of a synthetic material. Commercially available cane reeds are available in several degrees of hardness; these reeds, like clarinet and bassoon reeds, are made from Arundo donax. As oboists gain more experience, they may start making their own reeds after the model of their teacher or buying handmade reeds and using special tools including gougers, pre-gougers, guillotines and other tools to make the reed to their liking. According to the late John Mack, former principal oboist of the Cleveland Orchestra, an oboe student must fill a laundry basket with finished reeds in order to master the art.
"Making good reeds requires years of practice, the amateur is well advised not to embark on making his own reeds... Orchestral musicians sometimes do this, co-principals in particular earn a bit on the side in this way.... Many professional musicians import their reed cane... directly from the growers in southern France and split it vertically into three parts themselves. Oboes require thicknesses of about 10 millimeters." This allows each oboist to adjust the reeds for individual embouchure, oral cavity, oboe angle, air support. The reed is considered the part of oboe playing that makes it so difficult because slight variations in temperature, altitude and climate will change a working reed into an unplayable collection of cane. In English, prior to 1770, the standard instrument was called a "hautbois", "hoboy", or "French hoboy"; the spelling of oboe was adopted into English c. 1770 from the Italian oboè, a transliteration of the 17th-century pronunciation of the French name. The regular oboe first appeared in the mid-17th century.
This name was used for its predecessor, the shawm, from which the basic form of the hautbois was derived. Major differences between the two instruments include the division of the hautbois into three sections, or joints, the elimination of the pirouette, the wooden ledge below the reed which allowed players to rest their lips; the exact date and place of origin of the hautbois are obscure, as are the individuals who were responsible. Circumstantial evidence, such as the statement by the flautist composer Michel de la Barre in his Memoire, points to members of the Philidor and Hotteterre families; the instrument may in fact have had multiple inventors. The hautbois spread throughout Europe, including Great Britain, where it was called "hautboy", "hoboy", "hautboit", "howboye", similar variants of the French name, it was the
The natural horn is a musical instrument, the predecessor to the modern-day horn. Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth century the natural horn evolved as a separation from the trumpet by widening the bell and lengthening the tubes, it consists of a mouthpiece, long coiled tubing, a large flared bell. This instrument was used extensively until the emergence of the valved horn in the early 19th century; the natural horn has several gaps in its harmonic range. To play chromatically, in addition to crooking the instrument into the right key, two additional techniques are required: bending and hand-stopping. Bending a note is achieved by modifying the embouchure to raise or lower the pitch fractionally, compensates for the out-of-pitch "wolf tones" which all brass instruments have. Hand-stopping is a technique whereby the player can modify the pitch of a note by up to a semitone by inserting a cupped hand into the bell. Both techniques change the timbre as well as the pitch. Pitch changes are made through a few techniques: Modulating the lip tension as done with modern brass instruments.
This allows for notes in the harmonic series to be played. Changing the length of the instrument by switching the crooks; this is a rather slow process. Before the advent of the modern valved horn, many ideas were attempted to speed up the process of changing the key of the instrument. Crooks were in common use by 1740. Changing the position of the hand in the bell; the effect is a pitch that dampens the sound. The List of compositions for horn includes many pieces that were written with the natural horn in mind; until the development of the modern horn in the early to mid-19th century, Western music employed the natural horn and its natural brass brethren. Substantial contributors to the horn repertoire include Handel, Beethoven, Weber and many others; the chromatic abilities of developed brass instruments, opened new possibilities for composers of the Romantic era, fit with the artistic currents of the time. By the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century all music was written for the modern valved horn.
However, the natural horn still found its way into the works of some composers. Brahms wrote for natural horn. Benjamin Britten's Serenade for Tenor and Strings, though written for the modern horn, makes notable use of the F harmonic series and has been recorded at least once on a natural horn. György Ligeti's Hamburg Concerto makes a great use of the natural horn and of natural sounds on the modern horn in the solo part and requires four natural horns in the orchestra. Below lists natural horn keys with their corresponding fingering on the modern horn. If a piece of music says the key on the left you can press the key combination on the right on the modern double horn to get the correct tube length; this is useful for simulating natural horn. B♭ alto – T0 A – T2 A♭ – T1 G – T12 G♭/F♯ – T23 F – open E – 2 E♭ – 1 D – 12 D♭ – 23 C – 13 B basso – 123 B♭ basso – not possible on F horn, unless you pull all the valve slides and tuning slide out as far as they will go and use the 123 fingering; the intonation may still be sharp, a greater degree of hand in the horn bell can be needed.
