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3 Things to Know About the Ocarina

The ocarina is one of the oldest musical instruments in the world; it's believed to have originated nearly 12,000 years ago. Made famous by its appearances in various forms of media, this instrument is a unique variation on the flute that produces dulcet tones that are both simple and complex. Great for beginners just getting into music and for the more experienced, it offers a unique take on wind instruments you can't really get anywhere else.

What is an ocarina made out of?

They are usually made from materials like clay and ceramic, but models made from other materials, like plastic, glass, metal, wood, and even bone, are also available in the selection on eBay. Regardless of the material, the actual instrument must be somewhat thin in order to produce the right sound. There will be some differences in pitch and volume produced by each instrument depending on the material it's made of and its size.

How do you play it?

As a wind instrument, it is used by blowing into a mouthpiece. The air flows through the instrument and is released through various gaps across its surface, producing different notes based on which holes are being closed up. The exact number of holes on an instrument can vary based on its type and size, but the average is usually somewhere between four and 12. Some have experimented with adding keys or slides to this instrument, but these are not standard features that you would typically expect to find on a standard one.

Different types of ocarinas to suit your musical style

There are several different forms this instrument can take, all with their own unique shape and sound. Deciding which fits your musical style and skill level is one of the many things to consider when shopping for an affordable ocarina on eBay. A few prominent examples include:

  • Pendant: Pendants ocarinas are small and worn around the neck. As far as shape is concerned, they are divided into the English and Peruvian styles. The English style is often more rounded and has four to six holes, while the Peruvian style is slightly larger and might be designed to resemble an animal's head. This style typically has eight to nine holes.
  • Transverse: Also known as the sweet potato, these are designed in a shape that resembles that root vegetable. Transverse models are the type most people think of when they hear the word "ocarina." This style typically features 10 to 12 holes and has a wider range of notes available to play.
  • Inline: Inline types take aspects from the previous two designs, making for a compact, pendant-style instrument that can still produce a wide variety of notes.
  • Multi-chamber: Multi-chambers are a class of one of the other types of instruments in this list but with two or three air chambers as opposed to the standard one. This greatly increases the range of notes this flute can produce. It can even enable harmonic playing by providing enough holes to form full cords if desired.

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