Definition and background:
A Chinese free reed instrument simlar to panpipes with 12 to 36 bamboo pipes and dates back to the Zhou Dynasty (c. 500 B.C.). Each pipe is a different length with a brass reed at the bottom and a hole that must be blocked in order for the note to sound. This makes it possible to sound several notes simultaneously, so chords and melody can be performed at the same time. The sheng is also known as a Chinese mouth organ or Chinese panpipe.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary