Early bone flutes, about 60,000 BC
Rock gong, at least 7000 BC
African drumming from about 3000 BC or earlier
Playing a shofar – a ram’s horn
Greek aulos about 700 BC. These have reeds like a modern clarinet. They’re being played earlier, in the Bronze Age, and all across Asia – in China by the Shang Dynasty, 1800 BC.
Egyptian bronze trumpets about 1300 BC (King Tut)
One string :a diddley bow. Earliest stringed instruments are probably the bow of a bow and arrow, with one string, like this one.
Stringed instrument: a lyre. First known from Sumeria, Mesopotamia, about 3000 BC. So instruments with multiple strings may be originally from West Asia. Later on, by the time of King Tut in the New Kingdom, they were playing lyres in Egypt, too.
Indian sitar: stringed instruments soon made their way east to India too
Chinese stringed qin – and then to China.
Chinese bowed erhu. In Central Asia, about 900 AD. Combining two bows – one playing the other.
Medieval European violin, from about the 1300s AD
African ngoni: a stringed instrument but not with a bow. The ancestor of the banjo.
African kalimba, around 700 AD.
The oldest playable organ in the world, from the 1400s AD. But they exist from the 100s AD, in West Asia and Eastern Europe. These are the first keyboard instruments. They’re wind instruments with pipes, and they work using a kind of bellows – remember we had the pumpkin bellows?