Name: Xiao.

Type: End Blown flute > Aerophones.

Region: China > Far East Asia.

Specimens: A total of 3 xiao in collection.

Acquisition Sources: Rene Hugo Sanchez (on trip to china), one specimen; the 2nd specimen, the second and third xiao are from Chinatown, Vancouver Canada.

Description: Xiao 簫 [in Chinese] in pinyin. xiāo pronounced "siao".  The xiao is an open-ended or notched flute carved from bamboo. An ancient flute generally made of bamboo sometimes it is called "dong xiao" [dong] meaning hole. An ancient name for the xiao is shuzhudi [豎竹笛] literally "vertical bamboo flute". The name xiao was also applied to the dizi. The xiao are very ancient Chinese end blown flutes that are thought to have developed from a single end-blown flute once used by the Qiang people of Southwest China during the ancient period. 

Construction: xiao are almost always made of bamboo, the best quality bamboo is ‘purple bamboo’ or 紫竹 (pinyin:“zizhu”). Sometimes the xiao maybe of solid wood or carved and hallowed out. They can be either made plane or ornate. Nylon wire binding along the shaft are attempts to stabilize the instrument and prevent the bamboo from cracking. Xiao may have a tassel tied on usually as ornamental feature. The over all length of the xiao is 75 cm to 85 cm or 45 cm or 1.25 m; most of the xiao have 6 or 7 finger holes. The xiao is the predecessor of the Japanese shakuhachi and the Korean Tanso. Xiao are tuned in a pentatonic scale the pitches are in G D C F or F# although F# is not used that often some xiao are available in this key.