Morning Crow: Can You Hear The Ocarina?

Hi, there, little chickens! This is Green, bringing you the Morning Crow, a quick burst of whatever is on my mind that relates to music. Today’s entry starts at under ‘music facts.”

The Ocarina, a musical wind instrument, is also known as the Sweet Potato. The music in the background is David Erick Ramos, playing an Ocarina. David has graciously allowed me to share his music with you today.  Here’s his YouTube Video:

If you’re like me, you wondered what on earth is an ocarina? Or maybe not. Evidently, there is a Nintendo game from 1998 called “The Legend of Zelda—the Ocarina of Time” that has the player make music using a digital ocarina. The game increased interest in the instrument itself. Not being a gamer (well, I play Bejeweled Blitz occasionally), I had no idea. So for all of you who have not played a gamer’s ocarina, and don’t have a repository of odd instruments in your head just in case you need a good conversation opener, here’s what I found:

According to that source of all knowledge, Wikipedia, an ocarina is an ancient wind instrument similar to a flute. It is usually made of clay or ceramic, but can be made of glass or even animal horn. It has history going back thousands of years, with early references in Asia and Mesoamerica (that’s Central America to you and me). The ocarina came to Europe, possibly by Cortes, and was used as a simple toy there. The modern version used today was developed by Guiseppe Donati in Italy. Ocarina is a Bolognese word that means “little goose.”

If Hen, our resident musician and music nerd, were here, he’s make me go over how it works, but that makes my eyes cross. Maybe he will share with the class on a later date.

Only one version is known as “the sweet potato,” presumably because the instrument looks vaguely like on of the tubers, being thicker in the middle with nearly pointed ends. Other versions look more like tiny ray guns, with one that looks like an egg.

That’s it for the Morning Crow today. Like our Facebook page to be the first to hear our next edition!


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