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ney and kaval

Iranian ney

Ney is the ancient flute of the middle East. The word is of Persian origin and means 'reed' as well as 'flute'; neys are made of a certain type of reed cane.


There are two main types of ney technique: middle Eastern and Iranian. Middle Eastern Eastern embouchure employs pursed lips with the instrument held at an angle to the mouth; Iranian embouchure employs tongue and teeth. The Iranian ney has a powerful breathy sound in the low octave; the middle Eastern ney produces a stronger upper register.


The kaval is found in Turkey and the Balkans. It is made of wood rather than reed cane and is played the same way as the ney. The kaval is fully chromatic, making it suitable as a substitute for the ney in parts requiring equal temperament.

Balkan kaval

Performing in Greece 2004

Turkish kaval
All arrangements and performances by Dirk Campbell *
Separation - Iraqi ney
00:00 / 00:00
Composed by Dirk Campbell
Taksim - Iranian ney/daf
00:00 / 00:00
Composed by Dirk Campbell
Gan Kino - Balkan kaval/kora
00:00 / 00:00
Traditional Bulgarian
Anadolu Cesitlemeri - Turkish kaval/kora
00:00 / 00:00
Traditional Turkish
Naz Bari - Turkish kaval/douf
00:00 / 00:00
Traditional Azeri
* apart from Jan Hendrickse bass flute on Gan Kino

Ney players left to right:

Turkish, Iranian, Egyptian, ancient Egyptian

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