When you think of the ocarina, the first thing to come to your mind will probably be ‘The Legend of Zelda’ world-famous video game, which heavily featured this instrument during the game play. But, the ocarina is actually an ancient instrument.
Besides percussion instruments (different kinds of drums and rattles), wind instruments were the first ones to be made, as they were easiest to find out and design.
The ocarina is almost 12000 years old and emerged independently all around the world. From Asia and Americas to Europe and Africa, this instrument had different shapes and sizes, but the essence of it was always the same. They usually had a body with different holes to give you different notes. It was easy to make it and it produced a very mild and pleasant sound, which made the instrument really popular.
Check out this video of an ocarina being played:
We decided to create this list to help you find the right ocarina for you. Here you can find different sizes and shapes of ocarinas you can get on today’s market. We are confident there will be something for you on this top 5 list.
Our Top 5 List of Ocarinas
1. Night By Noble Plastic Ocarina
We start off the list with this great plastic ocarina. Night by Noble really made a great job with the making of this ocarina. The ocarina is classicly sweet potato-shaped, with a 10-hole system for playing. It is tuned in Alto C and plays in a 442Hz range.
The ocarina itself is made out of plastic, with a nice rubbery touch on the outside, so it will not slide out of your hand or be uncomfortable in any way when holding in hands for a longer period of time. Also, the mouthpiece is made from plastic, but not in a rubbery way but as normal smooth plastic so you wouldn’t feel the rubber or plastic smell or taste in your mouth when playing.
As for the sound, this ocarina produces very mellow sound and while it’s not the loudest ocarina out there it also isn’t the quietest, but it’s in the perfect sweet spot of the sound. This sturdy ocarina is a great investment and for a rather cheap price, you shouldn’t really think about getting one right now.
2. TOTMC Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time
This ocarina is made especially for the Legend of Zelda fans so it’s not really a question why this ocarina is one of the most popular ocarinas in the market today. But that doesn’t mean that this is not a quality instrument which can be used to seriously play music.
Ocarina of time is made from ceramic, has 12 holes and Alto C tuning. The outside of ocarina is made to match exactly the one from the game and it’s beautifully colored and designed. Because of the ceramic build of this ocarina, the sound it produces is beautiful, soft and fairly loud. Together with this ocarina, you get a necklace to carry the instrument with you and a small textbook with tabs for several songs from the game
The great thing about this ocarina is that it is the pitch–bending instrument – meaning it’s a bit harder to hit the right note as it can differ when you blow the air into it differently, but if you learn how to play it right you can control it much more than standard ocarina.
3. OcarinaWind12 Hole Ocarina
Moving onto probably the best ocarina on this list. OcarinaWind 12 Hole Ocarina comes from one of the most notable and famous ocarina makers and it really hits the mark perfectly. This is a ceramic ocarina with a really gorgeous teal cracked ice finish, a 12 hole instrument that comes together in a package with a beautiful jade neck strap and a songbook with tabs for around 20 songs. Also, you get a protective pouch in which you can carry your ocarina and since it’s padded you don’t have to fear that every minor fall or hit will break your ocarina in pieces.
This ocarina is tuned for Alto C, including sharps and flats, and produces a really great, mellow and full sound which is distinctive on a first listen. It has sweet potato classical form and the holes on it are set apart enough, so you don’t have a problem with hitting the right hole even if you have big hands. This is a great ocarina for both an amateur just starting to play and for a professional with experience as it produces a clean and nice sound all the way around.
4. Woodnote PAC-850BW
Woodnote PAC-850BW is another high-quality plastic ocarina. It’s built–in a classic sweet potato 12-hole build and comes together with a protective pouch and songbook with a dozen songs for beginners to start learning on. A protective pouch is really great when you need to take your ocarina with you as it ensures it will travel well and not take any damage in the process.
Sound-wise this is a standard Alto C tuned ocarina so you should be able to fit in with other ocarinas pretty well. Even though it is plastic, the finish is made to look like wood, so up until you take it in your hand you will not notice the difference. This is a great beginner’s ocarina on which you can learn the basics for a small amount of money paid.
5. Ocarina 6 HoleStrawfire Triforce Ocarina
Another of a Legend of Zelda ocarinas on this list, this one is only one made in a tear shape with a 6 hole playing system. Straw fire Triforce Ocarina comes together with a songbook with several songs inside and a neck strap for easier carrying.
The ocarina itself is made from porcelain clay and that gives it a really beautiful and full mellow sound. The tuning of the ocarina is standard Alto C tuning for ocarinas, so you will not make a mistake with buying. Also, visually, it looks great because of the bright yellow finish. All in all, this is a great, low-budget ocarina for you to get.
More about Ocarinas
Ocarinas are traditionally made from clay or ceramic, but they can be crafted out of wood, bone, metal or in more modern times from glass and plastic. There are two main systems of ocarina build – Taylor system (with 4-6 holes) and sweet potato system where ocarina has 10 holes. Also, ocarinas can differ in shapes and sizes but two of the most common shapes are sweet potato and pendant.
Today, ocarinas are somewhat forgotten, but they are still great little instrument which is mostly used for children to teach them the basics of music. Of course, professional musicians use it occasionally in their work, but it’s mostly as a back instrument, used for its subtle sound or when creating indigenous music all around the world.
We hope that this article has helped you with choosing the right ocarina for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced player, you will find something for yourself on this list – the right shape, size or sound is out there and is waiting for you. And choosing any one of these ocarinas is sure to be a great buy.