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#1 robehickman

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:21 PM

Hello everyone, new here. I make ocarinas, a type of musical instrument originating from Italy, currently working on getting them into concert pitch, a rather tedious matter of getting the chamber volume spot on...

Anyway, here is one of my fairly recent instruments, I don't have many glazed yet on account of not having a kiln and firing taking for ever.

Posted Image

Anyone else make ocarinas?

#2 Seasoned Warrior

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 12:25 AM

I make ocarinas for a fun diversion. I can understand where concert pitch may be difficult to attain in the finished piece considering that so much changes physically in the process. What concert pitch are you trying to achieve, many tune to A above C which is accepted as 440Hz but some tune to 442Hz or 443Hz and many ensembles tune to each other. I am not even sure whether an ocarina is a transposing instrument or not. I'd certainly enjoy hearing of your achievements relative to pitch. Have you read the book Mud to Music? I've enjoyed it very much and it is an interesting discussion of clay instruments throughout history and cultures. One of my favorite parts of the book is the CD of audio samples from the various instruments. I especially enjoyed the sounds of the ancient meso-american water flutes.

Regards,
Charles

#3 Pres

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 09:21 AM

I make ocarinas for a fun diversion. I can understand where concert pitch may be difficult to attain in the finished piece considering that so much changes physically in the process. What concert pitch are you trying to achieve, many tune to A above C which is accepted as 440Hz but some tune to 442Hz or 443Hz and many ensembles tune to each other. I am not even sure whether an ocarina is a transposing instrument or not. I'd certainly enjoy hearing of your achievements relative to pitch. Have you read the book Mud to Music? I've enjoyed it very much and it is an interesting discussion of clay instruments throughout history and cultures. One of my favorite parts of the book is the CD of audio samples from the various instruments. I especially enjoyed the sounds of the ancient meso-american water flutes.

Regards,
Charles


Mud to Music is probably the most definitive book on ceramic instruments out there. A must have for anyone's library if they are making anything in ceramic for music.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#4 Seasoned Warrior

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 11:24 AM


I make ocarinas for a fun diversion. I can understand where concert pitch may be difficult to attain in the finished piece considering that so much changes physically in the process. What concert pitch are you trying to achieve, many tune to A above C which is accepted as 440Hz but some tune to 442Hz or 443Hz and many ensembles tune to each other. I am not even sure whether an ocarina is a transposing instrument or not. I'd certainly enjoy hearing of your achievements relative to pitch. Have you read the book Mud to Music? I've enjoyed it very much and it is an interesting discussion of clay instruments throughout history and cultures. One of my favorite parts of the book is the CD of audio samples from the various instruments. I especially enjoyed the sounds of the ancient meso-american water flutes.

Regards,
Charles


Mud to Music is probably the most definitive book on ceramic instruments out there. A must have for anyone's library if they are making anything in ceramic for music.


I agree Pres! I probably should have given the proper title. "From Mud to Music" is written by Barry Hall who is a member of an all clay ensemble as well as being a well rounded musician in his own right. "Mud to Music is published by the American Ceramic Society ISBN: 1- 57498-139-0. Frank Georgini of tile-making fame has also written extensively on making Udus and has a website at www.udu.com. A book I have found as a good reference book for musical instruments in general has been "Musical Instrument Design" by Bart Hopkin published by See sharp Press ISBN: 1-884365-08-6. the book is valuable for its table s alone but some of the interesting instruments include bull kelp horns, gourds and calabash and a whole lot of quirky designs I wish I had the time to play with. Recently, in our area, there has been a lot of interest in ceramic Raku-fired djembes and timbale-like drums, I've seen a number of them at drum circles!

Regards,
Charles

#5 Christine

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:07 PM



I make ocarinas for a fun diversion. I can understand where concert pitch may be difficult to attain in the finished piece considering that so much changes physically in the process. What concert pitch are you trying to achieve, many tune to A above C which is accepted as 440Hz but some tune to 442Hz or 443Hz and many ensembles tune to each other. I am not even sure whether an ocarina is a transposing instrument or not. I'd certainly enjoy hearing of your achievements relative to pitch. Have you read the book Mud to Music? I've enjoyed it very much and it is an interesting discussion of clay instruments throughout history and cultures. One of my favorite parts of the book is the CD of audio samples from the various instruments. I especially enjoyed the sounds of the ancient meso-american water flutes.

Regards,
Charles


Mud to Music is probably the most definitive book on ceramic instruments out there. A must have for anyone's library if they are making anything in ceramic for music.


I agree Pres! I probably should have given the proper title. "From Mud to Music" is written by Barry Hall who is a member of an all clay ensemble as well as being a well rounded musician in his own right. "Mud to Music is published by the American Ceramic Society ISBN: 1- 57498-139-0. Frank Georgini of tile-making fame has also written extensively on making Udus and has a website at www.udu.com. A book I have found as a good reference book for musical instruments in general has been "Musical Instrument Design" by Bart Hopkin published by See sharp Press ISBN: 1-884365-08-6. the book is valuable for its table s alone but some of the interesting instruments include bull kelp horns, gourds and calabash and a whole lot of quirky designs I wish I had the time to play with. Recently, in our area, there has been a lot of interest in ceramic Raku-fired djembes and timbale-like drums, I've seen a number of them at drum circles!

