Diabolus in Musica Guide to Early Instruments
For musical purists, particularly those who like their medieval music, this site features a musical duo that performs original music from the Middle Ages played with original instruments and dressed in original garb. Check out their impressive list of instruments that the couple has extensively researched from historical documents then recreated in their workshop.
Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Instruments
This site is a comprehensive guide to medieval and renaissance instruments. Click on the instruments, like the precursor to the violin called the viol, and you'll find brief historical snippets of information including pictures, links, and technical information. Click on an instrument's photograph, and you'll hear its sound.
The Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection (Library of Congress)
The Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection is made up of about 1700 different artifacts mostly concerning the woodwind instrument. Online you can check out five featured flutes from this collection and sample old collected manuscripts. In the future, the site designers plan to display the entire collection online.
The Collections of Musical Instruments (Library of Congress)
This site highlights the musical collections available at the Library of Congress. Browse through the short descriptions and click on to occasional photographs of their vast holdings to get a good sense of their magnificent collection.
This terrific exploratory article from Scientific American examines whether ancient humans played modern scales. Here, the author analyzes a 43,000 year-old flutelike bone and tries to determine whether it is in fact a musical instrument. This is a great example of how anthropology and music can work together.