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SuoNa(唢呐)

General Information

     SuoNa( also called laba)  is a Chinese  folk wind instrument,It was originally introduced into China from Persia  .  A musician playing an instrument very similar to a suona is shown on a drawing on a Silk Road religious monument in western Xinjiang province dated to the Jin dynasty (265-420).  By the time the Ming and Qing Dynasty,  Souna  was already established  in northern China.  It has a distinctively loud and high-pitched sound, and is used frequently in Chinese  traditional  music ensembles,  particularly those  that  perform outdoors. Suona  is very popular in China’s vast countryside in funeral, wedding, and other celebrative  occasions.  Meanwhile, it is also an indispensable part of a number of local operas in Hebei, Shandong, Liaoning, , Shanxi, , and Guangdong  provinces.

Construction

The suona  has a conical wooden body,  It uses a tubular brass or copper  bocal to which a small double reed is affixed, and possesses a detachable metal bell at its end.

 

Traditional  suona  tube  body has eight vents,  Respectively, by right index finger, middle finger, ring finger, little finger and left thumb, index finger, middle finger, ring finger to press to control  the pitch.  The suona  is characterised by its  especially loud blasts and distinctive Northern flavour. Once a suona is blown, its sound immediately takes lead among all other sounds and audiences are drawn  to it instinctively.

Since the mid-20th century,“modernized” versions of the suona  have been developed in China. The traditional  suona has been revolutionised to fit  the needs of  the  Chinese  orchestra.  Variants of  the suona, like the Treble suona(gaoyin suona), Alto suona( zhongyin suona),   Tenor suona( cizhongyin suona),  and Bass suona( diyin suon))  have been created to play once unreachable note ranges . Today’s concept of  the suona  is a  large range of  trumpets  that  is used by many of  the common folk.  The bigger suonas can measure up to five chi (achi is about one third of a metre), while the smaller suonas are only a few inches long. The present Chinese orchestra makes use of the traditional suona  and a series of revolutionised suonas  to help cover gaps of  sound  which the traditional suona cannot accomplish.

 

 

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