The hulusi is an ancient Chinese woodwind musical instrument dating back almost two thousand years in history. Sound is produced by three bamboo pipes as it passes through a gourd-like body. Typically two of those pipes are used for a drone sound as the player uses sound holes on the central pipe for a melody.
History of the Hulusi
The origins of the hulusi are ancient and it is thought the first ones appeared in China before the Qin dynasty, over two thousand years ago. This instrument's development probably occurred at a similar time to other free reed instruments like the sheng. The hulusi was constructed from bamboo pipes and a gourd-like fruit called a hulu and this heritage has been passed on to instrument makers of today. Some hulusi models today have been made from sandalwood to better preserve the instrument's tone and give it greater longevity. The hulusi is most typically attributed to the dai people of China who are an ethnic minority group from the Yunnan province. The clarinet-like mellow sound of this instrument is still predominantly used in China.
Inventor: Unknown

Where to Buy

£40 - £200

Hear the Hulusi

Audio of the Hulusi is Coming Soon

How to Play

A free reed wind instrument played by blowing into the mouthpiece and pressing the sound holes to create different notes.

In Popular Music

The hulusi is still predominantly used in China but it may have been added to orchestral film scores for example 'The Karate Kid' and 'Kung Fu Panda' to create an authentic feel. It's more recently been adopted by European flautists like Jack Reddick.

Famous Players

Wu Man, Zhang Wei-liang

Close Relations

Bawu, Sheng
Video Credit: Arnaud Delannoy
Understanding the Hulusi




20th century






Instruments of Music

Copyright © 2023 Instruments of Music. All Rights Reserved.