Fundamentals of the dadi

The dadi is a dizi that is a natural progression towards going lower than the normal range of dizi from the original categorisation of Northern China (bangdi) and Southern China (qudi) styles. The primary driving factor was from the Southern China style practitioners, but the dadi has seen its use spread as the different regions converge onto a more contemporary type of music. Its general technical characteristics include:

  1. General descent towards the concert octave 4 range with a focus on the new low notes that can be played;
  2. Use of traditional techniques but in very exotic ways (e.g. using the sixth tone hole as an embouchure hole;
  3. Dynamics and tone colour gain more importance;
  4. Appearance of notes higher than (tongyin as ).

In many ways, the dadi can be thought of as the progression of the dizi with heavy inspiration from the concert flute. With the introduction of the B♭ 大笛, and going all the way down to the G 大笛 and F 大笛, the dadi dizi family was fast approaching the lower reaches of the concert flute, but providing a completely different tone colour that is richer than the normal concert flute at those ranges.

Beyond the A 大笛, the right hand finds two tone holes replacing the second tone hole in the original 6-hole dizi. This new tone hole introduces more complexity to the original set of techniques, as does the increasing mass and length. Even for the 6-hole dadi, the separation between the second and first tone holes are large enough that some adaptation is needed.

The dadi is in many ways a dizi that provided a whole new palette of tone colours outside of the traditional bangdi and qudi division. As a result, we find that both Northern China and Southern China regions exploit the mellowness of the dadi to provide new interpretation of traditional regional pieces.

Combining the holistic ``total'' dizi concept with the dadi brings out a whole new frontier of dizi music that was not thought possible before.

Even beyond the dadi lies the bleeding frontier of the beidadi, 8-hole giant dizi that are the largest that can be comfortably played by a single player using only their fingers to cover the tone holes.