The bawu is a Chinese wind instrument. Although shaped like a flute, it is actually a free reed instrument, with a single metal reed. It is played in a transverse (horizontal) manner. It has a pure, clarinet-like timbre and its playing technique incorporates the use of much ornamentation, particularly bending tones.
It is typically used as a solo instrument, and is often featured in film scores; It is sometimes also heard in popular music recordings. Although the bawu is still predominantly performed in China, it has in recent years been adopted by European composers and performers.