Alphorn Natural trumpet John. The Natural Horn. Seraphinoff, Richard. Natural Horns
The flute is a family of musical instruments in the woodwind group. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening. According to the instrument classification of Hornbostel–Sachs, flutes are categorized as edge-blown aerophones. A musician who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, flutist or, less fluter or flutenist. Flutes are the earliest extant musical instruments, as paleolithic instruments with hand-bored holes have been found. A number of flutes dating to about 43,000 to 35,000 years ago have been found in the Swabian Jura region of present-day Germany; these flutes demonstrate that a developed musical tradition existed from the earliest period of modern human presence in Europe. The word flute first entered the English language during the Middle English period, as floute, or else flowte, flote from Old French flaute and from Old Provençal flaüt, or else from Old French fleüte, flaüte, flahute via Middle High German floite or Dutch fluit.
The English verb flout has the same linguistic root, the modern Dutch verb fluiten still shares the two meanings. Attempts to trace the word back to the Latin flare have been pronounced "phonologically impossible" or "inadmissable"; the first known use of the word flute was in the 14th century. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this was in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Hous of Fame, c.1380. Today, a musician who plays any instrument in the flute family can be called a flutist, or flautist, or a flute player. Flutist dates back to at least 1603, the earliest quotation cited by the Oxford English Dictionary. Flautist was used in 1860 by Nathaniel Hawthorne in The Marble Faun, after being adopted during the 18th century from Italy, like many musical terms in England since the Italian Renaissance. Other English terms, now obsolete, are fluter and flutenist; the oldest flute discovered may be a fragment of the femur of a juvenile cave bear, with two to four holes, found at Divje Babe in Slovenia and dated to about 43,000 years ago.
However, this has been disputed. In 2008 another flute dated back to at least 35,000 years ago was discovered in Hohle Fels cave near Ulm, Germany; the five-holed flute is made from a vulture wing bone. The researchers involved in the discovery published their findings in the journal Nature, in August 2009; the discovery was the oldest confirmed find of any musical instrument in history, until a redating of flutes found in Geißenklösterle cave revealed them to be older with an age of 42,000 to 43,000 years. The flute, one of several found, was found in the Hohle Fels cavern next to the Venus of Hohle Fels and a short distance from the oldest known human carving. On announcing the discovery, scientists suggested that the "finds demonstrate the presence of a well-established musical tradition at the time when modern humans colonized Europe". Scientists have suggested that the discovery of the flute may help to explain "the probable behavioural and cognitive gulf between" Neanderthals and early modern human.
A three-holed flute, 18.7 cm long, made from a mammoth tusk was discovered in 2004, two flutes made from swan bones excavated a decade earlier are among the oldest known musical instruments. A playable 9,000-year-old Gudi was excavated from a tomb in Jiahu along with 29 defunct twins, made from the wing bones of red-crowned cranes with five to eight holes each, in the Central Chinese province of Henan; the earliest extant Chinese transverse flute is a chi flute discovered in the Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng at the Suizhou site, Hubei province, China. It dates from 433 BC, of the Zhou Dynasty, it is fashioned of lacquered bamboo with closed ends and has five stops that are at the flute's side instead of the top. Chi flutes are mentioned in Shi Jing and edited by Confucius, according to tradition; the earliest written reference to a flute is from a Sumerian-language cuneiform tablet dated to c. 2600–2700 BCE. Flutes are mentioned in a translated tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem whose development spanned the period of 2100–600 BCE.
Additionally, a set of cuneiform tablets knows as the "musical texts" provide precise tuning instructions for seven scale of a stringed instrument. One of those scales is named embūbum, an Akkadian word for "flute"; the Bible, in Genesis 4:21, cites Jubal as being the "father of all those who play the ugab and the kinnor". The former Hebrew term is believed by some to refer to some wind instrument, or wind instruments in general, the latter to a stringed instrument, or stringed instruments in general; as such, Jubal is regarded in the Judeo-Christian tradition as the inventor of the flute. Elsewhere in the Bible, the flute is referred to as "chalil", in particular in 1 Samuel 10:5, 1 Kings 1:40, Isaiah 5:12 and 30:29, Jeremiah 48:36. Archeological digs in the Holy Land have discovered flutes from both the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, the latter era "witness the creation of the Israelite kingdom and its separation into the two kingdoms of Israel and Judea."Some early flutes were made out of tibias.