Buying Guide

Choosing the right Ocarina

Choosing the right Ocarina may seem difficult at first but this guide will help you decide which Ocarina size and style is right for you.

Which style 10 or 12 Hole?

You may be wondering why we make Ocarinas With different amounts of holes.Well it all comes down to range and ease of playing.


The Ten hole Ocarina is the original Italian Style Ocarina which was developed in 1853 and was popular in the U.S.1890-1940.It has one hole for each finger and is a little easier than a 12 hole ocarina.It plays a total of 18 notes.It can be played by most kids and adults with average to size hands.It is hard to beat the classic look of the Ten hole Italian style Ocarina.

The Twelve hole Ocarina was develped in Japan in 1928 and is still very popular .The Twelve hole Ocarina adds three more half steps at the beginning of the scale. These are called sub-notes and are played by covering two holes with one finger which allows you to get those three notes below the tonic note of the ocarina.This isn’t as hard as it sounds and the extra range of the 12 hole can add a nice touch to your ocarina playing experience.The Twelve hole plays a total of 21 notes.

Which size Soprano, Alto or Tenor

The Soprano Ocarina {key of F} is our smallest Ocarina.It can be played by people with any sized hands even small kids which makes it a great Ocarina for grade school kids.It also makes a nice portable pocket sized instrument.

The Alto Ocarina {key of C}is our most popular size. Most people like its mellower mid-range pitch.The fact that is is in the key of C makes it a little easier to play in other keys such as D or G.If you plan to own only one Ocarina consider the C Alto. It melds well with other instruments and is the same pitch as the Ocarina in Legend of Zelda Video Game.

The Tenor Ocarina is a larger ocarina with a haunting sound.Because of its larger hole size it is best played by people with medium to large hands. This makes a great Ocarina for players with some Ocarina playing skill that are looking for a new Ocarina playing experience.

If you need more information about Ocarinas try our frequently asked questions page to get your answer.

  • Listening to the audio samples may be helpful in making your final desision on the right size Ocaria for you.

It should be noted that ocarinas can be made of other materials, although clay is the traditional material. Metal, wood and plasic can be used to make fine quality Ocarinas and other fingering styles have developed over the years including 5 hole and inline ocarinas. Each ocarina style and material has advantages. We prefer the traditional style ,feel and sweet sound of the ceramic or clay ocarina.