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The sheng: An age-old reed instrument

The sheng: An age-old reed instrument


In ancient times, Chinese instruments were usually divided into eight groups, depending on what they were made from, including stone, wood, silk, metal, bronze, soil, leather and gourd. In this episode, we will get some insight into a representative instrument of the gourd type, the sheng, one of the oldest free-reed instruments in the world. After the instrument was spread globally through the Ancient Silk Road, many say it is the predecessor of some reed-instruments in Europe, such as the pipe organ and harmonica. Its tonality is known to be quite appealing and used to resemble the chirp of a mythical bird in China, the phoenix. Today, our guest on the show is Mr Wu Xuewei, the premier sheng instrumentalist from the leading orchestra in the nation, the CNTO. Mr Wu brings us his four famed works which were performed at his solo recital.

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