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Ney Care and Possible Problems
Ney Bakımı ve Ney'de Oluşabilecek Sorunlar

Ney is made from a kind of knotty reed called "kargı". The Latin name of this cane as a species is Arundo Donax. It grows in the Southeast, Mediterranean and Aegean regions of Turkey. In addition, ney reeds are collected from Egypt (around the Nile), Syria (around the Orontes) and Cyprus (from the south and north).

The ney, which is in various sizes according to its chords, consists of nine knuckles. There are 7 holes in Turkish and Arabic neys, six at the top and one at the bottom. Iranian neys have only 6 holes. The spongy part in the reed, called the pike, is emptied with burners that match the diameter of the knuckles in the reed, and the holes are obtained by drilling with a burner. In order for the Buselik (Natural Si) fret to be played properly, one more hole can be drilled at the bottom, so there are 8 holes.

Metal rings called "Parazvane" are placed on the ends to not to damage theends of the straw. Silver, brass or bafon (alpaca) metals are generally preferred for these parazvanes. An important part that facilitates blowing, which has been added to the ney in the last centuries, is the baspare. Başpares are made from buffalo horn, some hardwoods such as boxwood, and a recently popularized type of hard plastic called delrin, or even a mixture of epoxy. However, epoxy is a carcinogenic substance and should not be used, even though it gives a nice appearance to your thumb. Although materials such as normal plastic and PVC are used in the headpieces of lower quality neys, the first three materials are recommended for a professional. The material well as the reed used are also effective on Ney prices. The most important factors that determine the quality of buffalo horn head piece are that the horn was taken from a buffalo that died at the end of its natural life, that is, at the end of its natural life, that it is tight in its structure without cracks and breaks, and that it is carefully prepared and polished correctly in accordance with the dimensions.

For a ney to be properly tuned, it must consist of 9 knuckles and each of these knuckles must be equal to each other, which is rare to find in a reed. For this reason, ney makers adjust the tuning of the ney at the desired frequencies by using a method called shifting while opening the fret holes. For this reason, two works of the same kind do not match each other, and the tuning of the voice depends on the thickness and diameter of the fleshy part of the reed. Ideally sized neyme is very expensive and hard to find.  

Features to look for in a professional quality ney; It is characterized by the fact that the yellow bright colored surface of the reed is smooth and densely fibrous, not very thick or thin, the node lengths are equal and the node widths decrease proportionally from top to bottom. What is thick or thin affects the deepest, low tone, and the thinnest, high-pitched sounds.


In addition, the Ney is a fretless instrument and the note arrangement is made by sliding on the Ney. Because each reed is of different size and quality, it is impossible for a fixed pattern to be the same for each Ney. For this reason, it is very important that the master who plays the Ney is also a Neyzen. The master who opens the ney can only determine the right chord if he is a neyzen himself.


Changing Ney's Voice
Ney'in Sesinin Değişmesi

Generally, Neyzen candidates complain over time (within 1 year) of changing the sound in Ney or getting a clean sound from Ney.

The sound change in ney is based on different reasons. 

First of all, after the new Ney is opened, its sound usually gets steeper as it is blown. For this reason, Ney masters turn their Ney low by about half a sound. For this reason, when you look at the tuner or compare it to a seated Ney, you may complain that this Ney is worse, but this is a must-have. A newly opened Ney finds its full sound and tone only after 1 year. If it is still bad, the masters fine tune these Neys again.

Another problem is that over time, a wheezing sound comes from Ney or a sound cannot be produced. This situation usually occurs in Ney's that are not oiled. Heat and Humidity affect Ney's structure. Ney's should be lubricated at certain intervals in order to minimize its contact with the air and keep the current humidity rate more constant. On the other hand, poor quality oil or dusty environment will also affect Ney's voice. Especially the layer of oil and dirt that accumulates and solidifies on the inner surface can change the sound of your Ney or cause you to not be able to hear any sound. You can see this topic under the title How to Oil Ney. 

Sudden temperature changes can also cause you to not get the sound you want from your Ney. Neyzens generally warm up their Ney by blowing for a short time before performing a performance.

How should Ney be lubricated?

