Nai (pan flute)

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A traditional naï

The nai (archaic: muscal) is a Romanian diatonic pan flute used since the 17th century and used in lăutari bands.


Gheorghe Zamfir holding a nai

The nai has usually at least 20 pipes made of bamboo or reed. They are arranged in a curved array, allowing a greater speed of play. Generally the longer, lower pipes are on the right. The pitch of each pipe is adjusted with beeswax; usually nais are tuned in G for Romanian folk music, or in C for classical. Traditional Romanian pan flutes have tubes with varying diameters which go from wide to narrow as you go up the scale, to maintain the volume/length ratio of the tube and therefore produce the best consistent tone quality.

Famous nai players[edit]


  • Zamfir, Gheorghe (1975). Traitė Du Naï Roumain: méthode de flûte de pan. Chappell S.A. ISBN 88-8291-286-8.

External links[edit]