Uzbek Nay

Being part of my project of research in the frame of my Doctorate, the study of the Uzbek Nay is a journey that I propose to document through my findings. Here is a first state of the arts.

Very different from its very famous cousin the Arab nay, the Uzbek nay is also made of bamboo, or sometimes other types of wood, or tin-plate, but is played vertically. This transverse flute has one playing hole to blow in it, six playing holes -no thumbhole. It also has several tuning holes to enhance its sound, and their number and placement is to be decided by the flute maker.

The Uzbek nay is tuned diatonically: if you uncover the holes one by one, you will obtain a scale that is not tuned to the western equal temperament, which means most notes are slightly higher or lower than what your tuner would say is “green”:
A⬆ | B⬇ | C⬆ | D | E | F#⬇ | G#⬆

Listen and follow along in the tuner of Ableton with the cent precision.

There are different sizes of Uzbek nay. The three most common can be compared in size to alto, soprano, and piccolo. The one in the video and on picture is a soprano.

Here is a little example of Uzbek nay in action, by Azamat Bulbul :

Another example by Abdulahad Abdurashidov playing Cho’li – iroq :