A Ney flute for you

What is it?

The ney is an Iraqi instrument designed in 3000 B.C by the Sumerians as a variation of instruments from the “na” family. 

Here’s how it looks and sounds

Not to be confused with

You may have heard about it with other names like nay or neyler. Pronounced /nɛ́j/, from the Farsi meaning “reed” and called ney in Spanish french, and Portuguese. A person that plays the ney it’s called a nayi (in Arabic) or neyzen (in Farsi).

Category

The instrument is from the Wind family meaning the sound comes by blowing air in a mouthpiece into a tube(resonator). 

Variants

The types of ney are determined by country meaning they have different origins:

  • Persian
  • Turkish: most common version.
  • Arabic

They can also be classified by pitch, covering most of them: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, Eb, Bb and Ab.

In terms of materials, the options are usually wood or plastic. This particular one is commonly made of hollow cane or giant reed. The material has no effect on the sound (our article here) but it does in price and durability.

Before you buy 

Getting a ney for sale? as a gift? If you do, here’s all you need to know.

The price of the instrument is around $34 USD – $250 USD, the cheapest we found was a Turkish plastic B ney and the most expensive was a Turkish bamboo B ney. In the middle, we have something like Turkish unspecified wood B ney for $179 USD.

In terms of brands you won’t find many, especially the biggest ones, mostly handmade ones inside bigger stores, just make sure they have a guarantee and shipping to your country, good reviews and if they don’t you can get them other ways

The size goes around 22 x 0.8 x 0.8 In (56 x 2 x 2 Cm) – 26 x 1.6 x 1.6 In (66 x 4 x 4 Cm) and has a weight from 0.4 Lbs (0.2 Kgs)  to 0.5 Lbs (0.23 Kgs) .

Now that you know, you can check on eBay here.

Accessories

There are a lot of accessories for woodwinds but for this we recommend:

  • Mouthpiece: the ney has a special mouthpiece, check if the instrument comes with one already, if it doesn’t worry, most of them are standard size.
  • Bag & Case: Bag for transportation and case for safety and transportation. If you don’t get one with your instrument check the sizes section to get a perfect one.
  • Cleaning kit: a complete one should have brushes (short and extremely long), oil, microfiber, and germicide.

Start playing   

To learn to play each note you need a finger chart (or position chart).

choose how you want to learn. Now that you know how to read them, you need to get some. 
Sheets come in different notations so we recommend checking various versions of the same sheets, searching for “scores” to get all instruments, and even the “song name for ney to save on translations.

Don’t forget all the details that combined make a big difference like the way you hold it, efficient warmups, positions, and techniques.

Remember, the ney is only hard to learn at the beginning and it’s only a matter of weeks to get the proper sound and full range, it’s also similar to the kaval, dizi, flageolet, shakuhachi, and venu, so you can combine those resources to help you learn.

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