Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Notched.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.111.12
Keys: 7 including a thumb hole.
Description: The xiao [In simplified Chinese: 箫; traditional Chinese: 簫; pinyin: xiāo; Wade–Giles: hsiao, pronounced [ɕi̯ɑ́ʊ̯]: is a Chinese vertical end-blown flute. It is generally made of bamboo. It is also sometimes called dòngxiāo [洞箫; 洞簫], dòng meaning “hole.” An ancient name for the xiāo is shùzhúdí [豎竹笛, lit. “vertical bamboo flute”, [ʂûtʂutǐ]] The name “xiāo” in ancient times also applied to the transverse flute, the “dizi”.
The xiao is a very ancient Chinese instrument usually ascribed to having been developed from a simple end-blown flute by the Qiang people of Southwest China during the ancient period. In the oral traditions of the Xiao, practitioners and poets say its sound resembles the sweetness of the Phoenix’s call, the king of birds in Chinese belief.
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