Regards,
Charles



Oh Gosh .... I had resisted temptation so far- and it was really hard as this book has been coming to my attention on and off for about five years or so - and I have to confess I've just now ordered it on line!

Thank you all for nudging me into action

Christine

#6 Seasoned Warrior

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 04:52 PM




I make ocarinas for a fun diversion. I can understand where concert pitch may be difficult to attain in the finished piece considering that so much changes physically in the process. What concert pitch are you trying to achieve, many tune to A above C which is accepted as 440Hz but some tune to 442Hz or 443Hz and many ensembles tune to each other. I am not even sure whether an ocarina is a transposing instrument or not. I'd certainly enjoy hearing of your achievements relative to pitch. Have you read the book Mud to Music? I've enjoyed it very much and it is an interesting discussion of clay instruments throughout history and cultures. One of my favorite parts of the book is the CD of audio samples from the various instruments. I especially enjoyed the sounds of the ancient meso-american water flutes.

Regards,
Charles


Mud to Music is probably the most definitive book on ceramic instruments out there. A must have for anyone's library if they are making anything in ceramic for music.


I agree Pres! I probably should have given the proper title. "From Mud to Music" is written by Barry Hall who is a member of an all clay ensemble as well as being a well rounded musician in his own right. "Mud to Music is published by the American Ceramic Society ISBN: 1- 57498-139-0. Frank Georgini of tile-making fame has also written extensively on making Udus and has a website at www.udu.com. A book I have found as a good reference book for musical instruments in general has been "Musical Instrument Design" by Bart Hopkin published by See sharp Press ISBN: 1-884365-08-6. the book is valuable for its table s alone but some of the interesting instruments include bull kelp horns, gourds and calabash and a whole lot of quirky designs I wish I had the time to play with. Recently, in our area, there has been a lot of interest in ceramic Raku-fired djembes and timbale-like drums, I've seen a number of them at drum circles!

Regards,
Charles



Oh Gosh .... I had resisted temptation so far- and it was really hard as this book has been coming to my attention on and off for about five years or so - and I have to confess I've just now ordered it on line!

Thank you all for nudging me into action

Christine


You won't regret it Christine. It is truly a worthwhile book. Do you have a dog? The reason I ask is that there is a CD containing many of the instruments featured in the book with sound clips. The pre-columbian meso-american instruments caught my dog's attention and she was absolutely mesmerized by the sounds. It was very interesting to watch her reactions. She didn't care about the other instruments. Anyway I'm sure you will enjoy the book!

Regards,
Charles




#7 Seasoned Warrior

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 04:58 PM

Hello everyone, new here. I make ocarinas, a type of musical instrument originating from Italy, currently working on getting them into concert pitch, a rather tedious matter of getting the chamber volume spot on...

Anyway, here is one of my fairly recent instruments, I don't have many glazed yet on account of not having a kiln and firing taking for ever.

Posted Image

Anyone else make ocarinas?


I meant to mention that I believe you will find that the finger hole diameter has more to do with pitch than any other parameter.

#8 robehickman

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 05:49 PM

<br />I make ocarinas for a fun diversion. I can understand where concert pitch may be difficult to attain in the finished piece considering that so much changes physically in the process. What concert pitch are you trying to achieve, many tune to A above C which is accepted as 440Hz but some tune to 442Hz or 443Hz and many ensembles tune to each other. I am not even sure whether an ocarina is a transposing instrument or not. I'd certainly enjoy hearing of your achievements relative to pitch. Have you read the book Mud to Music? I've enjoyed it very much and it is an interesting discussion of clay instruments throughout history and cultures. One of my favorite parts of the book is the CD of audio samples from the various instruments. I especially enjoyed the sounds of the ancient meso-american water flutes.<br /><br />Regards,<br />Charles<br />


Thanks for the comments, I'm aiming for a base pitch (chamber tonic) of C a=440, do you have any pictures of your own ocarinas? Ocarinas can be played as both a transposing or non-transposing instrument, the note intervals are generally the same.

The base pitch of an ocarina is primarily determined by chamber volume and blowing pressure, the former must be sized so that the ocarina plays in pitch without excessive breath. It is possible to vary this somewhat with sound hole size, or by drilling a tuning hole, however they do reduce the maximum achievable range and weaken the high notes. Not good for 11/12 hole ocarinas.

The biggest problem is that clay shrinks which causes the pitch to increase, you have to vary the wall thickness in the mold so that its tuned flat such that shrinkage brings it to the correct pitch. It's just trial and error.

I am aware of that book and have heard good things about it, however I have not read it as it's not available in the UK and international shipping and import tax gets very expensive. If there was a PDF version available, I wold buy it instantly.

