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The first free reed instrument was the Chinese sheng (笙; pinyin sheng1), which is mouth-blown. It is thought that Johann Wilde and Pere Amiot traveled to China and brought the first shengs back to Europe in 1740 and 1777 respectively, although some believe shengs were known in Europe centuries earlier. However, it was only in the early 1800s that Amiot's sheng inspired the invention of the harmonica, accordion, and reed organ.
See also: Music of China