Wind Instruments - Xīao


It originated from bone whistles in the ancient times, was also called “flute” and ever since Tang Dynasty, a vertical flute has been called 骨哨“Xiao”. It used to be an instrument of Qiang Minority, who lived in Sichuan and Gusu areas. It had only 4 holes, by Western Han Period, Jing Fang (77-37 BC) added one hole at the back. Lie He, Xun Xu of Western Jin and Huan 飞天Yi of Eastern Jin are all influential Xiao players.

During Wei, Jin and     Souther and Northern periods, Xiao was used for solo or ensembles.

By Qing Dynasty, the look of Xiao was identical to what it is today.

Famous Xiao pieces:

Autumn Moon over the Quiet Lake

Onto a Pleasant Night
Thoughts in Autumn on the Dressing Table
Spring out of the Jade Gully
Suwu Herds Sheep