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Wall Design

Close-up of a Pojagi flag--a patchwork of blue, green, yellow and neutral tones

© DAVID O'CONNOR

A Journey in Color
This pojagi cloth was made by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) students, using traditional techniques of dying cloth in vats of indigo and hand-sewing it in particular patterns. The Silk Road Ensemble developed a musical work based on the worldwide migration of the dye indigo while in residence at RISD.


Ney

© TARA TODRAS-WHITEHILL

"Today in Iran, shepherds continue a centuries-old tradition when they play a ney...While the songs vary according to the folk traditions of a particular area, the goal is the same - to create a special relationship with animals. While all ney are made from bamboo, those used by the shepherds are smaller. The manner of playing also differs from that used in classical Persian music. Shepherds blow directly on the instrument with the front of their mouths and not the sides."

- CALLIOPE: EXPLORING WORLD HISTORY

Ney, or Nay

orig. Turkey, Iran, Middle East, Cental Asia, North Africa  Instruments called ney, nay or nai include end-blown and side-blown flutes.

The end-blown ney of Turkey and Iran is made from a bamboo stalk and played by resting the end of the instrument against the teeth at the side of the mouth and blowing across the top, so that the teeth and tongue shape the sound.

Side-blown neys are made from wood, brass, or copper and played by blowing over a hole in the side of the instrument.

The ney is often used in the religious music of Islamic Sufism, where it helps to induce a meditative state. Sufi musicians aim to create heavenly sounds through abstract rhythms and patterns of notes, in contrast to the shakuhachi tradition, which typically mimics sounds from nature. The rich, airy sound of the ney has also made it a favorite instrument for folk and classical music.


Hear the instrument
Ney sound clip »


Ney (or nay) players
Siamak Jahangiry
Bassam Saba


Other wind instruments
Bawu
Clarinet
Duduk
Gaita
Shakuhachi
Sheng


Other Persian instruments
Kamancheh
Santur
Tar