Ephemeral Mists' Musical Instruments


The shakuhachi is a Japanese end blown flute. The concept of the instrument was imported from China, as the Shakuhachi is a direct descendent and evolution of the Chinese Xiao. I actually began playing on the Chinese Xiao, but (for the most part) gave up its playing for the Shakuhachi. I find the Shak to be much more expressive in timbre and also more comfortable to hold. Its name means "1.8 feet", referring to the standardized size of professional shaks, though models are certainly made in a wide range of lengths and pitches and I have a particular fondness for longer, lower pitched models. . It is traditionally made of bamboo, but versions now exist in hard woods and plastics. It was used by the monks of the Fuke School of Zen Buddhism, and its sound quality makes its quite obvious why it was chosen for these purposes, as it possesses a very rich and meditative sound quality.