Missin Bawu and Hulusi Resources Here is a collection of resources for those of you who wish to learn to play the bawu or hulusi. This is the first English language book to focus on these instruments, providing complete instruction for the absolute beginner. Includes background of the bawu and hulusi, advice on buying an instrument, basic and not-so-basic playing techniques, some familiar Western tunes to help you find your way around your instrument, a dozen traditional Chinese melodies, advice on care and maintenance, how to read JianPu Chinese musical notation , fingering charts, recommended listening and more. I have also compiled several tunebooks for bawu and hulusi. Please click here for more details. Although the sound and picture quality is not as good as a DVD, it is more than adequate for learning purposes and VCDs are usually considerably cheaper.
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When in use it resembles a typical side-blown bamboo flute, but it has a triangular free reed made from brass set into the side of the pipe, surrounded by a mouhpiece traditionally of bone, but these days most often made of plastic : This one is a fairly traditional model, having a thumb hole and six finger holes, plus a tuning hole.
It has a range of just over an octave. Unlike the ala and ding tac ta , the pipe is closed at the upper end. It is made from two sections of bamboo and its overall tuning can be varied by adjusting the joint between the two pieces.
Like the hulusi , the bawu is capable of distinctive bends, swoops and glides played by slowly covering and uncovering fingerholes, as well as a unique vibrato achieved by moving a finger back and forth over a fingerhole: In recent years, the rich, mellow tone of the bawu has become a favorite with composers of film soundtracks the bawu was strongly featured in the score to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and many small Chinese music ensembles now feature a bawu player.
This one is on the key of F. The keys on this instrument allow low F G A and Bb to be played by underblowing and extend the upper range of the to include high E and F. There is also a key to give the Bb on a traditional bawu the fourth of the scale has to be played by cross fingering or half-holing , giving the instrument a complete diatonic scale spanning two full octaves.
The keys also allow a variety of accidentals to be played. This particular one is in the keys of G and C. These have a small windchest and are played in the upright position, resembling a simplified hulusi. Perhaps not too surprisingly, various recently devised instruments combine features of the bawu and hulusi, such as the buluo.
A YouTube Playlist devoted to the bawu. If you are looking for information on how to play the bawu, or where to buy a bawu, please refer to my Bawu and Hulusi Resources Page.
Bawu and Hulusi Resources