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Chinese Flutes

Chinese flutes have changed considerably with time. There are different types of Chinese flutes, differing in numbers of holes and their sizes. The relatively modern forms of Chinese flutes are the dizi and xiao.

The very ancient, Chinese flutes as single-tube with finger holes have been found. These flutes were made from the bones of birds or animals, stone, and jade. The earliest representations of flutes in China show panpipes. There are also pottery figurines of flute players playing end-blown flutes, known as xia today. The transverse Chinese flutes called ditz became popular much later. According to the history, these flutes in China arrived from the western regions during the Han Dynasty.

The Chinese flute are called “di”, which come in many varieties, according to the different sizes, structures and number of holes, which can range form 6 to 11. The Chinese bamboo flute, as the name suggests are made of bamboo. One unusual characteristic about Chinese flute is the use of a resonance membrane which is mounted on one of the holes and vibrates with the air column contained in the tube. This membrane gives the Chinese flute music a bright sound. Commonly seen Chinese flutes in modern orchestra are bangdi , qudi , xindi , dad. The Chinese bamboo flute played vertically is known as “xiao”, which is a special category of wind instrument in China.

Most dizi have numerous thread bindings placed between the holes, which help the Chinese bamboo flute to last longer. The bamboo flutes have a tendency to develop a crack sooner or later. The Chinese flute is an amazing instrument, not only because of it’s its unique membrane hole and sound, but also because of its pure simplicity. For over many centuries now, the basic design of these Chinese flutes has remained nearly unchanged. They are easy to make and hard to mess up.