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Recycled Plastic Ocarina
Learn To Play The Ocarina!
Ocarinas are very ancestral instruments, perhaps tens of thousands of years old. Nearly every culture and society has had a vessel flute of some sort. In their basic form, their origins date to stone age times, some of the earliest found in Central Africa. For centuries, they have been part of the Global Music Culture, as a 'hsuan' in China, in France a 'cou-cou', and to Italy, we trace the word 'OCARINA' ('sweet little goose'), now part of the international vernacular.
The Ocarina works on this principle: The airway in the mouthpiece forces a smooth flow of breath out of the slit, across the window and onto the 'lip', or 'reed' of the Ocarina, causing the air to break into vortexes; which gives rise to the oscillations heard as musical tones. Finger holes in the chamber allow the changing of tones. The Four-Hole Western Scale ("English Style") system emulated in the recycled plastic and stoneware ocarinas works because of 'cross-fingering'. Follow along with the animation and you are on the way. The scale chart below gives you the sharps and flats!
Note that there are four holes of different sizes, each one slightly larger than the adjacent one. That is the elegance of simplicity, the wonderful marriage of science and art. With the four holes, you can go from 'do' to 'do' and, by 'SLIDING" your fingers gradually off the holes, cover each and every frequency between. With all the holes open, blow into the whistle only enough to make a clear tone, not too forcefully nor too timidly. Now, cover the holes completely and slowly slide your fingers off while you blow, then slide them back over the holes. Now try it again and say "tu-tu" while you do it. Practice, Practice, Practice. The tu-tu part is a basic wind instrument technique that will give you the breaks between the notes. If condensation builds up in the airway; give it a blast to clear it.
Although all musical instruments can be traced to ancient times, it is those of clay that have most direct and basic roots to antiquity. Ceramic musical instruments are made with a variety of techniques that remain basic. The sounds they produce remain rooted and unchanging. The surface may catch our eye at first, or perhaps the shape, but the true intrigue is the void they encompass, for it is the void within the vessel that gives the sound of all history.
The pitch of the sound produced in a vessel flute varies with the size, from very small whistles that produce penetrating bird-like sounds (like the Stoneware Ocarina sold here) to larger vessels with soft and mellow, deep pitched sounds (like the larger Plastic Ocarina). The number and sizes of the tone holes determine scaling which can range from a few little notes to a nearly two octave range. Stoneware Turtle Ocarina: $20.00.
The Plastic Ocarina has all the grace and quality of ancient ceramic ocarinas, but it is made of modern materials with the durability required for kid's instrument. These ocarinas are based on the Four-Hole "English Style" System and play a complete chromatic octave starting in "D". Plastic Ocarinas are finely tuned and consistent in quality. They are wearable as pendants.
This product has been endorsed by the Smithsonian Institute, Native American Indian education groups, Orff-Schulwerk Music Educators, and the ethnic music departments of several universities. These Plastic Ocarinas are fine beginning instruments that can be self-taught, taught by the classroom teacher or the music specialist.
We are told that the raw pellets used for production contain between 65% to 80% recycled plastic, though it is not clear if this is pre-consumer or post-consumer recycled matter. Most likely it is the manufacturing scraps from another product reprocessed for making the ocarinas. Color: Black.