Talk:Sheng (instrument)

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Which came first?!?[edit]

This article calls the Sheng the first free reed; The Khene also claims to be the first. Which is it? I'm reworking the Accordion and Free reed aerophone articles and I know the sheng is the link to the accordion, but I want the early history straight. --Theodore Kloba 20:51, July 21, 2005 (UTC)

Well, it's hard to tell, since many history, especially this old and similar, is heavily dominated by nationalism; and it's very possible that they co-develop with each other. You can either favor one county, do some research on the technology involve (and then hope your implication works), or say they are co-developed. Also, it is common for some people not to recognize themselves being from one country: For example, Vietnam hcan trace many origins from China, but those former Chinese quickly declared themselves as non-Chinese (read History of Vietnam). So take your pick... you have 50% wrong anyway. 08:39, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

Comments about article[edit]

Jason Lanier at writes about this entry: . . . I just looked up one instrument (chosen at random by spinning a bottle in my instrument room); the not-at-all-obscure Chinese mouth organ "Sheng." As of this evening, the entry is typical for the Wikipedia. There is plenty of circumstantially selected, impressively detailed information, including names of some Europeans who brought shengs to the West in the 1700s and so on. But the overall effect is misleading. The emphasis is random.

For instance, the models and tunings of shengs listed are relevant in some recent contexts (when there have been Chinese instrument factories innovating to serve a modern and somewhat Western-influenced movement of music education and performance) but even within that framework, the details are hardly complete. The hot news among my Sheng-playing friends in the last few years has been the amazing innovation in models like the Hong Liang Zhao 38 key gaoyin, which are changing ideas about what can be played on the instrument.

An online exposition of modern keyed shengs ought to at least mention that the sheng world is caught up right now in a period of rapid transformation. Much more importantly, the very long history of the sheng, which includes many forms, tunings, and earlier influences on the West (going back to classical times) is not even suggested. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Lanier's assessment is accurate. Although there are a handful of editors here who are interested in and knowledgeable about Chinese traditional music, this article hasn't yet found the right editors to get it in shape. Maybe he needs to contribute; "it takes a village," you know!  ;) Badagnani 19:50, 26 April 2007 (UTC)


This picture in the article appears to be the Japanese sho, rather than a sheng.

Sheng (talk) 16:35, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

The next picture in the article appears to be Guo Yi. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 23:29, 4 May 2012 (UTC)