World Flutes Master
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Xiao or Dong Xiao (vertical bamboo flute)


The term xiao or dongxiao specially identifies the instrument as an end-blown notched flute; the prefix means "hole" in Chinese. Yet, till the Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), this term was applied to panpipes (paixiao) and the di referred to the single-piped flute. xiao players can be seen among the pottery figurines of the Han dynasty and in the tomb brick-wall paintings of the Wei and Jin period (220-420)

The modern type, often made from a nine-joint black bamboo, has eight finger holes six at the front and one at the rear, and other 2-4 air holes at lower end.

The instrument produces soft and delicate tones, suitable for solo performances and duets with the qin zither or used in the sizhu (silk and bamboo instrument) chamber music traditions. The so-called long-feng xiao refers to the coupled flutes respectively engraved with dragon and phoenix patterns.

Range: d1-e3 (G key xiao)
c1-d3 (F key xiao)

Melody of China Courtesy