The hulusi or cucurbit flute is a free reed wind instrument from China. It is held vertically and has three bamboo pipes which pass through a gourd wind chest; the center pipe has finger holes and the outer two are typically drone pipes. It is not uncommon for a hulusi to have only one drone pipe while the second outer pipe is merely ornamental. The drone pipe has a finger hole, which allows it to be stopped. Advanced configurations have keyed finger holes similar to a clarinet or oboe, which can greatly extend the range of the hulusi to several octaves.
The sound of the hulusi is hauntingly beautiful, but fairly soft, and as a result is seldom played in ensembles. The Dai men would play it to express their love to women, while other minorities often played the hulusi in the fields when taking a break from planting or harvesting.
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