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Xiao (Chinese: 箫) is one of the oldest musical instrument in China. It’s a kind of wind instrument. It enjoyed a time-honored history. The melody of vertically-played bamboo flute or Xiao in Chinese, reminds people of a lonely moon highly hanging in the sky of a frosty autumn night. The sound of it is the sound of nature. The timber is soft, elegant.

The earliest Xiao appeared during the Han Dynasty (206BC -220AD), and it was then called Qiangdi, which was popular among the Qiang people in Sichuan and Gansu Provinces. In the 1st century BC, it became popular in the Yellow River region. Later, it was developed into an instrument with six holes and today's Xiao has developed into eight holes.

Xiao, traditional Chinese musical instrument


Its structure is quite simple, very much like the flute, but only longer. It is usually made of bamboo. The top is sealed by bamboo. There is a mouth on the top and five sound holes on the frontal side and one hole at the back. Besides, there are other holes that are designed to adjust the tunes, smooth the tones, and raise the volume. Xiao sounds soft and graceful.

Xiao Performance

The performance levels are basically the same as that of the flute, but less flexible. For that reason, it is only suitable to play slow and peaceful lyrics, which conveys in this situation people's feelings and draws a beautiful picture of nature. People may play the Xiao solo, in ensemble, and in concert, as well as folk music and accompaniment in local dramas.

Xiao, traditional Chinese musical instrument