Ocarina history

The Ocarina belongs to a very old musical instrument family, we think that it first appeared 12,000 years ago. First in China with a 6 hole globe flute shape, then in Mayan and Aztec civilisations.


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A long time later in 1860 in Budrio (Italia); Giuseppe Donati shaped the object to make a real musical instrument known today as the “classic” ocarina. It was made first with 10 holes then with 12 holes, and named “Ocarina” which means “little goose” in Italian.

It's also worth mentioning that ocarinas were used in World Wars to raise soldiers morale.

In sixties ; John Taylor invented his own ocarina model, called English Pendant Ocarina. He made it with only 4 holes but it could play an entire chromatic octave plus one note.

Then ocarinas were replaced by recorders due to their lower cost. But thanks to some video games and anime videos the ocarina survived and even became famous all over the world.

Today many types of ocarina exist in various shapes; sizes; chamber number. So ocarinas can play two or three octaves. Many countries are working on developing ocarinas including USA, Italy, Japan, England, Taïwan, Africa, South America …