Aerophone, Wind instrument, Woodwind instrument, Free-reed instrument - Western Equivalent free-reed flute

This is an instrument of southern China, brought into common use in 1960s. The bawu is popular among the Miao, the Hani, the Yi, the Dai and other people of Yunnan province.
The bawu looks similar to a flute, however, it produces sound through a free-reed. It is made of bamboo or wood measuring 30 - 60 cm of length with a metal or bamboo reed. It is played horizontally with 6 finger holes and a thumb hole.
The timbre is gentle, soft, nasal and mysterious with a mellow tone. The bawu is pitched in the key of either F or G.

The pitch range of traditional bawu is just over an octave but the modern bawu has a range that is extended to two and one-half octaves. The traditional bawu in the key of F has a range of a ninth from c1 to d2 and the bawu in the key of G ranges from d1 to e2.

 Photo courtesy of Lark In The Morning


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