Sheng is a mouth-blown free reed instrument consisting essentially of vertical bamboo pipes. The age of sheng is unknown, but there were ancient pictographs of the instrument dating from 1200 B.C. Traditionally, sheng has been using as an accompaniment instrument in kunqu and some other forms of Chinese opera, as well as in a number of regional instrumental genres. It is until the 1950s that sheng was valued as an outstanding folk musical instrument in China and was then developed to become a solo instrument. Sheng comes in different sizes. The present-day models consist of 21, 24 or 36 reeds (or pipes), and there are extended models especially designed for orchestral use such as the amplified sheng, the alto baosheng, paisheng, etc.

笙是一種簧管類樂器,由一定數目的竹筒及簧片組成。笙的實際年齡難以考究,但從一些公元前一千二百多年的壁畫,可知笙在中國境內最少有三千多年的歴史。笙多用在中國的傳統音樂,在昆曲及一些地方戲中的重要伴奏樂器之一,也常用於一些地方合奏樂種。1950年代之來,中國的音樂家開始重視這件樂器,並將之發展作一件獨奏樂器。 笙有多種不同大小。常用的有21簧、24簧及36簧笙,另多也有一些專為中樂團而製的笙,如加鍵擴音笙、中音抱笙、排笙等。

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