Friday, September 21, 2018


The Chinese Dizi is a transverse bamboo flute whose most characteristic feature is the Di Mo, made from a reed or bamboo reed caliber epidermis that is stretched across a hole in the Dizi.  The placement of the Di Mo is described in the above video.  The earliest written records of the Dizi date from the T'ang dynasty (618-907 CE).  However, it is likely older than written accounts. 

The Dizi is very similar to the Korean Daegeum in construction.

Northern Chinese Dizi are made from "purple bamboo", Phyllostachys nigra or Phyllostachys bambusoides f. lacrima-deae, while Dizi made in Suzhou and Hangzhou are made from white bamboo, Pleioblastus amarus.

The reed membrane, Di Mo, is made from the membrane of a reed or bamboo. To affix the Di Mo to the Dizi, a glue called Ejiao is used.  It is traditionally made from donkey hide in the northern coastal Chinese provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong. Both reed and bamboo can be used for the Di Mo, but it is generally agreed that reed produces a louder and clearer resonance [1].


[1] Akiko Odaka, The resonance hole with membrane; a distinctive feature of East Asian transverse flutes, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 131, 3296 (2012)

[2] Bret Pimentel, Woodwind Doubling on Folk, Ethnic and Period Instruments in Film and Theater Music:  Case Studies and a Practical Manual, PhD Thesis, University of Georgia, 2009
(Link) pdf

[3] Dizi (Wikipedia)

[4] Di Mo (Wikipedia)

[5] Ejiao (Wikipedia)

See Also:

Bamboo Flutes Exploration (this blog)

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