Timpani or kettledrums are musical instruments in the percussion family. A type of drum categorised as a semispherical drum, they consist of a membrane called a head stretched over a large bowl traditionally made of copper. Most modern timpani are pedal timpani and can be tuned and to specific pitches by skilled players through the use of a movable foot-pedal, they are played by striking the head with a specialized drum stick called a timpani stick or timpani mallet. Timpani evolved from military drums to become a staple of the classical orchestra by the last third of the 18th century. Today, they are used in many types of ensembles, including concert bands, marching bands, in some rock bands. Timpani is an Italian plural, the singular of, timpano. However, in English the term timpano is only in use by practitioners: several are more referred to collectively as kettledrums, temple drums, timp-toms, or timps, they are often incorrectly termed timpanis. A musician who plays timpani is a timpanist.
First attested in English in the late 19th century, the Italian word timpani derives from the Latin tympanum, the latinisation of the Greek word τύμπανον, "a hand drum", which in turn derives from the verb τύπτω, meaning "to strike, to hit". Alternative spellings with y in place of either or both i's—tympani, tympany, or timpany—are encountered in older English texts. Although the word timpani has been adopted in the English language, some English speakers choose to use the word kettledrums; the German word for timpani is Pauken. The Ashanti pair of talking drums are known as atumpan; the tympanum is defined in the Etymologiae of St. Isidore of Seville: Tympanum est pellis vel corium ligno ex una parte extentum. Est enim pars media symphoniae in similitudinem cribri. Tympanum autem dictum quod medium est. Unde, et margaritum ipsum ut symphonia ad virgulam percutitur; the tympanum is hide stretched over a hollow wooden vessel which extends out. It is said by the symphonias to resemble a sieve, but has been likened to half a pearl.
It is struck with beating time for the symphonia. The reference comparing the tympanum to half a pearl is borrowed from Pliny the Elder; the basic timpano consists of a drum head stretched across the opening of a bowl made of copper or, in less expensive models, fiberglass or aluminum. In the Sachs–Hornbostel classification, this makes timpani membranophones; the head is affixed to a hoop. The counter hoop is held in place with a number of tuning screws called tension rods placed around the circumference; the head's tension can be adjusted by tightening the rods. Most timpani have six to eight tension rods; the shape and material of the bowl's surface help to determine the drum's timbre. For example, hemispheric bowls produce brighter tones. Modern timpani are made with copper due to its efficient regulation of internal and external temperatures relative to aluminum and fiberglass. Timpani come in a variety of sizes from about 33 inches in diameter down to piccoli timpani of 12 inches or less. A 33-inch drum can produce C2, specialty piccoli timpani can play up into the treble clef.
In Darius Milhaud's 1923 ballet score La création du monde, the timpanist must play F♯4. Each drum has a range of a perfect fifth, or seven semitones. Changing the pitch of a timpani by turning each tension rod individually is a laborious process. In the late 19th century, mechanical systems to change the tension of the entire head at once were developed. Any timpani equipped with such a system may be considered machine timpani, although this term refers to drums that use a handle connected to a spider-type tuning mechanism. By far the most common type of timpani used today are pedal timpani, which allows the tension of the head to be adjusted using a pedal mechanism; the pedal is connected to the tension screws via an assembly of either cast metal or metal rods called the spider. There are three types of pedal mechanisms in common use today: The ratchet clutch system uses a ratchet and pawl to hold the pedal in place; the timpanist must first disengage the clutch before using the pedal to tune the drum.
