The Alto Sheng plays an important role in the modern Chinese orchestra, providing rhythmic and harmonic accompaniment, and sometimes doubling the lower-pitched instruments in the orchestra.
The two commonly used Alto Shengs are the 36-reed Alto Pai Sheng (36簧中音排笙) and the 36-reed Alto Bao Sheng (36簧中音抱笙). Both Shengs are designed by Mr. Zhang Zi Rui, Mr. Yan Gen Shan and Mr. Qiang Ru Kang at Suzhou Ethnic Musical Instrument Factory in the 1960s. The resonator design of the Alto Sheng is based on the Lu Sheng (芦笙).
The video below features Johann Sebastian Bach – Air, performed on the Alto Sheng.