Magical Mystery Musical Instrument

Near the north gate of the Summer Palace grounds, outside Beijing, I saw an all-women musical group playing this mystery instrument. It has a lovely mellow sound. The double lobed chamber gives on to three flute-like stems with openings which you can finger. I sat and listened for half an hour while The Family went climbing the Longevity Hill. Other audience came and went. Most listened in silence, some clapped at the end of a piece. I waited until The Family came back and joined me. We stayed a while, and then had to leave.

Does someone know the name of this instrument?

After a search I found that this instrument is called a Hulusi (葫芦丝).

By I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.


  1. Your picture doesn’t show the rest of the instrument, but if it had a long-ish cylinder extending down from the bottom bulb, it’s called a “hulusi”. You can actually buy plastic versions fairly readily. Good for you that you got to hear a real one!


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