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Gokhan Ozkok Ney Workshop: NEY PARTS



The ney is constructed using the "arundo donax" plant, the piece of reed must consist of short segments that are equal to each other and is essential that the reed be a single piece. The arundo donax plant does not grow or develop in swamp lands or wet environments as thought, however in an open field with rich and moist soils, high levels of alluvion, high levels of wind and sunshine close to the ocean where there is a great difference in temperature between day and night. The ecological characteristics are typically found in the Eastern Mediterranean areas of Turkey. Reeds that are suitable for the construction
are found more in widespread reed fields.

The most suitable harvesting season is between the months of November and February. Harvesting before this period will result in a premature and moist reed which will not be suitable and harvesting after this period is also not appropriate because it is when the plants start to regenerate which will give the same results. So harvesting outside the appropriate months will make the reed ineligible for the construction of the ney.

The reeds used for construction must be neither too thick nor too thin; this affects the sound of the ney in a negative way. The reed to be used must be of an appropriate thickness, dried of moisture, its knots and tassels must also be dried till it takes a yellow shade. Suitable reeds are very rare and difficult to find, only about 3-5 pieces are found in a field of thousands.

The neys that are constructed and offered by myself carry all the above mentioned characteristics and requirements, the reeds used are collected specially from the Antakya region in Turkey and are constructed with great care and detail. As a result of this the neys have a rich, strong and high quality sound.


The mouthpiece is located on the first segment of the ney, this is also the segment know as the sound box. This mouthpiece aids in producing a richer and clearer sound at the same time producing higher volumes. It also aids the player in producing the desired sounds easier. The original neys are known to be played without any mouthpiece, we can still see this in many Arab nations around the world today. The mouthpiece is known to have been introduced by the Ottomans in the 16th century and has since become widespread around the world and still in use today. The mouthpiece is still produced from buffalo horn today as it was in the past. Suitable buffalo horn for the mouthpiece must be obtained from elder buffalo with an average age of between 20-25 years. This is because younger buffalo horns are usually underdeveloped and hollow inside, which makes it unsuitable for production. However, finding such material has become almost impossible due to a significant reduction in buffalo farming and production, most buffalos will not reach the required age. Various other materials can be used in the construction of the mouthpiece for example ivory (not highly preferred because of high manufacturing cost), delrin, ebony, and boxwood. Professional mouthpiece maker and Neyzen Salih Bilgin has designed a new form of mouthpiece designed using both buffalo horn and valuable timbers together in the one mouthpiece. These mouthpieces are processed and function similar to horn mouthpieces. Its chamber and mouth section are horn and its circular skirting section is timber. These mouthpieces are aesthetically pleasing and look great as a result of dual materials and colours. Buffalo horns are processed on a lathing machine and require great detail, attention and expertise.

Mouthpieces produced in our workshop are constructed using the above materials mentioned, we use a special single type of material as a standard for our neys. These mouthpieces are aesthetically pleasing in all aspects such as design, colour, shine, strength, performance and its sound tone is very close to that produced of buffalo horn. Our mouthpieces are all produced to a standard. The opening end of the mouthpiece can be customized for the player according to their preference and can be changed to be produced at 16-17-18 mm. The standard height of the mouthpiece is 18 mm. The width is also a standard and varies between 18-19-20-21-22-23-24 mm. In the possible event of a lost mouthpiece a replacement one can be arranged upon quoting the serial number of the ney which contains the original measurements. The conical, chamber and mouth opening dimensions can be specialized to each players own preferences.


The rings that are placed at both ends of the ney are call “parazvâne”, these are in place to prevent any cracking or splitting that may occur in the reed. It can be constructed using brass, copper, silver, gold and bafon (German silver). However, gold is not highly preferred because of cost. Bafon is more commonly used. The material used for the parazvâne on our neys are free from oxidization and fading. Bafon also known as German silver is used as a standard. From the above mentioned, materials other than bafon and gold oxidize with time. Apart from preventing splitting and cracks that could occur, the parazvâne adds to the neys aesthetic features and therefore requires the care and detail of a jeweller, it must be polished and buffed so that the joints are not seen. 

The main parazvâne, which is beneath the mouthpiece is most important. If this parazvâne is too loose the reed may crack or split when placing the mouthpiece on. In a situation where the parazvâne becomes loose, please return it along with your ney and it will be replaced with a new one at no charge.