Playing ocarinas in warm or cold enviroments

If you play an ocarina in an environment notably colder than it was originally tuned for it may be impossible to play in tune at concert pitch. Lowering the ambient temperature lowers the overall pitch. If this change is considerable the high notes will squeak when pushed into concert pitch. Note that 'much colder' is relative as the ocarina may have been tuned for a much warmer climate than where you live.

This problem can be solved in multiple ways. one option is to warm the ocarina in front of a heater. The ceramic body has notable thermal mass and will transfer this stored energy to the air inside the instrument raising it's pitch. This will often bring the high notes down to a pressure where they can be played in tune. This in tern solves the squeaking. It may be adequate for a short playing session.

You may also address this by allowing the pitch to change, playing flat or sharp of concert pitch. If you are playing on your own it is perfectly fine to do this. If you are trying to match pitch with a backing track the pitch of the track can be lowered. Any good digital audio workstation will be able to lower the pitch of a recording without affecting it's tempo.

If you are playing with others in real life it is preferable to tune the accompaniment to you. Depending on the situation this may/may not be possible. If you regularly need to play in a cold environment it may be worthwhile getting an ocarina tuned to play in that temperature.

It is also worth noting that the preasure sensitivity decreases the more holes an ocarina has. Ocarinas with more holes will loose there high notes sooner as tempriture drops.

Exercises