Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Introducing the Chickarina

video

E learned how to play this tune on his trumpet earlier this fall, and he struggled mightily with the syncopations. Attempting it on the chickarina gives me a new appreciation for its rhythmic challenges.

This is the first chickarina I've gotten around to glazing. Hey, it's been a busy fall. The instrument has seven finger holes. It has an octave range with a little wiggle room at the top and bottom if you over- or under-blow. I've been playing mostly diatonic pieces with occasional chromatic inflections; I'm pretty sure I could get a complete 12-tone (and then some) chromatic scale out of it, but I haven't figured out the fingering yet. This suggests that far fewer finger holes are necessary to produce a diatonic octave. A project for this winter, perhaps.

If you too would like to make an ocarina but don't have access to clay or kilns, try the handy method demonstrated in the video below. Once you have your materials assembled, you'll need only about 15 minutes to make your ocarina from start to finish. Yum!

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