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Author Topic: Reading music for the Mountain Ocarina - possibly an easier option  (Read 2651 times)
Sr. Member
Posts: 355

« on: March 10, 2011, 12:08:40 am »

This is a concept I saw mentioned on one of the whistle forums and thought it might be appropriate repeated here. My apologies if this already exists here, I've not seen it.

If you imagine your fingers on the Mountain Ocarina to be "in-line", left-hand over right, much as you might hold a recorder or whistle, the position of the "lowest finger down" or "lowest closed hole" can be considered to be represented by the note as written on the music stave.

For example : the note immediately below the bottom line on the stave is "D", this corresponds to RH3 (third finger right hand) and all the fingers above it being "down". The second space up is "A", which corresponds to just LH1 and LH2 down.

Expanding from this, it becomes quite easy to correspond "dots on lines" to "fingers on holes", without having to consider the name of the note you are playing. It's rather like playing from "tabs", the significant advantages being that virtually any tune you are likely to want to play on your Ocarina will be annotated somewhere as "dots on lines" and that "normal" music represents not just the note to be played, but the length of time that note should be played for (crotchets, minims quavers etc), so you don't need to "know" the tune by heart before you start to play it, as you would have to from a "tab" sheet.

I accept that this simplistic view has it's (extreme) limitations, takes little account of accidentals (sharps and flats) and ignores LH4 on the "G" M.O., but it's a start and can allow the playing of (or at least attempt to play) a tune that may have only been heard once or twice.

Think of this as an extra tool in your arsenal, another trick up your sleeve, or whatever. It's not a replacement for learning by ear, but it may mean you can get your Ocarina out and whistle a new tune without having to find an mp3, load it onto your player, listen to it 50 times, wait for someone to make a "tab" 'cos you can't quite figure out the notes, etc etc.

Work through a few tunes in "C" (no sharps or flats) to get the hang of things, then introduce F# (instead of F) and you'll be playing in "G", add C# as well, (instead of C) and you're playing in "D" ... that should cover things for a few months !!

Enjoy ... and good luck.


"I'm playing all the right notes—but not necessarily in the right order."
Active Newbie
Posts: 45

May you receive what is best for you.

« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2011, 12:54:10 am »

Thanks, Kypfer.  Everything that makes me take another look is helpful.


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