When the desired pitch is achieved, the timpanist must reengage the clutch. Because the ratchet engages in only a fixed set of positions, the timpanist must fine-tune the drum by means of a fine-tuning handle. In the balanced action system, a spring or hydraulic cylinder is used to balance the tension on the head so the pedal will stay in position and the head will stay at pitch; the pedal on a balanced action drum is sometimes called a floating pedal since there is no clutch holding it in place. The friction clutch or post and clutch system uses a clutch. Disengaging the clutch frees it from the post, allowing the pedal to move without restraint. Professional-level timpani have copper bowls; these drums can have one of two styles of pedals. The Dresden pedal is operated by ankle motion. A Berlin-style pedal is attached by means of a long arm to th
Scheherazade commonly Sheherazade, Op. 35, is a symphonic suite composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1888 and based on One Thousand and One Nights. This orchestral work combines two features typical of Russian music and of Rimsky-Korsakov in particular: dazzling, colorful orchestration and an interest in the East, which figured in the history of Imperial Russia, as well as orientalism in general; the name "Scheherazade" refers to the main character Shahrazad of One Nights. It is considered Rimsky-Korsakov's most popular work. During the winter of 1887, as he worked to complete Alexander Borodin's unfinished opera Prince Igor, Rimsky-Korsakov decided to compose an orchestral piece based on pictures from One Thousand and One Nights as well as separate and unconnected episodes. After formulating musical sketches of his proposed work, he moved with his family to the Glinki-Mavriny dacha, in Nyezhgovitsy along the Cheryemenyetskoye Lake; the dacha where he stayed was destroyed by the Germans during World War II.
During the summer, he finished the Russian Easter Festival Overture. Notes in his autograph orchestral score show that the former was completed between June 4 and August 7, 1888. Scheherazade consisted of a symphonic suite of four related movements, it was written to produce a sensation of fantasy narratives from the Orient. Rimsky-Korsakov intended to name the respective movements in Scheherazade "Prelude, Ballade and Finale". However, after weighing the opinions of Anatoly Lyadov and others, as well as his own aversion to a too-definitive program, he settled upon thematic headings, based upon the tales from The Arabian Nights; the composer deliberately made the titles vague so that they are not associated with specific tales or voyages of Sinbad. However, in the epigraph to the finale, he does make reference to the adventure of Prince Ajib. In a edition, Rimsky-Korsakov did away with titles altogether, desiring instead that the listener should hear his work only as an Oriental-themed symphonic music that evokes a sense of the fairy-tale adventure, stating: All I desired was that the hearer, if he liked my piece as symphonic music, should carry away the impression that it is beyond a doubt an Oriental narrative of some numerous and varied fairy-tale wonders and not four pieces played one after the other and composed on the basis of themes common to all the four movements.
He went on to say that he kept the name Scheherazade because it brought to everyone’s mind the fairy-tale wonders of Arabian Nights and the East in general. Rimsky-Korsakov wrote a brief introduction that he intended for use with the score as well as the program for the premiere: The Sultan Schariar, convinced that all women are false and faithless, vowed to put to death each of his wives after the first nuptial night, but the Sultana Scheherazade saved her life by entertaining her lord with fascinating tales, told seriatim, for a thousand and one nights. The Sultan, consumed with curiosity, postponed from day to day the execution of his wife, repudiated his bloody vow entirely; the grim bass motif that opens the first movement represents the domineering Sultan. This theme emphasizes four notes of a descending whole tone scale: E-D-C-B♭. After a few chords in the woodwinds, reminiscent of the opening of Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream overture, the audience hears the leitmotif that represents the character of the storyteller herself, Scheherazade.
This theme is sensuous winding melody for violin solo, accompanied by harp. Rimsky-Korsakov stated: he unison phrase, as though depicting Scheherazade’s stern spouse, at the beginning of the suite appears as a datum, in the Kalendar’s Narrative, where there cannot, however, be any mention of Sultan Shakhriar. In this manner, developing quite the musical data taken as a basis of composition, I had to view the creation of an orchestral suite in four movements knit by the community of its themes and motives, yet presenting, as it were, a kaleidoscope of fairy-tale images and designs of Oriental character. Rimsky-Korsakov had a tendency to juxtapose keys a major third apart, which can be seen in the strong relationship between E and C major in the first movement. This, along with his distinctive orchestration of melodies which are comprehensible, assembled rhythms, talent for soloistic writing, allowed for such a piece as Scheherazade to be written; the movements are unified by the short introductions in the first and fourth movements, as well as an intermezzo in the third.
