Name: Sáo.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Transverse.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.121.12
Country: Vietnam.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: The Sáo also called [sáo trúc or “sow trook” pronounced, in IPA: ʂǎːw ʈʂǔkp] it is a small flute that is found in Vietnam. It is thought to contain the culture and spirit of Vietnam’s countryside. The sáo is usually performed solo or in an ensemble among other instruments in orchestras of Vietnamese popular opera Chèo, Van singing genre, and Royal Small Orchestra

Playing Techniques: When played, the flutist holds the sáo transversely to the right side with his or her mouth placed at the blowing hole.

Construction: More frequently sáo are made from a single piece of bamboo, the sáo measures between 40 cm and 55 cm in length and 1.5 cm to 2 cm in diameter, with six or ten finger holes and a tuning slide. Located inside the bamboo tube, near the blowing hole. A soft piece of wood, that serves as a fine tuner, for use when necessary.

The first hole after the blowing hole is 12 cm away from the blow hole, while the other holes continue at a distance of 1 cm apart. Pitch holes are often drilled into the sao for tuning. They allow for very complex techniques in playing the instrument, such as increasing or decreasing the breath to achieve differing tonal qualities of the pitch being played.

Citations: Bibliography: Websites:

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