In the 3rd century AD, suona was introduced to China from Eastern Europe and West Asia. In the Ming Dynasty, there were records of suona in ancient books. Qi Jiguang, a military general in the Ming Dynasty, used the suona in military music. In his "Jixiao Xinshu·Wubei Zhi", he said: "Everyone who slaps the trumpet flute is playing the suona."
In Ming Dynasty, Wang Pan's "Chaotianzi: Chanting the Trumpet" is the best article describing suona: "The trumpet, the suona, has a small song and a big voice. The official ships are chaotic, and it is all up to you to raise your worth. The army listened to the army. Worrying, the people hear the people and are afraid, where can they tell what is true and what is false? Seeing this blows over this house, blows up that house, and blows the water until the geese fly."
In the late Ming Dynasty, suona already played an important role in opera music, used to accompany vocals and play cutscenes. In the folk instrumental music based on opera music, the suona has also become an inseparable musical instrument.
In the Qing Dynasty, suona was called "Surnai".
In modern times, the suona has become one of the most widely used musical instruments in the Chinese people.
On May 20, 2006, suona art was approved by the State Council to be included in the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage list. In Guangdong, Suona is also known as Dida.
The modern Chinese orchestra popularly uses an improved suona, the button hole is changed to a circle, and the equal temperament is adopted.
Modern China imitated Western symphony orchestras and established national orchestras, but there are almost no brass instruments among Chinese traditional musical instruments. Therefore, the composer changed the suona, which was originally a woodwind, to a role similar to the brass in a symphony orchestra when composing. Therefore, the suona is mostly used for majestic and imposing passages. Because the traditional suona has a small sound range, lacks the mid-low range, and is difficult to control into chromatic intonation, it imitates the keys of musical instruments such as oboe, and develops musical instruments such as keyed alto suona, keyed tenor suona, and keyed bass suona. Make up for the lack of the middle and bass parts of the wind music of the Chinese Orchestra.