The last is a violin solo representing Scheherazade, a similar artistic theme is represented in the conclusion of the fourth movement. Writers have suggested that Rimsky-Korsakov's earlier career as a naval officer may have been responsible for beginning and ending the suite with themes of the sea; the peaceful coda at the end of the final movement is representative of Scheherazade winning over the heart of the Sultan, allowing her to at last gain a peaceful night's sleep. The music premiered in Saint Petersburg on October 1888 conducted by Rimsky-Korsakov; the reasons for its popularity are clear enough. The work is scored for an orchestra consisting of: The work consists of four movements: A ballet adapta
Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34, is the common Western title for a five movement orchestral suite, based on Spanish folk melodies, composed by the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1887. Rimsky-Korsakov intended to write the work for a solo violin with orchestra, but decided that a purely orchestral work would do better justice to the lively melodies; the Russian title is Каприччио на испанские темы. The work has five movements, divided into two parts comprising the first three and the latter two movements respectively.. The first movement, Alborada, is a festive and exciting dance from traditional Asturian music to celebrate the rising of the sun, it features the clarinet with two solos, features a solo violin with a solo similar to the clarinet's. The second movement, begins with a melody in the horn section. Variations of this melody are repeated by other instruments and sections of the orchestra; the third movement, presents the same Asturian dance as the first movement. The two movements are nearly identical, in fact, except that this movement has a different instrumentation and key.
The fourth movement, Scena e canto gitano opens with five cadenzas — first by the horns and trumpets solo violin, flute and harp — played over rolls on various percussion instruments. It is followed by a dance in triple time leading attacca into the final movement; the fifth and final movement, Fandango asturiano, is an energetic dance from the Asturias region of northern Spain. The piece ends with an more rousing statement of the Alborada theme. A complete performance of the Capriccio takes around 16 minutes, it is scored for piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, side drum, bass drum, tambourine, castanets and strings. The piece is lauded for its orchestration, which features a large percussion section and many special techniques and articulations, such as in the fourth movement when the violinists and cellists are asked to imitate guitars. Despite the critical praise, Rimsky-Korsakov was annoyed that the other aspects of the piece were being ignored.
In his autobiography, he wrote: The opinion formed by both critics and the public, that the Capriccio is a magnificently orchestrated piece — is wrong. The Capriccio is a brilliant composition for the orchestra; the change of timbres, the felicitous choice of melodic designs and figuration patterns suiting each kind of instrument, brief virtuoso cadenzas for instruments solo, the rhythm of the percussion instruments, etc. constitute here the essence of the composition and not its garb or orchestration. The Spanish themes, of dance character, furnished me with rich material for putting in use multiform orchestral effects. All in all, the Capriccio is undoubtedly a purely external piece, but vividly brilliant for all that, it was a little less successful in its third section, where the brasses somewhat drown the melodic designs of the woodwinds. Capriccio Espagnol, Op.34 is played during the opening credits and as the Spanish Carnaval background music during Josef von Sternberg's film The Devil Is a Woman, credited on screen as'Music based on Rimsky-Korsakoff's "Spanish Caprice" and Old Spanish Melodies'.
Excerpts were heard in the fictional 1947 biopic of Song of Scheherazade. A recording by "Philharmonia Slavonica" featured in the film Brokeback Mountain; the "Philharmonia Slavonica" is a pseudonymous group that appears on a number of recordings of the bargain-record producer Alfred Scholz. The performances attributed to them are by the Austrian Radio Orchestra. A recording by the Moscow Radio Symphony in the film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ataúlfo Argenta Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Lorin Maazel Czech Philharmonic conducted by Karel Ančerl London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein "Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov: Works. Laki, Peter. Cleveland Orchestra program notes for performances on January 28 and 29, 2005. Capriccio Espagnol: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project
Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky was a Russian composer, one of the group known as "The Five". He was an innovator of Russian music in the romantic period, he strove to achieve a uniquely Russian musical identity in deliberate defiance of the established conventions of Western music. Many of his works were inspired by Russian history, Russian folklore, other national themes; such works include the opera Boris Godunov, the orchestral tone poem Night on Bald Mountain and the piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition. For many years Mussorgsky's works were known in versions revised or completed by other composers. Many of his most important compositions have posthumously come into their own in their original forms, some of the original scores are now available; the spelling and pronunciation of the composer's name has caused some confusion. The family name derives from a 15th- or 16th-century ancestor, Roman Vasilyevich Monastyryov, who appears in the Velvet Book, the 17th-century genealogy of Russian boyars.
