Serious Ocarina Player - The Fundamentals of Excellent Performance

The ocarina is a wind instrument most notable for its pure ethereal tone. Quality transverse ocarinas are capable of creating everything from beautiful, mournful, slow melodies to highly ornamented tunes. They have a straightforward fingering system similar to a flute or tin whistle, and are fully chromatic. Most ocarinas are small, easily slipped into a pocket or bag, and played wherever it takes your fancy.

Yet, despite their apparent simplicity, playing the ocarina well can be difficult. Often, the approaches which are intuitive lead to bad technique, and there are many hidden challenges. Serious Ocarina Player will give you a solid foundation that will help you avoid common pitfalls, preparing you to play better and faster.

Serious Ocarina Player book cover image

Covered topics include:

  • The history and capabilities of the transverse ocarina.
  • Identifying ocarinas designed as serious instruments.
  • Single chamber versus multichamber ocarinas.
  • Understanding ocarinas in different keys and octaves.
  • The fingering systems of single chamber and multichamber ocarinas.
  • Holding ocarinas, and avoiding hand pain.
  • Playing the high notes of single chambered ocarinas.
  • Blowing an ocarina to create a clean, controlled tone.
  • Playing in tune, and the impact of ambient temperature.
  • How to approach practice in an effective way.
  • Identifying playable music, and adapting music to the ocarina.
  • Performing and using Classical and Celtic articulation/ornamentation.
  • Recording an ocarina in a studio setting.

Finally, this book contains answers to many frequently asked questions, such as:

  • Is the ocarina easy to play?
  • Is the ocarina a good instrument for young children?
  • Why does my ocarina have airy high notes?

If you have questions about playing the transverse ocarina, look no further than 'Serious Ocarina Player'.

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Serious Ocarina Player is available as a print and PDF e-book.

About the author:

Robert Hickman has been making and playing ocarinas since 2012. He is interested in folk music, and has often performed on the instrument in open mics and folk sessions. These performances provided a platform to study the behaviour of the ocarina, develop good playing techniques, and guide the design of his instruments.