Name : Neï-contrebasse®
Family : Wind instrument / Flute family
Date of creation : 1972 to 1974
Musician : Georges Alloro
A flute without a mouthpiece inspired by the traditional Persian flute called Neï. This type of flute is the only one that allows the vibration of long pipes and the change of note (more than half a tone higher) thanks to a specific playing technique.
The Neï-contrebasse® is made of beaten brass and is 330 cm long. Its construction took many years of work. Its very low tonality reaches 54 hertz LA (A). It has a range of 16 notes per octave.
This instrument has the special feature of being able to use the sound of one’s voice. This method of playing produces a specific sound effect due to the formation, developing from the frequencies emitted from the flute and one’s voice, of a third frequency called « interferential beats ». Jazz musicians play in this way, but with classical flutes that have a higher tone than that of the voice, which limits the expressiveness of the singing (disjointed sound).
With the Neï-contrebasse®, the relationship between the instrument’s tone and the voice’s tone – which is higher than the former – is, so to speak, carried by the low frequencies that give it a unique and movingly expressive quality.