Roman Vasilyevich bore the nickname "Musorga", was the grandfather of the first Mussorgsky. The composer could trace his lineage to Rurik, the legendary 9th-century founder of the Russian state. In Mussorgsky family documents the spelling of the name varies: "Musarskiy", "Muserskiy", "Muserskoy", "Musirskoy", "Musorskiy", "Musurskiy"; the baptismal record gives the composer's name as "Muserskiy". In early letters to Mily Balakirev, the composer signed his name "Musorskiy"; the "g" made its first appearance in a letter to Balakirev in 1863. Mussorgsky used this new spelling to the end of his life, but reverted to the earlier "Musorskiy"; the addition of the "g" to the name was initiated by the composer's elder brother Filaret to obscure the resemblance of the name's root to an unsavory Russian word: мусoр — n. m. debris, refuseMussorgsky did not take the new spelling and played on the "rubbish" connection in letters to Vladimir Stasov and to Stasov's family signing his name Musoryanin "garbage-dweller".
The first syllable of the name received the stress, does so to this day in Russia and in the composer's home district. The mutability of the second-syllable vowel in the versions of the name mentioned above gives evidence that this syllable did not receive the stress; the addition of the "g" and the accompanying shift in stress to the second syllable, sometimes described as a Polish variant, was supported by Filaret Mussorgsky's descendants until his line ended in the 20th century. Their example was followed by many influential Russians, such as Fyodor Shalyapin, Nikolay Golovanov, Tikhon Khrennikov, who dismayed that the great composer's name was "reminiscent of garbage", supported the erroneous second-syllable stress that has become entrenched in the West; the Western convention of doubling the first "s", not observed in scholarly literature arose because in many Western European languages a single intervocalic /s/ becomes voiced to /z/, unlike in Slavic languages where it can be both voiced and unvoiced.
Doubling the consonant thus reinforces its voiceless sibilant /s/ sound.'Modest' is the Russian form of the name'Modestus' which means'moderate' or'restrained' in Late Latin. Mussorgsky was born in Karevo, Toropets Uyezd, Pskov Governorate, Russian Empire, 400 km south of Saint Petersburg, his wealthy and land-owning family, the noble family of Mussorgsky, is reputedly descended from the first Ruthenian ruler, through the sovereign princes of Smolensk. At age six, Mussorgsky began herself a trained pianist, his progress was sufficiently rapid that three years he was able to perform a John Field concerto and works by Franz Liszt for family and friends. At 10, he and his brother were taken to Saint Petersburg to study at the elite German language Petrischule. While there, Modest studied the piano with the noted Anton Gerke. In 1852, the 12-year-old Mussorgsky published a piano piece titled "Porte-enseigne Polka" at his father's expense. Mussorgsky's parents planned the move to Saint Petersburg so that both their sons would renew the family tradition of military service.
To this end, Mussorgsky entered the Cadet School of the Guards at age 13. Sharp controversy had arisen over the educational attitudes at the time of both this institute and its director, a General Sutgof. All agreed the Cadet School could be a brutal place for new recruits. More tellingly for Mussorgsky, it was where he began his eventual path to alcoholism. According to a former student and composer Nikolai Kompaneisky, Sutgof "was proud when a cadet returned from leave drunk with champagne."Music remained important to him, however. Sutgof's daughter was a pupil of Gerke, Mussorgsky was allowed to attend lessons with her, his skills as a pianist made him much in demand by fellow-cadets. In 1856 Mussorgsky – who had developed a strong interest in history and studied German philosophy – graduated from the Cadet School. Following family tradition he received a commission with the Preobrazhensky Regiment, the foremost regiment of the Russian Imperial Guard. In October 1856 the 17-year-old Mussorgsky met the 22-year-old Alexander Borodin while both men served at a military hospital in Saint Petersburg.
