Turkish Ney

The Ney is an oblique rim end blown reed-flute that is open at both ends, has six finger holes along the front and one thumbhole on the underside. The nay is made in its traditional form from the Arundo Donax plant, the same as is used to make oboe, saxophone and clarinet reeds. The Ney has reached a high level of performance technique and sound, though in its structure it is a relatively simple instrument. Reed flutes like the Ney have been played for hundreds and possibly thousands of years all across the Middle East. According to the Oxford University Press 2007, the term Ney or Ney derives from the old Persian for ‘reed’ or ‘bamboo’ and by extension ‘reed flute. ‘A particularly striking example occurs on a ceremonial slate palette (c2900 BCE, now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford), on which a fox plays the instrument for a dancing giraffe and ibex. A Sumerian silver flute dating from 2450 BC has been found in the royal cemetery of Ur in Southern Mesopotamia.’ (Center For Arabic Culture, 2008)

TheTurkish Ney has been used in classical art and religious music. ‘On the level of sound, an analogy is drawn between the often plaintive sound of the nay, thought to express the reed’s longing to be reunited with the reed bed from which it came, and man’s yearning for union with God.’ (Scott 2007, p.98)
The nay is born of a microtonal musical culture, where until recently no music was written down. I shall explain the technique for playing the Nay from a western trained musician’s perspective.

more info following soon.