Neys are made from the reed plants, which grow abundantly along the banks of the numerous irrigation canals in the Nile Valley.  From this very simple plant, the Egyptians (then and now) were/are able to provide an incredible range of tones.  No instrument had/has a more incorporeal sound, a sweeter sostenuto, a more heartfelt vibrato.  The sounds of the Egyptian ney are produced by blowing through a very small aperture of the lips against the edge of the orifice of the tube, and directing the wind into the tube.  By opening and closing the finger holes, the resulting variation changes the length of air in the columns, providing the different pitches.  The resulting sounds provide melodies - by steps by leaps, brisk and longing, staccato, legato, in tender pulsations and foamy cascades.