Although the sheng only plays a minor role in our musical life today, it is still a remarkable instrument:
The Chinese mouth organ, as the sheng is also known, is the oldest instrument in the world working on the principle of a freely vibrating reed.
It was already played over 5000 years ago in China for various celebrations.
The body is originally a pumpkin from which a long bamboo pipe protrudes. The reeds are fitted on the inner end of the bamboo pipe.
The tone does not sound by opening the sound channel as is the case with the accordion, but when they close. This channels the air and stimulates vibration of the reeds.
The sheng’s permeating exotic sound purveying the energy of millennia has unfortunately failed to find friends among our colleagues.