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Xiao or DongXiao

Image: Xiao or DongXiao
  Xiao or Dongxiao (Notched Flute)
Bamboo, 28 inches long

The term dongxiao distinguishes the instrument as an end-blown notched flute. The prefix dong can mean "hole" in Chinese. (Dong also means east, but it is a different character - although pronounced the same)

Xiao players can be seen among pottery figurines of the Han dynasty and in the tomb brick-wall paintings of the Wei and Jin period (220-420).

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

The instrument has soft, subtle tones and is 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.
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