Ney Nasıl Yağlanır?

Lubrication is the most important maintenance rule. Oil; It protects the Ney by penetrating the porous structure of the ney reed. However, this oil should be a thin oil with a low acid value. Otherwise, the oil does not penetrate the Ney tissue as desired, and it also creates a layer on the Ney surface and this layer keeps more dirt.  For this reason, hazelnut oil, sesame oil, almond oil or corn oil are preferred. Rose and similar scented oils, which are used to give Ney a good smell, will make you faint after a while. For this reason, choose odorless oils. Apart from this, there is no special oil for Ney.

You should lubricate a newly opened Ney once a week in the first 3 months.
After 3 months, you can do this once every 2-3 weeks.
After 1 year, it is sufficient to lubricate once a month.
The more often you blow your Neyi, the less often it requires lubrication.
The best way of lubrication is to use Ney as an oil tank by closing the open side of a long and wide PVC pipe. Submerge your ney completely in oil and wait for 10 minutes. Then take out what. Hang it upside down from the Neva hole and let it rest for at least 4-5 hours for the oil to drain. If you do not have the opportunity to make such a tank, tape all the holes of your Ney. Cover the bottom with your finger and pour some oil from the jukebox. Move your Ney so that the oil reaches the entire inner surface. This method will also work for you.


What is Combustion on Ney?

Ney'de Yanma Nedir?

The sound of what becomes better when played like many instruments. However, this change in the timbre character is very evident in Ney. As it is blown, the inner part of the reed, starting from the first knuckle called the sound box of Ney, darkens over time. This phenomenon, called "burning", is caused by the acid in the breath of the neyz penetrating the inner surface of the reed and slightly oxidizing a thin layer. This happens in a very slow process and usually starts as a small stain, approximately 6 months after the Ney is blown. In the time that passes until this process is completed, that is, the whole interior of what is blackened, the sound of Ney gradually becomes different and gains an impressive character rich in burns and natives. However, those who are not masters of ney try to clean it by thinking that it is fungus-mold, which is very wrong, you will erase the harmony you have gained by blowing it.


What is Mold on Ney?

Ney'de Küflenme

Ney can become moldy due to the humidity of the breath you blow, the humidity of the environment or if you keep your ney indoors for a long time. Do not confuse burning Ney and molding your Ney.

Mold appears as a dark, even cottony layer with a yellowish green edge and usually occurs on a jukebox. In this case, the Ney can be thoroughly washed with warm soapy water and the mold will be removed. Afterwards, Ney is left to dry thoroughly and oiled well after it dries completely.

Do not insert any hard object into the ney to clean it, as this can damage the music box and  knuckles inside, and it will destord tune. Keep your Ney in an airy environment to protect it from mildew. Do not leave it in humid environments. Never put it in its case immediately after blowing. If you are not carrying it somewhere, do not keep it in its case for a long time. Make sure that there are ventilation holes at both ends of the cover.


The Occurrence of Bending and Warping on Ney

Ney'de Yamulma

Cellulose, that is, plant-based Ney can bend and warp if not stored correctly. Especially if the reed is cut before it is ripe, opened before it is completely dried, if it is less than 3 years old, the conditions in which it is stored may cause this deterioration. It doesn't make any difference in tuning, but it may disturb you visually. For this reason, the Ney should not be left resting on a place for a long time, if it is to be placed on a flat place such as a table, the head piece should be brought out of the table and the ney should be fully laid on the surface, and if it is on the side hanger, the hanger intervals should not be too narrow or too wide. Otherwise, the Ney will sag and warp. The best way to store your Ney is to hang it upside down from the neva curtain. Never try to correct any bending or twisting that may occur on your ney. You can break it.
If the bending and warping situation, which does not cause any problems in terms of sound, visually disturbs you, ask a specialist for help to fix it.


Cracking on Ney

Ney'de Çatlama ve Kırılma

Your Ney may crack for various reasons. If these cracks are not repaired, the cracks will progress and Ney may become unusable. Ney masters can repair these cracks according to the situation. For this reason, if you have a particularly good Ney and it has cracks, definitely give it to a master to repair it without neglecting it.


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