I'm learning how to play a G key Xiao flute. I found this fingering chart:


But i don't understand the meaning of the numbers in front of each note. Well, actually i don't understand anything because i don't have any idea of music.

What do the numbers after each note name mean?

The story: For all my life i loved Chinese music, this sweet melancholic sound from flutes,xun and erhu. I never had any music instrument in my life and also i cannot read music. Although i am a little old i decided and i bought a Xiao flute G key 8 holes right hand, well better late than ever. As i wrote above i don't have no idea what notes are, how to read music and i never had any music instrument. But i fight a terrible disease and because i love music and flutes i believe this step it will give me energy, it will give me life. It was always a dream for me to play flute. So, please help me to learn how to play the Xiao flute. Please!! Thank you! God bless!

1 Answer 1


I assume you mean the numbers after the notes? In this case, the numbers are what are called "octave designations." C4 is middle C, C5 is an octave above that, etc. So the D4 on the top left of that image is the lowest D that this flute can play.

enter image description here

Otherwise, I'm not sure how effective a website will be in teaching you to play the Xiao flute. Something as involved as learning an instrument requires consistent feedback from an experienced professional; one answer here can never come anywhere close to that. Is it possible you can find a teacher in your area?

  • 1
    Thank you. No is not easy to find teacher in my area. Everyday i search, i read, i learn. I use the above fingering chart and i read everything i found about music and xiao playing.
    – Xiao
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 15:52

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