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THE OCARINA or SWEET POTATO
We are including the ocarina in this book both for the sake
of completeness and because we had one when we were young
and never learned how to play it as we had no way of finding
out how to make the notes. It is also included because a friend
of ours recently had to learn how to play one in a week's time
in order to take part in a radio show, and she was finally
obliged to figure it out by herself the best she could.
In the hands of a good player, the ocarina is really a won-
derful little instrument. It has a clear flute-like tone and when
you get good at it you can do quite a few specialties such as
carrying the melody in a dance orchestra, playing duets and
trios with friends, and—a favorite with one of our friends who
knows the birds—you can imitate the cuckoo, the mockingbird
and every imaginable other kind of bird.
You produqe a tone on the ocarina by blowing gently into
the mouthpiece, increasing the force of your breath as you go
to the higher notes. The only thing to watch is to blow with
the right degree of force or gentleness for the note you want to
make. This comes with a little practice. If you don't blow just
so, you will get a different note from the one you want, even
though your fingering is correct.
Some players just blow steadily, others "tongue" each note