If you're a fan of Super Mario, you will love this performance by a Taiwanese sheng (笙) player! It's a real treat!
- Free reed mouth organ with bamboo pipes inserted into a metal chamber with finger holes
- One of the oldest Chinese instruments, with images depicting its kind dating back to 1100 BCE
- Produces sound as air flows past a vibrating reed in a frame
TRADITIONAL CHINESE CLASSIFICATION:
- The yu (竽), a free reed wind instrument
- The khene from Laos
- The Japanese sho
- The modern harmonica
Traditionally, the sheng has been used as an accompaniment instrument for solo suona (Chinese oboe) or dizi performances. It is one of the main instruments in Chinese opera.
Chinese free reed wind instruments named "he" and "yu" were first mentioned in bone oracle writings dating from the 14th–12th centuries BCE, and were identified in later texts as types of sheng. Some believe that Johann Wilde and Pere Amiot traveled to China and brought the first shengs to Europe in 1740 and 1777 respectively.
- The sheng has been used in the works of a few non-Chinese composers, including Lou Harrison, Tim Risher, Daníel Bjarnason, Brad Catler, and Christopher Adler.