Fish Tail Tale

I promised you a look at my smallest ocarina. Here it is.





This is a 6-hole, fish-shaped ocarina (an ichthyocarina, if you will). It appears to be made out of painted terra cotta. Like most of my smaller ocarinas, it came with a cord that allows you to wear it around your neck, which is very handy for the ocarina player on the go.

This ocarina plays differently from the Raindrop. Because it’s smaller, the pitch is higher. Because it has has six holes, rather than four, it is played using different finger patterns. In any ocarina, covering all of the finger holes gives you the lowest note that the instrument can play. Leaving all of the finger holes open gives you the highest note. On a four-hole ocarina, the highest note is a full octave from the lowest. This 6-hole ocarina is one note shy of an octave. Isn’t that strange? It has more holes but fewer notes. It is consequently not my favorite ocarina design, but the fishy is very well-painted and I think it’s cute as all Heck.

Every year my mom gives me at least one ocarina for Christmas. Many of them are animal-shaped and require you to blow through the . . . ahem . . . rear of the animal. I sometimes wonder if mom buys them for that reason. She probably thinks it’s funny.

It is funny!

And yes, this is one of those . . . ahem . . . backward instruments, but that big hole visible on the fish’s tail is not where you blow. It’s where the air is released from the instrument. The air has to go somewhere, right? So that hole must be left open at all times. The mouth hole is actually at the very tip of the tail and it cannot be seen in either picture.

This is not the only ichthyocarina in my collection. Perhaps I will show you another one tomorrow.

This entry was posted in Music and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fish Tail Tale

  1. Pingback: Blue-Footed Musings » Blog Archive » Other Fish in the Sea

Comments are closed.