[About Ocarina] [Learn to play] [Listen to Ocarina]
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The ocarina is a very special music instrument. It is formally seen a flute, but the way the ocarina produces its sound differs than the popular, end blown flutes (like flute, recorder or whistle). In the ocarina, the entire closed air volume vibrates to generate the sound. The pitch is defined only by the area of the open holes, which means that the fingering could be freely defined, the position of the finger holes is free and the form of the instrument as well.
The ocarina traces its roots tens of thousands years back, but the modern ocarina we know today, came first in 1853 from Budrio - Italy, where Giuseppe Donati invented and first produced the instrument. Then it quickly gained popularity and became integral part of the folk music of Tirol (Italy, Austria, Germany), but also some east European countries like Bulgaria and Romania. The instrument had some very important advantages:
The popularity of the ocarina remained high till the middle of the XX century, where some of its advantages were no more so important and the ocarinas quickly disappear from the music stores and the marketplaces. But still some people kept playing them, and only old novels were mentioning this almost forgotten mystical instrument, which when “played, the birds kept silence and listen to the magical music”. And it went like this till the ocarina gain dramatically popularity in Asia due to several reasons:
Today the ocarina is no more forgotten. It is around, being produced and played all around the World. Still mysterious and rare, but intriguing and unique.
A great overview of the ocarina history could be found at Jack Campin's web site.
|(C) Yordan Tuzsuzov.