Actually I have just finished writing a book specifically about the issues of ocarina making, in which I have made a lot of effort to highlight the biggest stumbling blocks and explain why things are done on a technical level. It has the most detailed explanation of ocarina voicing and tuning that I'm aware of, most of which I figured out myself by considering how airflows interact with the chamber (basically running fluid simulations in my head, then testing in reality). It can be found in ebook format(pdf) from https://ocarinamaking.com and in print from http://www.lulu.com/...t-20121385.html

#9 ChenowethArts

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 07:09 AM

I just searched for 'ocarina' in the forums here and discovered this old thread.  I may be a little late to the game, but I am both an ocarina maker and a huge fan of Barry Hall's From Mud to Music  book.

I admire anyone who works to making a ceramic ocarina that plays on-pitch in a particular key...I gave up years ago and simply enjoy making ocarinas and tone sculptures as an art form rather than a truly practical instrument that would play in-tune with other instruments.

When I have a block of time (and the right inspiration), I make double and single globed water flutes. Here are some samples of that work.  And here is a view of some older ocarinas that I displayed (and sold) in an art exhibit.

 

I would love to here from others who have successfully marketed their ceramic musical instruments. It is definitely a niche market and I struggle to find the right combination of means to connect with interested buyers and galleries.

Kind regards,

Paul
 


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#10 Pres

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 09:49 AM

Paul, your vessels are gorgeous, and so FUN! It would be interesting to hear them!

 

best,

Preston


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#11 ChenowethArts

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:19 PM

Paul, your vessels are gorgeous, and so FUN! It would be interesting to hear them!

 

best,

Preston

 

Preston, Thank you!
I just need to get off my whatever and do some recording...yours is a frequent request/question. B)


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#12 Pres

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 01:13 PM

I would set it up as a video make a recording, go into a video editing program put in the music track, add the picture of the piece, extend the time on the picture-add wipe in out effects, and save. Pretty simple.


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#13 Benzine

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:25 PM

I would set it up as a video make a recording, go into a video editing program put in the music track, add the picture of the piece, extend the time on the picture-add wipe in out effects, and save. Pretty simple.

Says the man, who taught a bunch of digital arts classes for a couple decades.....

 

Paul, I too am a fan of those flutes.  Great designs.  I also like the cityscape  vessels you posted in another topic.

 

Also, I was working with my colleague today, on our curriculum.  We were discussing potential clay project ideas, and after reading this, I suggested something similar.  So we both tried to make one.  I was successful, he was not.  So I don't think he will be trying it as a project.


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#14 ChenowethArts

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 05:56 AM

I would set it up as a video make a recording, go into a video editing program put in the music track, add the picture of the piece, extend the time on the picture-add wipe in out effects, and save. Pretty simple.

Preston, I'm with you on this...my problem isn't the lack of recording/editing skills, it is more like getting motivated enough to overcome the inertia to get started.  I'm having too much fun playing in the mud!


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#15 ChenowethArts

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 06:07 AM

Paul, I too am a fan of those flutes.  Great designs.  I also like the cityscape  vessels you posted in another topic.

 

Also, I was working with my colleague today, on our curriculum.  We were discussing potential clay project ideas, and after reading this, I suggested something similar.  So we both tried to make one.  I was successful, he was not.  So I don't think he will be trying it as a project.

 

 

Thanks for the note!

The whole flute-making process can be a challenge.  It takes patience and often times a lot of trial and error.   I watched a class of 16, first semester clay students make pinch-pot whistles as their first project last week and only a couple needed extra attention to produce a sound.  That experience gave me a glimmer of hope that more complex projects are possible with more experienced clay students. We'll see.

 

Thanks again,

Paul


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#16 Pres

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 09:17 AM

I used to run a project for Theory and Harmony students at the end of their year where the music teacher would bring them in during one of my classes and they would make whistles after a demo by me, decorate, and after firing glaze them. It was always a big hit with this very intellectual, music driven group. Whistles turned out quite well. I found early on that bamboo chopsticks could be made into excellent tools for the project. A few minutes on the belt sander and we would have a dozen sets of tools. Her Theory classes were about 15 in enrollment so it wasn't a problem.

 

I can't post video right now, as the new computer I built had an oversight. No firewire card to handle my old digital/tape camcorder.


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#17 ChenowethArts

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 09:28 AM

I used to run a project for Theory and Harmony students at the end of their year where the music teacher would bring them in during one of my classes and they would make whistles after a demo by me, decorate, and after firing glaze them. It was always a big hit with this very intellectual, music driven group. Whistles turned out quite well. I found early on that bamboo chopsticks could be made into excellent tools for the project. A few minutes on the belt sander and we would have a dozen sets of tools. Her Theory classes were about 15 in enrollment so it wasn't a problem.

 

I can't post video right now, as the new computer I built had an oversight. No firewire card to handle my old digital/tape camcorder.

 

Preston,

I would love to see the video.  I'll be watching for a post.

 

Thanks,

Paul


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