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The nei (or ney) is an end-blown flute made from reed pipe. It is played in Iranian classical music, but has folk roots, most likely as a shepherd’s instrument. The nei is often associated with Sufism, a mystical branch of Islam.


In The Phoenix of Persia, the sound of the nei represents the magical Simorgh bird.


There is a nei in the Shahnameh Box which pupils can explore and try to play (it's quite hard to get a sound out of to start with!)

What other instruments do pupils know that are blown? What materials are those instruments made from?

There is a famous poem about the nei by the Persian poet Rumi (1207-1273), which begins:

"Now listen to the reed-flute's deep lament
About the heartache being apart has meant:

Since from the reed-bed they uprooted me
My song's expressed each human's agony".


Meet nei player Amir Eslami

Listen to the sounds of the nei 

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