Instruments called ney or nai include end-blown and side-blown flutes. The end-blown ney of Turkey and Iran is made from the stem of a bamboo plant, and is played using a unique technique. The player rests the end of the instrument against his teeth at the side of his mouth and blows across the top. His teeth and tongue shape the sound. Side-blown neys are played by blowing over a hole in the side of the instrument. They may be made from wood, brass, or copper.
The ney is often used to create religious music in the Islamic traditions of Sufism. The music helps to induce a meditative state. Sufi musicians aim to create heavenly sounds through abstract rhythms and patterns of notes, in contrast to the shakuhachi, which typically mimics sounds from nature. The rich, airy sound of the ney has also made it a favorite instrument for folk and classical music.