What Is The Xiao Instrument

This is a Chinese flute made of bamboo and is famous for its gentle, soft sound. The Xiao is pitched lower than the Dizi to produce a mellow and melancholic sound.

What are xiao instrument called?

xiao instrument
xiao instrument

This instrument is also called Dongxiao, where Dong means hole. In ancient Chinese, this instrument was called shùzhúdí, meaning vertical bamboo flute. This flute developed from a simple end-blown flute used by the Qiang people of the Southwest region of China. The flute is made of purple bamboo, called Zizhu.

Xiao instrument history

The Xiao instrument was first invented in the Han Dynasty of 206 BC to 220 AD. The design was copied from the Qiang people of Southwest China and was made of black bamboo. The instrument is ancient, and early poets described its sound as the sweetness of the Phoenix‘s call. The design and material evolved and featured hollowed-out wood and porcelain.

When xiao instrument was invented

xiao instrument drawing

The Xiao was invented in 206 BC during the Hans dynasty. It is also believed to have existed among the Qiang people, believed to have been shepherds. The Qiang prisoners captured as slaves were skilled in making oracle bones and instruments.

Who invented the xiao?

The Xiao was invented by the Qiang people in the Han dynasty of 206 BC to 220 AD. These people were shepherds and are believed to have lived diagonally from northern Shaanxi to Henan. They were captured by the Shang dynasty and turned into slaves. These prisoners became skilled oracle bone makers. They are also believed to be the ancestors of the Tibetan people.

Xiao instrument origin

The Xiao instrument originated from the Han Dynasty. During this dynasty, instruments were among the products exchanged for trade along the Silk Road. Among the instruments made were wind instruments like the Xiao. The musical scene was well-developed in this dynasty, and there were genres for different occasions. The xiao is a great instrument for solo performances and ensembles, and it made a rich melancholic sound for the emperor.

What is the xiao instrument?

xiao flute

This is an ancient wind instrument that dates back 3000 years ago. The Xiao is made from black bamboo or hollowed wood, jade, and porcelain. This flute is vertical-end blown and produces a gentle, soothing sound. Before the reign of the Tang dynasty, the Xiao instrument denoted an instrument called Paixiao or the panpipe. It was a multi-tube wind instrument, and when the vertically blown tube became popular, it inherited the name, Xiao.

Difference between xiao and dizi

The main difference between the Xiao and the Dizi is the pitching, where the former is lower-pitched than the latter. The Dizi is also a side-blown instrument, while the Xiao is vertically blown. The Xiao has only one bowing hoe and finger holes, while the Dizi has an additional hole between the embouchure and the finger holes called Mo Kong.


The Chinese culture is filled with great music and equally great musical instruments. The Xiao has been in Chinese culture for thousands of years and continues to be used in solos and ensembles.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top