The instrument called Sho is blown with the mouth, and corresponds to the Chinese Cheng or Mouth Organ. The pipes are made of wood, with reed mouthpieces, and the notes are made by stopping the holes with the fingers. In some ways the construction is like that of a harmonium, but it is much more troublesome to play, and the performer, having to use his own breath to make the sounds, cannot sing at the same time. Unlike a harmonium also, it is difficult to keep in tune, and Miss Bird, a well-known traveller, tells of a concert at which the performer was obliged to be continually warming his instrument at a brazier of coals placed near. Some years ago a Japanese Commission was appointed to consider which of the national instruments were most suitable for use in schools; it rejected the Sho because its manufacture was troublesome and its tuning even worse.
- Chatterbox, 1906
Available from www.gutenberg.org
- Posted on
- Sunday 27 December 2020
- Birds, Japan, musical instrument