top of page

Nay reed-flute

The nay flute comes from a culture that is not my own; I approach my continued study of Arabic music with great appreciation for my teachers who have welcomed me to learn: Dr. A.J. Racy, Simon Shaheen, Bassam Saba, Malcolm Barsamian, and Boujemaa Razgui. 

Nay (plural: nayat)

The nay is an end-blown reed flute; the wind instrument of an Arabic Takht ensemble.


"The player rests his lips on one end of the reed and blows across the rim to produce the sound, a technique which contributes to the nay's characteristic breathy timbre. Dating from a very early period (see, for example, the opening lines of Jalal al-Din Rumi's (d.1273) poem, Mathnawi), the nay has had philosophical/mystical associations according to which the hollow instrument is equated with the human body: both need the breadth of life to become active. According to these beliefs, the sound of the nay is thought to express man's yearning for union with God. On a more worldly plane, the nay also exists in Turkish and Persian musics where special mouthpieces are added to the instrument." 



bottom of page