The parts of an ocarina

While ocarinas are usually formed from a single peace of ceramic, different parts of the instrument are given different names. These are labelled in the diagram below. Note that while a single chambered ocarina is shown, multichambers feature the same components, they just have multiple of each.

Ocarina anatomy


An ocarinas body forms a hollow chamber which is used to produce sound.

Mouthpiece / windway

The mouthpiece includes the windway where the player blows. It is often slightly angled for ergonomic reasons.


The air exiting the windway crosses the voicing and strikes the labium. This causes the air in the chamber to oscillate and produce sound.

Toneholes / subhole

The ocarina's tone-holes are used to play different notes. They have 10 primary holes 8 on top plus two thumb holes. The 11th hole above the right hand ring finger is called a subhole and is used to play a semitone below the tonic. Not all ocarinas have a subhole.


When not covering it's tonehole the right pinky finger rests on the ocarinas tail. This support point is vital to stabilizing the ocarina on the high notes.


The 'cappello', Italian for 'hat' is a support point on the left hand end of the chamber. The left index finger may be placed on it while playing the high notes.

Ocarina for irish music