Bass D Ocarina

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The pure bass D is a 10 hole ocarina with a mellow tone. This ocarina has the following features:

Great Ergonomics

Pure Ocarinas were designed from the start as serious musical instruments, and great ergonomics is a big focus of the design. These ocarinas are carefully balanced to sit comfortably in the hand, with ergonomically placed and angled finger holes.

The body of the ocarina is shaped to provide positive support while playing the high notes, when good technique is used. The physical weight of the ocarina is also minimised, as it is easier to support a lighter instrument.

Accurate tuning and clean tone

Pure Ocarinas are tuned to play in a440 concert pitch at 20 degrees centigrade. They are tuned twice to ensure an even breath curve over the entire playing range. A split hole is also included for the low D sharp, allowing the note to be played in tune with a convenient fingering.

They have a soft tone which is clear across the entire range, and strong clear high notes with no need for the acute bend, further improving the ergonomics.

Regular breath curve

Pure Ocarinas are designed to have a shallow breath curve which is as regular as possable over their entire range. They do not have the abrupt low-end breath cut or high end pressure spike common in 12 hole ocarinas. This greatly eases the task of agile playing with good intonation.

The regular pressure curve is made possible by having fewer finger holes.

How the different finishes feel

It is important to note that different finishes feel different to play. I can summerise as follows:

  • The natural porosity of earthenware keeps the fingers dry and makes sliding movements effortless.
  • Gloss glazes trap moisture causing fingers to cling and making sliding inconsistant.
  • The feeling of shellac falls somewhere in the middle, being seiled but not perfectly smooth.

Though note that the porosity of plain earthenware also means that it stains easily and discolours over time. I have not found this to be a big issue, and others have compared it to the look of old bone.

Plain finished ocarinas can be cleaned by re-firing which I am happy to do on request. If you do so yourself do not fire above 1060C as this may change the tuning of the instrument. 600 to 800C is adequate.

Sliding movements on glazed and shellac ocarinas can be made significantly easier by covering your fingers with talk or chalk dust.


My favorite Pure Ocarina by
Item Rating: 5 of 5
I own several ocarinas made by Mr. Hickman of Pure Ocarinas - soprano G, alto C, alto D, and bass D. The bass D is by far my favorite. It has a mellow but strong sound. Despite its size, it's very comfortable to hold and play.

If you are looking for a bass D ocarina, look no further.