The sheng (also spelt as cheng in Encyclopædia Britannica ) is a Chinese mouth-blown free reed instrument consisting of vertical pipes. It is a polyphonic instrument and enjoys an increasing popularity as a solo instrument.
It is one of the oldest Chinese instruments, with images depicting its kind dating back to 5000 BCE, and there are actual instruments from the Han era that have been preserved today. Traditionally, the sheng has been used as an accompaniment instrument for solo suona or dizi performances. It is one of the main instruments in kunqu and some other forms of Chinese opera. Traditional small ensembles also make use of the sheng, such as the wind and percussion ensembles in northern China. In the modern large Chinese orchestra, it is used for both melody and accompaniment.