The two were soon
Triangle (musical instrument)
The triangle is an idiophone type of musical instrument in the percussion family. It is a bar of metal steel but sometimes other metals such as beryllium copper, bent into a triangle shape; the instrument is held by a loop of some form of thread or wire at the top curve. "It is theoretically an instrument of indefinite pitch, for its fundamental pitch is obscured by its nonharmonic overtones." Triangle has a prestigious history. The triangle in its ancient form had rings strung to the lower bar, yet the first mention we find of a triangle in tenth-century manuscript, is of an instrument without rings. A triangle without rings is depicted in the King Wenceslaus IV Bible and again on a mid-fifteenth-century window in the Beauchamp Chapel, St Mary's, Warwick; this latter triangle with its open corner has a curiously modern appearance, except that at the top angle the steel bar is twisted into a loop through which the thumb of the performer passes. Like its ancestor the sistrum, the triangle was used for religious ceremonies, quite in mediaeval churches.
The triangle occurs more than any other instrument except the cymbals in paintings of Bacchic processions and similar occasions, angels will be seen singing and playing a triangle at the same time. With the development of the genre—opera, the instrument triangle has been used in opera works. In many of the operas by Mozart, Beethoven's 9th symphony and Liszt's bE major piano concerto, triangle has been used. Triangle is considered as a tool to polish the melody with clear sound. In contemporary work, triangle's beauty has been further discovered and, as a percussion instrument, it has been more used from chamber music level to orchestral level. On a triangle instrument, one of the angles is left open, with the ends of the bar not quite touching."One corner of the triangle is left open to keep the instrument from having a specific pitch and to allow it to generate ethereal, scintillating overtones instead". It is either suspended from one of the other corners by a piece of, most fishing line, leaving it free to vibrate, or hooked over the hand.
It is struck with a metal beater, giving a high-pitched, ringing tone. Although today the shape is in the form of an equilateral triangle, early instruments were formed as non-equilateral isosceles triangles. In the early days the triangles had jingling rings along the lower side. Early examples of triangles include ornamental work at the open end in a scroll pattern; the triangle has been manufactured from a solid iron and steel rod and bent into a triangular shape equilateral. In modern times, the scroll pattern has been abandoned and triangles are made from either steel or brass; the triangle is the subject of jokes and one liners as an archetypal instrument that has no musical function and requires no skill to play. However, triangle parts in classical music can be demanding, James Blades in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians writes that "the triangle is by no means a simple instrument to play". A triangle roll, similar to a snare roll, is notated with three lines through the stem of the note.
It requires the player to move the wand back and forth in the upper corner, bouncing or "rolling" the wand between the two sides. In European classical music, the triangle has been used in the western classical orchestra since around the middle of the 18th century. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven all used it, though sparingly in imitation of Janissary bands; the first piece to use the triangle prominently was Franz Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1, where it is used as a solo instrument in the third movement, giving this concerto the nickname of "triangle concerto". In Romantic era music, the triangle was used in some music by Richard Wagner, such as the "Bridal chorus" from Lohengrin. Johannes Brahms uses the triangle to particular effect in the third movement of his Fourth Symphony; the triangle is used extensively in Hans Rott's Symphony in E major in the BIS recording. Most difficulties in playing the triangle come from the complex rhythms which are sometimes written for it, although it can be quite difficult to control the level of volume.
Quiet notes can be obtained by using a much lighter beater: knitting needles are sometimes used for the quietest notes. Composers sometimes call for a wooden beater to be used instead of a metal one, which gives a rather "duller" and quieter tone; when the instrument is played with one beater, the hand that holds the triangle can be used to damp or modify the tone. For complex rapid rhythms, the instrument may be suspended from a stand and played with two beaters, although this makes it more difficult to control. In folk music, forró, cajun music and rock music a triangle is hooked over the hand so that one side can be damped by the fingers to vary the tone; the pitch can be modulated by varying the area struck and by more subtle damping. The triangle is popular in Cajun music where it serves as the strong beat if no drums are present. In the Brazilian music style Forró it used together with an accordion, it forms together with the zabumba the rhythmic section. It provides an ongoing pulse, damping the tone on the first second and fourth while opening the hand on the third beat to let most frequencies sound.
