The ney is the oldest known Persian wind instrument. Originally made of wood, it can also be made of metal. It has five finger holes in front, one thumbhole in the back, and a range of two-and-one-half octaves. The upper end is covered by a short brass cylinder, which the player anchors in the tiny space between his upper incisive teeth. Sound is produced when a stream of air is directed by the tongue toward the opening of the instrument. In this way, sound is produced behind the upper teeth, inside the mouth, which gives the ney a distinct timbre.