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Tonal organization in tuning of Paleolithic and Neolithic pipes: a new method of reconstructing prehistoric music

  • Braavo Enterprises


Organological evidence provides an important data for reconstruction of tonal organization in prehistoric music that most researchers deem forever unknown. Viktor Beliayev, an expert in tuning of Eurasian folk instruments, stressed that musical instruments with finger-holes and frets preserve historical stages in the development of melody by fixing those pitch values that prevail in culturally important music. Such instruments are equivalent to musical notation – they perpetuate modes that are most popular within a community. It is possible to “read” this notation following a set of principles proposed in this technical paper. This paper overviews the relative positioning of holes on all the recovered Paleolithic and Neolithic bone pipes. Distances between these holes represent the interval-sets in pitch-sets of music for which those bone pipes were designed.

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