It can be used though extensively for breaks. A
The harp is a stringed musical instrument that has a number of individual strings running at an angle to its soundboard. Harps have been known since antiquity in Asia and Europe, dating back at least as early as 3500 BC; the instrument had great popularity in Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, where it evolved into a wide range of variants with new technologies, was disseminated to Europe's colonies, finding particular popularity in Latin America. Although some ancient members of the harp family died out in the Near East and South Asia, descendants of early harps are still played in Myanmar and parts of Africa, other defunct variants in Europe and Asia have been utilized by musicians in the modern era. Harps vary globally in many ways. In terms of size, many smaller harps can be played on the lap, whereas larger harps are quite heavy and rest on the floor. Different harps may use strings of catgut, metal, or some combination. While all harps have a neck and strings, frame harps have a pillar at their long end to support the strings, while open harps, such as arch harps and bow harps, do not.
Modern harps vary in techniques used to extend the range and chromaticism of the strings, such as adjusting a string's note mid-performance with levers or pedals which modify the pitch. The pedal harp is a standard instrument in the orchestra of the Romantic music era and the contemporary music era; the earliest harps and lyres were found in Sumer, 3500 BC, several harps were found in burial pits and royal tombs in Ur. The oldest depictions of harps without a forepillar can be seen adjacent to the Near East, in the wall paintings of ancient Egyptian tombs in the Nile Valley, which date from as early as 3000 BC; these murals show an instrument that resembles the hunter's bow, without the pillar that we find in modern harps. The chang flourished in Persia in many forms from its introduction, about 4000 BC, until the 17th century. Around 1900 BC arched harps in the Iraq–Iran region were replaced by angular harps with vertical or horizontal sound boxes. By the start of the Common Era, "robust, angular harps", which had become predominant in the Hellenistic world, were cherished in the Sasanian court.
In the last century of the Sasanian period, angular harps were redesigned to make them as light as possible. At the height of the Persian tradition of illustrated book production, such light harps were still depicted, although their use as musical instruments was reaching its end; the works of the Tamil Sangam literature describe the harp and its variants, as early as 200 BC. Variants were described ranging from 14 to 17 strings, the instrument used by wandering minstrels for accompaniment. Iconographic evidence in of the yaal appears in temple statues dated as early as 500 BC One of the Sangam works, the Kallaadam recounts how the first yaaḻ harp was inspired by an archer's bow, when he heard the musical sound of its twang. Another early South Asian harp was the ancient veena; some Samudragupta gold coins show of the mid-4th century AD show the king Samudragupta himself playing the instrument. The ancient veena survives today in the form of the saung harp still played there; the harp was popular in ancient China and neighboring regions, though harps are extinct in East Asia in the modern day.
The Chinese konghou harp is documented as early as the Spring and Autumn period, became extinct during the Ming Dynasty. A similar harp, the gonghu was played in ancient Korea, documented as early as the Goguryeo period. Harps are triangular and made of wood. Strings are made of gut or wire replaced in the modern day by nylon, or metal; the top end of each string is secured on the crossbar or neck, where each will have a tuning peg or similar device to adjust the pitch. From the crossbar, the string runs down to the sounding board on the resonating body, where it is secured with a knot, it is the distance between the tuning peg and the soundboard, as well as tension and weight of the string, which decide the pitch of the string. The body is hollow, when a taut string is plucked, the body resonates, projecting sound; the longest side of the harp is called the column or pillar, though some earlier harps, such as a "bow harp", lack a pillar. On most harps the sole purpose of the pillar is to hold up the neck against the great strain of the strings.
On harps which have pedals, the pillar is a hollow column and encloses the rods which adjust the pitches, which are levered by pressing pedals at the base of the instrument. On harps of earlier design, a given string can play only a single note without retuning. In many cases this means such a harp can only play in one key at a time and must be manually retuned to play in another key. Various remedies to this limitation evolved: the addition of extra strings to cover chromatic notes, addition of small levers on the crossbar which when actuated raise the pitch of a string by a set interval, or use of pedals at the base of the instrument which change the pitch of a string when pressed with the foot; these solutions increase the versatility of a harp at the cost of adding complexity and expense. While the angle and bow harps held popularity
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.