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Xun

The xun 埙 is played similar to a western flute, in the sense that air flows partly into and partly across the windway opening. Good tonal quality on the xun requires development of a proper embouchure. As with the western flute, the higher the note the tighter the required embouchure.Thus, ocarina players will find that the xun takes some getting used to early on. But with practice, the full range of this wonderful instrument can be mastered!

 

The sound quality of the xun is more mellow and distant-feeling than the ocarina with a slightly windy sensation, creating for many listeners a dreamy sense of drifting off to another place and time.

 
But now there's great news for xun players... Song wei has developed a new windway opening design (China patent no. ZL201320566499.3) that makes the xun significantly easier to play! Check out the product photos... you'll notice that the traditionally round windway hole is now cut with a notch resembling the shape of Song Wei's ocarina fipple windows. Many here in China are discovering this new xun product and interest in the xun is growing.
 
Maybe it's time you gave the xun a try!
 
Song Wei has also made some other design changes to improve the xun. His xun are now 10- or 11-hole instruments, increasing the range by one or two diatonic notes as compared to the traditional 9-hole xun. The fingering is now the same as his and most other Asian ocarinas, smoothing the way for ocarina players to pick up the xun. Opposite the windway opening notch is now a flattened area that improves playability by providing comfortable and fixed placement of the instrument against the upper chin.
 

 

Traditionally, xun have had no fingering provision for sharps and flats, requiring the player to half-cover toneholes to achieve a fully chromatic scale. But now, for the first time, Song Wei's new design offers complete (11-hole models) or nearly complete chromatic fingerings (10-hole models).

These instruments have no neckcord hole and must be held solely with the hands without neckcord support while playing.

 

We now refer to our xun in C as a bass instrument, though we continue to call the D xun an alto. 

Our bass G xun is especially low, playing an octave below an alto G ocarina.

 

Xun origins The xun is an ancient Chinese vessel flute made of clay or ceramic. The first 3-tonehole xun were made during the Xia Dynasty (ca. 2070 to 1600 BC). Later on, at the time of the Shang Dynasty (1600 to 1046 BC), xun took on the familiar flat-bottomed egg shape, being made not only from ceramic but also stone or bone. More toneholes were added over the centuries, but basic design of the xun remains simple (excepting of course Song Wei's new innovations). Like the ocarina, pitch is determined by vessel volume and tonehole diameter.

 

How in the world do you say "Xun"?!! That's a problem for Western tongues because we don't make the sounds indicated by "xu". The closest I can render "xun" for the native Englsih speaker is shwoun, where the ou is pronounced as in "should". To hear a short sound clip of "xun" in a standard Beijing pronunciation, click HERE (accept the download and your media player should open automatically).

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Bass Xun, Key of C

Bass Xun, Key of C

$56.95

Out of stock at our U.S. outlet

The Xun BC is out of stock at our U.S. outlet. Contact us if interested in arranging shipping of this item directly from China.   Pitch Range Plays B3 to F5, fully chromatic …

Dragon Bass Xun, Key of C

Dragon Bass Xun, Key of C

$73.95

Out of stock at our U.S. outlet

This xun is out of stock at our U.S. outlet. Contact us if interested in arranging shipping direct from China.   Pitch Range Plays B3 to F5, fully chromatic a basic C Major …

Alto Xun, Key of D

Alto Xun, Key of D

$56.95

Out of stock at our U.S. outlet

The Xun AD is currently out of stock at our U.S. outlet. Contact us if interested in shipping direct from China.   Pitch Range Plays D4 to G5, fully chromatic (see note) a b…

Bass Xun, Key of G

Bass Xun, Key of G

$74.95

Pitch Range Plays G3 to C5, fully chromatic (see note) a basic G Major diatonic scale of 11 notes (1 3/8 octave) total of 18 notes, counting all sharps and flats   Note:&n…

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