The so-called Neolithic Revolution, in the last phase of the Stone Age had great relevance for the manufacture and use of musical instruments. In the Periods before the Neolithic, i.e., the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic, the physical form of the natural materials used to make musical instruments played a key role in defining their finished morphology and, to a large extent, their playing characteristics. With the introduction of moulded and fired clay into the available range of materials, these restrictions were largely swept away. Thus, pottery instruments could be designed, made and experimented with and, in using the new plastic medium, new instrumental characteristics could be developed. We can see this process at work, for example, in the case of the Neolithic pottery horns which were found in Hungary and in caves in the Massif Central of southern France (Fig. 1). Their slightly curved shapes strongly resemble animal horns, suggesting that their precursors were of this form, although we have no evidence as animal horn is a perishable material. However, because of the malleability of the clay used, the funnel-shaped bell of these pottery instruments could be widened to produce a shape not found in any animal horn. The particular design appears to have been created as a means of intensifying the sound emitted, allowing it to be audible over a wider area.
|Title of host publication||Music and Sounds in Ancient Europe|
|Subtitle of host publication||Contributions from the European Music Archaeology Project|
|Editors||Stefano De Angeli, Arnd Adje Both, Stefan Hagel, Peter Holmes, Raquel Jiménez Pasalodos, Cajsa S. Lund|
|Place of Publication||Rome|
|Publisher||European Music Archaeology Project|
|Number of pages||2|
|Publication status||Published - 1 May 2018|
|Event||ARCHÆOMUSICA: The Sounds and Music of Ancient Europe - Ex Cartiera, Rome, Italy|
Duration: 11 Oct 2017 → 11 Dec 2017
|Period||11/10/17 → 11/12/17|
- Department of History, English, Linguistics and Music - Senior Research Fellow
- School of Music, Humanities and Media
- Centre for Music, Culture and Identity - Member
Both, A. A. (2018). Sounding Clay: Rattles, Flutes, Drums and Horns in the Neolithic. In S. De Angeli, A. A. Both, S. Hagel, P. Holmes, R. J. Pasalodos, & C. S. Lund (Eds.), Music and Sounds in Ancient Europe: Contributions from the European Music Archaeology Project (pp. 42-43). European Music Archaeology Project.