The Ocarina is an ancient musical wind instrument—a type of vessel flute. Lavishly decorated, and with a beautiful sound, these vessel flutes were used in ancient cultures to charm the birds, please the gods, and lift people into a higher state of consciousness.

Variations exist, but a typical Ocarina is an enclosed space with four to twelve finger holes and a mouthpiece that projects from the body.

The Ocarina originated from Italy and belongs to the Woodwind family. It is similar to the Tin Whistle and the Slide Whistle.

The Ocarina, (from the Italian for “little goose”) is also called Sweet Potato, a globular flute, a late 19th-century musical development of traditional Italian carnival whistles of earthenware, often bird-shaped and sounding only one or two notes.

There are three main styles of ocarina: transverse (also called a Sweet Potato as previously mentioned), pendants (English or Peruvian), and inline. If you are a flautist, you may like the transverse or Sweet Potato design because these are held to the side of the mouth horizontally and played with two hands.

More information:

Material(s) CeramicWood
Item number MBPO353

Questions to help you remember using this item

  • Have you ever played an Ocarina?
  • Do you play any other instrument? What is it?
  • Did you play a Recorder at school?

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