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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The karnay is a long wind instrument.[1] It is used in the music of Iran, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, where it is considered a national instrument.

Musicians playing the karnay at the opening of the international film festival Didor in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on 12 October 2010.
Versions of Karnay.
Versions of Karnay.


The kernei is a Kyrgyz wind musical instrument, which as well as the surnai (Persian: سرنای‎) was not modernised for ensembles or orchestras and exists in traditional form. It is used particularly for signaling or as a ceremonial instrument with a powerful sound and piercing timbre. There are two kinds of kernei: the muiuz kernei (made from a mountain goat horn), and the jez kernei (made of copper or brass). Both of them are very different instruments, but they are combined by lack of playing apertures.

Muiuz kernei

Members of a Tajik Military Brass Band playing Karnays.
Members of a Tajik Military Brass Band playing Karnays.

The muiuz kernei is an ancient instrument made from a curved mountain goat horn, ranging in length between 30 and 40 cm. The instrument does not have a mouthpiece and gives only a few sounds of thick, soft timbre. The Military Brass Band of the Commandant Regiment of the Ministry of Defense of Tajikistan (the only military band in the world to use karnays) uses the Muiuz kernei.

Jez kernei

The jez kernei is 1–2 m long longitudinal trumpet with/without a mouthpiece. Faucet diameter is 20 cm. The similarity between the jez kernei and the Uzbek and Uighur karnai is accounted by the territorial nearness of South Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The sound of Kernei is very strong, loud and intended for outdoor areas. Some time in the past the kernei's applied function was restricted by notification of important events, but today it is typically used for national holidays.

The separate group of Kyrgyz aerophones represent the instruments, which considerably yield the main kinds of folk wind instruments by quality of timbre and artistic importance. They can be called as noise instruments. They were not produced by people, they exist in the nature and produce neither musical nor artistic sounds. They include the chymyldak - produce squeak, yshkyryk - whistle, baryldak - under tongue aerophone, chynyrtky - hunter's quail call, jalbyrak - "explosive" aerophone.


  1. ^ "Pastimes of Central Asians. Musicians. A Man Playing a Karnay, a Long-necked Trumpet-like Instrument". World Digital Library. Retrieved 14 May 2014.

Persian script: hashkamelash kamelash lokimash habash

This page was last edited on 31 July 2020, at 18:48
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