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Ney

The ney (also nai, nye, nay) is a wind instrument that figures prominently in Middle Eastern music--in some of these musical traditions, it is the only wind instrument used. It is a very ancient instrument, with depictions of ney players appearing in wall paintings in the Egyptian pyramids and actual neys being found in the excavations at Ur. This indicates that the ney has been played continuously for 4,500-5,000 year, making it one of the oldest musical instruments still in use. It is a forerunner of the modern flute.

The ney consists of a piece of hollow cane[?] or reed[?] (ney is an old Persian word for reed) with five or six finger holes. More modern neys may be made of metal. Pitch differs, depending on the region and the finger arrangement. A highly skilled ney player can reach as many as three octaves, though it is more common to have several ney players in a traditional orchestra to cover different ranges.



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