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Dec. 01, 2010

Scientists Record 3,000-year-old Music; No Time Machine Required

by Anna Rothschild

Click to enlarge images

Credit: Jyri Huopaniemi

Long before Louis Armstrong picked up a trumpet, or Slide Hampton wrapped his lips around a trombone, ancient Peruvians made music within stone ceremonial chambers. Their instument of choice? The pututu, a bugle created from the shell of Strombus galeatus, a marine conch.

Recently, a team of scientists recorded the ancient instruments’ tones, allowing us to eavesdrop on these pre-Incan musicians for the first time. The researchers say that by knowing what the pututu sounded like, we can better understand its role in this 3000-year-old culture. They reported their results this month at the 2nd Pan-American/Iberian Meeting on Acoustics. Read more

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About Anna Rothschild

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