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Main Wikipedia article: zh:箫

Xiao (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: xiāo; Wade–Giles: hsiao, pronounced [ɕi̯ɑ́ʊ̯]) is a Chinese vertical end-blown flute. It is generally made of bamboo. It is also sometimes called dòngxiāo (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ), dòng meaning "hole." An ancient name for the xiāo is shùzhúdí (, lit. "vertical bamboo flute", [ʂûtʂutǐ]) but the name xiāo in ancient times also included the side-blown bamboo flute, dizi.

The xiāo is a very ancient Chinese instrument usually thought to have developed from a simple end-blown flute used by the Qiang people of Southwest China in ancient period.

Varieties of xiao[edit]

In addition to the standard dongxiao, there are other types of xiao which includes (but not limited to):

  • The qinxiao (traditional Chinese: 琴簫; simplified Chinese: 琴箫) is a version of the dongxiao, which is narrower and generally in the key of F with eight smaller finger holes, used to accompany the guqin. The narrowness of the qin xiao makes the tone softer, making it more suitable to play with the qin which is a very quiet instrument and a normal dongxiao will drown out its low volume.
  • The nanxiao (traditional Chinese: 南簫; simplified Chinese: 南箫, "Southern xiao"), sometimes called chiba (Chinese: 尺八, "foot-eight," an old name still used for the Japanese shakuhachi) is a short xiao with open blowing end used in the {{w|Nanguan (music)|Nanyin} music from Quanzhou. Typically, the end incorporates a part of the root of the bamboo.

Related instruments[edit]


This category has the following 2 subcategories, out of 2 total.


Media in category "Xiao"

The following 15 files are in this category, out of 15 total.