I'm taking the liberty of shifting this discussion from the "Share your Videos" etc. section.
I've actually been thinking about the Ocarina and where it fits in the world of music for sometime. It has always been a "folk instrument" more than anything else, but it has weaved into various genres throughout the years. As of right now, most ocarina albums out of asia are categorized as "New Age", which I find funny since vessel flutes are the oldest instruments known to man. Perhaps it should be called "Old Age"?
Only when I play oldies on it.
I have one New Age album of ocarina music, "Windsongs of the Ocarina," by Francis Maxino of New Zealand. It's quite good. The music is mostly original compositions, including "Neolithic Lovecall"! There's also a piece called "Medieval Medley" with a medieval feel, as you'd expect, and "Macbeth's Banquet," with a more Renaissance style. The whole album or individual tracks are available on Amazon, and I recommend it. At $9 for 13 tracks, the album is a great value. Of course, "New Age" is a pretty vague musical rubric, which includes a lot of electronic "atmospheric" music as well as new compositions meant to sound ancient.
This may sound silly, but I think one of the main reasons that I love the ocarina is because it has a similar sound to the type of music I grew up with: Nintendo Backtracks. I think this is why you mostly hear video game songs performed on the ocarina on the net: the tone reminds us of the "bleeps and bloops" of our favorite games. When you really think about it, some of those games had some absolutely beautiful soundtracks that don't receive much appreciation (much like the ocarina
I thought it was mostly the influence of the Zelda game in particular, but it has been a surprise to me to learn that there is a whole body of video game music out there.
I think there is something inherently pleasing about the sound of the ocarina. Maybe it's the relative absence of overtones, giving it a more "pure" sine wave form. If you go to http://www.ocarinaboard.com/bb/index.php?action=post;board=1.0
and move the wave shape slider all the way to the left, for a simple sine wave, you get a more ocarina-like sound.
If I play the same melody on my C ocarina and my soprano recorder, the ocarina sound is more engaging to me.