Ocarina: Features, price, and history of the ethnic musical instrument


The ocarina is a simple instrument that has a jar-shaped body with a mouthpiece and several finger holes, and makes a sound when you breathe in. The origin of ocarina is said to be the Aztec civilization of South America, and it is said that it later spread to Europe and became the present ocarina. The ocarina, which is now widely used, was developed in the 19th century by the Italian craftsman Giuseppe Donati, and it became the prototype.


This instrument was created in Europe. The ceramic and plastic category is known more for wind instruments than others. There are also ones for children. It is a stable material and is used for school learning and practice along with the flute. There is also a case for attaching something like an accessory, making it a well-balanced instrument.

About the price

The price ranges from a few thousand yen to several tens of thousands of yen. It has a solid shape and is a playable instrument, so it is recommended for purchase. Although some cases are very expensive, these are small instruments and are easy to transport. It is a very gentle instrument for those just starting out, and it is a safe instrument that can be used freely by individuals.

History of ocarina

Ocarina is said to date back to the Mesopotamian civilization of 3000 BC, and similar musical instruments of various shapes and materials have spread to Central and South America. Ancient Greece has a vertical flute Aulos, a continuous tube-shaped sylinks, and a four-hole ocarina in South America. The origin of ocarina-like musical instruments is said to be in the era of the Maya civilization. The ancient ocarina is an instrument used in tribal ceremonies and festivals. The instrument then spread to Europe. In the 19th century, the Italian craftsman Giuseppe Donati baked the first Western scale to be introduced and named it ocarina. Donati is said to have produced tens of thousands of ocarinas throughout his life, and also formed the ocarina quintet and went on a performance tour throughout Europe to introduce the instrument. It spread from the music city of Vienna to Germany, France and all over the world. In 1928, the Ler Folk Musical Instrument Institute succeeded in creating a 12-hole ocarina with an accurate pitch, and it developed as an instrument that can be used for solo or ensemble.

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Features of ocarina

The ocarina has the same pronunciation principle as the recorder, and there is a hole under the mouthpiece to let you breathe out. Even beginners of musical instruments can easily get started because the sound is produced just by breathing. It resonates a pot made of good quality soil and makes a sound. Since the jar is closed, it has a muffled tone. Ocarina is divided into three types, “soprano”, “alto”, and “bass”, depending on the range in charge. Among them, it is characterized by being classified by key as “G tube”, “F tube” and “C tube”. A typical 12-hole ocarina has a range of 1 octave and 5 notes. You can change the pitch depending on the strength of your breath. If you strengthen your breath, the pitch will be higher, and if you weaken it, it will be lower, making it possible to create a semitone pitch difference.


Kind of ocarina

Soprano Ocarina 

Alto Ocarina 

Bass Ocarina 


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