Bi, single-reed gas-singing instruments of the Dai, Li and Kemu peoples. Due to the different epidemic areas, they have different characteristics.
The Bi of the Dai nationality consists of a tube body and a reed. The tube body is made of thin bamboo, with a bamboo joint at the upper end, a bamboo joint in the middle, and an open end at the lower end. The specifications and sizes vary greatly, the short ones are about 25 centimeters, and the older ones can reach 75 centimeters. Generally common, the tube length is 30 cm to 35 cm, the inner diameter of the lower opening is 0.8 cm to 1.2 cm, and the outer diameter is 1.5 cm to 2 cm. On the tube wall near the bamboo joint at the head end, there is a rectangular blow hole, the hole length is 1.5 cm to 2 cm, the hole width is 0.4 cm to 0.6 cm, and a reed is embedded in the blow hole. The reeds are made of copper, with a sharp triangular tongue. The tube body usually has seven (six in the front and one in the back) circular sound holes. According to the number of sound holes, the minimum is four holes, and the maximum is eight holes. There is a treble button hole on the back of the tube body. The blow hole and the front press sound hole are in a straight line.
The Bi of the Li nationality is popular in the areas inhabited by the Li and Meifu Li branches of the Li nationality in Dongfang County, Hainan Province. The tube body is made of green bamboo, the length of the tube is 25 cm to 30 cm, the upper end is left with a bamboo joint, the middle bamboo joint is opened, and the lower end is open. The first section of the tube is thinned, and a bamboo reed with a length of 2 cm and a width of 0.3 cm is carved on the wall of the tube. There are 2 to 4 sound-pressing holes on the tube body, and most of them are four-hole chokes. Some have an oblique opening at the end of the tube or add a resonator. When playing, the body of the tube is placed vertically, the index and middle fingers of the left and right hands press the upper and lower holes respectively, the mouth contains a reed, and the air drum reed presses the hole to pronounce. Range e1—#c2. The tone is rough and melodious, and the bass is similar to that of a Western instrument clarinet. Often used for solo. The young Li family likes to play for their own entertainment when they are herding cattle, and they often play ji to add to the fun when unmarried young men and women are entertaining together.