History of the Sweet Potato Ocarina

The word Ocarina means little goose in Italian and a gentleman by the name of Giuseppe Donati created the first 10-hole Sweet Potato Ocarina in the 1850’s in Italy.

Giuseppe DonatiSince the 1850’s, the Ocarina has gone through a ride across the world.

In 1900 the ocarina became popular in the United States and was sold though Sears mail order catalog.The Ocarina was given its American name ,Sweet Potato,because of its shape and sweet sound.

In 1928 the Ocarina became popular in Japan when a Japanese ocarina-maker began production.The ocarina is currently used in Japan to teach children music in school.“Ocarina societies” are also common in Japan.

In the 1940’s in the United States Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorthy Lamour played the ocarina in the movie Road to Singapor and sang the song ,When the Sweet Potato Piper plays.American army troops were issued plastic ocarinas as a morale booster.

In the 1950’s Joey played the Ocarina in the movie Stalag 17.Ocarinas were used to tech music to children in U.S. public schools.

In the 1960’s a British mathematician invented the 4 hole ocarina,which plays a 13 note chromatic octave. The song ,Wild Thing, featured an Ocarina solo, as did the sound track to the movie The Good,the Bad ,and the Ugly.

Presently the Ocarina contiues to be popular in England ,Italy and throughout Asia.Its popularity in the U.S. has been given a boost with release of the video game Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time.

The sound of an Ocarina is calming and soothing. With a little practice, you can sound like you’ve been playing for years.


Source: commons.wikimedia.org via Chris on Pinterest