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Various sizes of xiao view large photo

The xiao (簫) is a Chinese vertical end-blown flute. It is generally made of dark brown bamboo. It is also sometimes called dong xiao , dong meaning "hole"

The xiao is a very ancient Chinese instrument usually thought to have developed from a simple end-blown flute used by the Qiang people of South-West China. The modern six-hole form of the instrument goes back to the Ming dynasty.

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).

More traditional xiaos have six finger holes, while most modern ones have eight; the additional holes do not extend the instrument's range but instead make it easier to play notes such as F natural. There are a further four (sometimes two or six) sound holes situated at the bottom third of the length of the xiao. The blowing hole is at the top end, usually cut into a 'U' shape. Some xiaos have the blowing end entirely cut off, so the player must use the space between their chin and lips to cover the hole fully. There may be a metal joint between the blow hole and the top finger hole for tuning purposes and sometimes also between the last finger hole and the end. The length of the xiao ranges from around 45 cm to over 1.25 m but is usually around 75-85 cm. Usually, shorter xiaos are more difficult to play because of the need to control one's breath more accurately. The angle to play the xiao is around 45 degrees from the body. The modern type, often made from a nine-joint black bamboo.

Blowing hole view large photo

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.

Music Name Description Infomation Hits  
er Quan Ying Yue
二 泉 映 月
The Moon Reflected on the 'Er Spring' mp3
 - 10.13MB
 - 0:07:11
499 download and play
Mei Hua San Long
梅 花 三 弄
Three Variations on the Plum Blossom Theme mp3
 - 4.84MB
 - 0:05:09
567 download and play
Ping Hu Qui Yue
平 湖 秋 月
Autumn Moon On Calm Lake mp3
 - 6.59MB
 - 0:02:48
535 download and play
Yu Qiao Wen Da
漁 樵 問 答
Dialogue of the Fisherman and the Woodcutter mp3
 - 7.29MB
 - 0:07:46
501 download and play
Chun Jiang Hua Yue Ye
春 江 花 月 夜
Dong Xiao - A Moonlit Night in Spring by the Flowering Riverside mp3
 - 4.05MB
 - 0:04:19
636 download and play
Feng Huang Tai Shang Yi Chui Xiao
鳳 凰 台 上 憶 吹 簫
Dong Xiao - Memory of playing xiao on Feng Huang Tai mp3
 - 2.87MB
 - 0:03:03
552 download and play
Dong Xiao Guan Shan Yue
關 山 月
Dong Xiao - Moon Over the Guan Mountain mp3
 - 2.30MB
 - 0:02:26
547 download and play
Dong Xiao Mei Hua San Long
梅 花 三 弄 (洞 簫)
Dong Xiao - Three Variations on the Plum Blossom Theme mp3
 - 5.05MB
 - 0:03:53
520 download and play
Dong Xiao Ping Hu Qui Yue
平 湖 秋 月 (洞 簫)
Dong Xiao - Autumn Moon On Calm Lake mp3
 - 5.69MB
 - 0:06:04
504 download and play
Ping Sha Luo Yan
平 沙 落 雁
Dong Xiao - Wild Geese Descend on the Smooth Sand mp3
 - 15.50MB
 - 0:08:15
550 download and play
Qing Ming Shang He Tu
清 明 上 河 圖
Dong Xiao - Life along the River on the Qing Ming Festival mp3
 - 6.13MB
 - 0:03:16
526 download and play
Zhuang Tai Qui Si
妝 台 秋 思
Dong Xiao - The imperial concubine autumn meditation mp3
 - 1.23MB
 - 0:03:28
522 download and play