The Mey is a double-reed aerophone used in Turkish folk music. Its origins come from the Armenian Duduk.
A Mey consists of three parts: Ana Gövde (main part), Kamış (reed) and Kıskaç (clip).
- Cylindrical in shape and made of wood, the main part has 7 finger holes on its front side, and one finger hole at the back. Meys main part is usually built from the wood of harder trees such as plum, walnut, beech, etc. It has a sound range of about one octave. There are three types of mey: Cura Mey, Orta Mey and Ana Mey.
- A double reed (kamış in Turkish) essentially a large and almost flattened cylinder on the mouth side, and conical-round where it is attached to the main part, gives this instrument its characteristic deep sound.
- A tuning-bridle called "Kıskaç (clip)" mounted to the end of the reed and pushed up and down on the reed until a position is decided serves to tune the Mey and to prevent alterations in pitch of the sound. A wooden piece similar to "kıskaç" which is called the "ağızlık" covers the part of the reed's mouth, when the Mey is not used in order to preserve or protect it. The size and nature of the reed is dependent on the size and nature of the instrument, but is usually approximately one third the size of the main part.
There are many instruments similar to the Mey in Asia. These are called "Balaban", in Azerbaijan and Iran; "Yasti Balaban" in Dagestan; "Duduki" in Georgia; "Duduk" in Armenia; "Hichiriki" in Japan; "Piri" in Korea; "Guanzi" in China; and "Kamis Sirnay " in Kyrgyzstan.
Musicologists like Farmer (1936: 316) and Picken (1975: 480) have suggested that ancient Mait, Monaulos, and Auloi present major resemblances with the Mey and the other similar instruments. In Hellenistic Egypt, there was an instrument called "Mait" or "Monaulos" which was similar to the Mey and there was another one in Anatolia which was called "Auloi" and its picture was found on a vase.