The origin and development of the flute

290 views · Organized by 天井 on 2022-03-01
The origin of the flute can be traced back to ancient times. According to Chinese archaeology, a bone sounding device dating back more than 7,000 years has been found in the unearthed cultural relics.
These bone whistles are made from the middle limb bones of birds. The ancients removed the bone marrow from the bones to form a hollow bone tube, and then punched holes in the wall of the tube. They were about 7 cm long and the diameter of the tube was about 7 cm. 6--8 mm, slightly curved, there are two or three holes on the convex surface, which can blow several sounds, so the bone whistle is formed.
Although archaeologists call it a bone whistle, comparing its shape, structure and sounding principle with the modern flute, it basically has the prototype of a musical instrument. Can we think that the bone whistle should be the originator of the xiao flute? No wonder today many masters of wind music think that the bone whistle is the predecessor of today, so they simply call it "bone flute".
So when was the wind instrument made of bamboo formed? In the "Lv's Spring and Autumn Period", it is written: "The Yellow Emperor ordered Ling Lun to cut the bamboo of Kunlun as the pipe".
It is said that the climate was warmer in ancient times, and bamboo grew all over the Yellow River Basin in China. It was only because of the later climate change that the growth line of bamboo moved south to the Yangtze River Basin. Linglun's record of cutting bamboo for pipes fully shows that the use of bamboo as musical instruments began in the Neolithic Age. According to legend, later generations arranged the law pipes ordered by Ling Lun to form the ancient pan flute.
The origin and development of the flute
In the Yu and Shun era, there was an ancient music and dance called "Juanshao", which is the word "Xiao" today. Because this music and dance is mainly performed with the ancient panpipes, we believe that the performance of "Shao" has brought the flute into a new era. "Daxia" is an ancient music and dance in which the ancient people sang the praises of the Great Yu for controlling the water. It is divided into "nine parts" (nine pieces of music), accompanied by "Xi", also known as "Xiazhu Jiucheng".
Bamboo is the predecessor of the pan flute. It can be seen that from "Juanshao" to "Daxia", Xiao has experienced many years of glorious times in the history of Chinese music. In the Zhou Dynasty, ancient Chinese musical instruments were divided into "eight tones", which were eight types of musical instruments: gold, stone, silk, bamboo, shovel, earth, leather, and wood, among which "bamboo" refers to Xiao and Chi.
Since the excavation of the tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng in the early period of China, we have only seen the xiao as an ancient musical instrument. Therefore, when the word "silk and bamboo" is mentioned, people will naturally think of this musical instrument.
Reference materials and contributors

Involving musical instruments

Xiao (pinyin: xiāo), divided into dongxiao and qinxiao. And because the flute has a hole, it is different from the pan flute without a hole, so it is called "dongxiao". The xiao has a long history, the sound is round and soft, quiet and elegant, suitable for solo and ensemble. It is generally made of bamboo with blow holes at the top.

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