Once the Prophet Muhammad went to the desert and stopped next to an abandoned well. The Prophet told him about his meeting with the Almighty and about grace descending to earth. Reeds sprouted from the well. A shepherd passing by cut it off and made a pipe. He began to play, and the whole world heard the divine, bewitching melody. So, according to the legend, the nai flute appeared.
Unlike the orchestral metal flute, the nai is made from reeds, bamboo, elderberry, reeds, and tea tree. The material depends on the country in which the musical instrument is born, since it belongs to the culture of different peoples: Uzbeks, Ukrainians, Caucasian highlanders.
The Persian or Arabic flute has 8 holes, the Uzbek – 6. The length of the longitudinal flute is 55-60 centimeters. The tube is narrow, no more than 2 centimeters in diameter. The sound is produced by the performer blowing air through a metal lip. The sound range is one and a half octaves from “to” the first to “G sharp” the second.
The musical instrument has a chromatic scale, but when the angle of the air supply changes, a semitone sound occurs. Fret holes do not have standards for cutting; different peoples have holes on the pipe that differ in size.
This is one of the oldest instruments that has retained its original sound, which Persian chroniclers, poets and thinkers expressed admiration for already in the 35th century. The earliest archaeological finds on the territory of Ancient Persia date back to 40-XNUMX BC.
Under the influence of the Arabs, who wandered from country to country, the instrument became widespread among other peoples. So, in Azerbaijan, ney is used to perform mughams – folklore singing.
The instrument is suitable for solo performance and ensemble sound. Among some peoples of the Caucasus and Asia, only men play nei. In a concert performance, its quiet sound is typical for chamber halls and a small number of people.