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Chinese vertical flutes are called xiao. There are generally two types of xiao:  Zizhuxiao are made of thinner and longer bamboo tubes, popular in northern China. Dongxiao are made of thicker and shorter bamboo tubes, popular in southern China and Taiwan, and very similar to Japanese shakuhachi. The tone of the xiao is more gentle and the sound softer, comparing to the dizi. The dizi techniques can mostly be played on the xiao, especially the fingering techniques of the southern style. But the xiao isn’t as sensitive as the dizi. The more dramatic techniques such as Huashe and Duoyin are not easy to produce on the xiao.

In the Sound of Dragon Ensemble, only the 8-hole G Zizhuxiao is available at this time. However, this is among the most versatile xiao. The regular xiao has 6 finger holes, like the dizi. The 2 extra holes allow the player to play more notes without using half-tones or alternative fingerings. It also allows the player to play two more fingerings/keys on this instrument.