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The Sheng
The mouthorgan Sheng, like its derivate, the Japanese Sho, is included in the calssical orchestra music and stands for an ages old
instrumental tradition. Pictures on the bronze drums found all over SE Asia date back these instruments to 
1000 years BC.
The common appearance of mouthorgans in Asia is even older, some date back over 5000 years.

The Sheng is a reed organ, consisting in various forms from 17 to 21 or even up to 37 pipes.

The Sheng is very loud and thus mostly performed in ensembles, it actually became a famous solo instrument. Some models know metallic amplifing tubes attached to the bamboo pipes, as you can see in my 

My version with 17 pipes is tuned in a 
diatonic way - which is no basic model. Other tunings appear depending on which instrument you use:  gaoyin (soprano), zhongyin (alto) or diyin

The basic metallic resonator box has a screw attached to the site to let the saliva flow out.
Some models also know a kind of keyboard attached to the playing holes.
The ancient version had longer mouthpieces, legends say it was for the reason that the emperor wanted to be able tp see the players faces.

The Sheng is already well known to European composers like John Cage.
Sheng artists can be found in ensembles like the  Resonance ensemble.

Playing the Sheng is not easy because it requires a perfect control of your breathing strength. The harmonical layers and chords sometimes have to sound through several bars and require a long, steady breath.

Pictures (Click to expand):


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