Mey is a short oboe with a dark sound, originally played in north-eastern Turkey. Today it is playing part in folk music ensembles in all over Turkey. It is made of hard wood yet, the best wood to construct a mey is plum wood. Mey is composed of three parts; the body, the reed and the grip. The grip serves the tuning of the mey by being pushed up and down on the reed. Pitch range of a mey is one octave. There are seven finger-holes on the top of mey and one thumb-hole on the bottom. Mey is called as “balaban” or “balaman” in Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. Mey can be used as a solo instrument, on the other hand in ensembles it can play tunes, make the drone or be an accompaniment. We have a great variety of meys with different sizes in our catalogue, all hand-made and in high- quality. Do not hesitate to visit us in Istanbul or check our catalogue through our website. We believe you will find here the right mey at the best value.
History of Mey Instrument
Many historians and researchers think that mey has a relationship with the monaulos, which was widely used in ancient times, and it means the same thing as the Balaban in Azerbaijan or duduk in Georgia. Therefore, Evliya Çelebi's Balaban is a mey.
Most researchers claim that the mey is an instrument older than the zurna. The ancestor of zurna and such instruments is mey. The lily instrument and similar instruments, which fall under the category of cylindrical oboes, have an older history than the zurnas, known as loud conicals. The eight-hole instrument used in the Kars region also shows that mey dates back to ancient times. The same eight holes were also found in the monaulos tools of the Ptolemaic Egyptian period.
The oldest sources of Mey are reached by Abdulkadir of Maraga (1350 – 1435). Maragalı Abdülkadir reported that this instrument has a soft and sad sound. Two centuries after Abdulkadir, Evliya Çelebi used a similar definition; 'Belban (Balaban) is an instrument invented in Shiraz that does not sound like a zurna. There are 100 stealers by the Turks'. In addition to all these, many types of research were made about mey in the Republican period.