The xun was said to be made of baked clay by
the legendary Bao Xin Gong or by Fuxi, the first male ancestor in Chinese
myth. It falls into the category of earth in the traditional bayin classifications
of musical instruments based on eight kinds of materials (metal, stone,
silk, bamboo, gourd, earth, hide and wood.) Of such instruments unearthed
the most age-old so far, a single-finger-hole type about 7,000 years
from now, was found in the site of Hemudu Village, Zhejiang province.
The instruments with 1-5 ginger holes were from sites like Banbo Village
(Xian, c. 5,000-3,000 BC) and some others. Xun flutes, in various
periods, were in the sharp of an olive, a ball, fish or an egg, most
with flattened bottoms. Its construction came to be standardized in
the Shang dynasty (1766-1122 BC), generally pear-sharped with five finger
holes, three at the front and two at the rear. Later types with several
finger holes were melodic, mainly used in the court traditions, and
by the common people as well.
D, F, low G, F