FACTS

Published May 18, 2024

Have you heard of the Blackbird Violin?

The Blackbird, also called the Black Stone Violin, is a full-size playable violin made of black diabase after drawings by Antonio Stradivari (Stradivarius), but with technical modifications to allow it to be played. The violin was conceived and designed by the Swedish artist Lars Widenfalk. It was named ‘Blackbird’ after the common blackbird (Turdus merula) because of its colouring.

The idea of constructing a musical instrument from stone came when Lars Widenfalk was working on big diabase blocks destined to form part of the artistic embellishment of the Norwegian TV building in Oslo, Norway. Each rock has a unique composition so they vibrate in different manners, producing a sound characteristic to that type of rock.

The world’s oldest musical instrument

In 2008, archaeologists exploring the Hohle Fels cave in south western Germany unearthed a treasure that would rewrite the history of music. During their search, they stumbled upon the remnants of a bone flute. After the researchers carefully reconstructed it, they revealed the astonishing craftsmanship of our ancient ancestors.

They’ve also traced the flute’s origin back to the Upper Palaeolithic period, during a time when early humans roamed the Earth. Radiocarbon dating placed the age of the flute at approximately 40,000 years old. This makes it the oldest known musical instrument ever found. It even predates the development of agriculture and the invention of writing!

Tailor Swift makes Seattle rumble

During two Taylor Swift performances in Seattle on July 22 and 23, 2023, an unexpected phenomenon occurred. Swift’s fans, through their sheer enthusiasm and collective dance movements, generated seismic activity equivalent to a 2.3 magnitude earthquake.

The discovery, made by seismologist Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, brings new meaning to the power of music and fan engagement.

Published in Dawn, Young World, May 18th, 2024

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