Dizi are woodwind instruments commonly used in Chinese folk music and orchestra. They are distinguished from other flutes by an additional blowing hole, called a mo kong, which is covered by a thin membrane. This membrane, known as a dimo, causes the sound to resonate and produce a distinct buzz. Dizi are traditionally made of bamboo, with six finger holes on the side for pitch adjustment. Some dizi are made of jade, but these have poor tonal quality and are usually ornamental.
Types of Dizis
Kinds of Dizis include the following:
Bangdi are relatively short and narrow, producing clear, bright tones with lower pitch than those produced by qudi. They are traditionally used in Bangzi Chinese operas.
Qudi are longer and thicker than bangdi, producing a deep, mellow tone. They are usually tuned one-fourth of an octave higher than bangdi.
Choosing Dizis (Buying tips)
Length: Choose a dizi that you can hold comfortably in your hands while playing. You should be abe to reach the farthest finger hole without stretching your arm too far. Make sure the finger holes are spaced proportionally to the length of the tube.
Membrane: Choose a dizi with a durable inner membrane. Make sure it will not tear easily, but is still thin enough to vibrate effectively. Look for one with reed membranes instead of rice paper for better moisture retention.