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Recorder Tin whistle Ocarina

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#1 Dotty old crotchet

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 07:37

I'm hankering after a new toy for my birthday...

Sopranino recorder, (probably Aulos 'Symphony'), or
Tin whistle (Dixon D, maybe) or
Ocarina (? Suggestions please)

Which would you choose and why?

Jacqui

Please, don't suggest I get all three!
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#2 elemimele

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 08:45

Of that collection, I'd choose ocarina, because it's surprisingly versatile, beautiful and not squeaky. Google-search for Vera Unfried for an example. Sopranino recorder, in my view, is jolly useful for attracting the attention of dogs, or for disorientating bats, and (unlike other recorders) can make itself heard over a smallish orchestra, but otherwise has few attractive points. Tin whistle is a funny one; it requires such a different technique to recorder, that as a recorder player, I really don't want to play it (too confusing) - but that's a personal bias!

Whichever you choose, I hope you enjoy it!


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#3 Dotty old crotchet

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 09:00

Thanks. I am very tempted by the ocarina, because even if I find it too hard to play, some of them are very beautiful objects. Do they need a lot more puff than a (descant) recorder?

I have to admit I was assuming tin whistle was very similar to recorder, just different fingerings, can you say more about how the technique is different?

Sopranino...I am so tempted by their tiny, cutey, dinkiness but wary of potential to loosen fillings and precipitate bleeding ears and divorce proceedings!
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#4 elemimele

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 10:50

As far as I know, tin-whistle players hardly use any tongue articulation, but instead "articulate" by specialised and well-defined ornaments. It's also necessary to over-blow to get the second octave as there is no thumb hole, and the cross-fingerings seem to be rubbish compared to a recorder, so sharps and flats seem to be something the average whistler prefers not to mention. There used to be some people on this forum who know an awful lot more about the subject than I ever will (Jack Campin springs to mind). Maybe one of them can comment.

 

Not sure about the puff-level for ocarinas; I've only tried children's plastic little ones. I'd guess that the huge things that look like an archaeological find and play beautiful low notes will need more puff than small ones, but I don't think the smaller sizes are too seriously taxing on the lungs. Ocarinas can't play harmonics at all, so the versions you will find on YouTube that play several octaves are actually two ocarinas in one, with two alternative mouthpieces and two sets of holes, the player rapidly switching as necessary. I can only admire from afar...


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#5 SingingPython

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 14:51

I've a pottery ocarina around, agree they are lovely little things, very tactile.  We got them as kids / early teens at most, and didn't notice any difference in puff from recorders.  Haven't ever tried a big one (larger one we had still fits palm of my hand).

 

Enjoy your birthday present, whatever you end up with!


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#6 dorfmouse

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 21:41

I bought an Irish tin whistle as they were temptingly available in so many shops there and cheap. They can sound so wonderful. I found it surprisingly difficult to just cover the holes consistently even though mine is only a small one in D, and as for making a nice sound ... eek! I think you generally play in the closely related keys to the one your whistle is tuned to, and swap whistles for other keys rather than doing much convoluted fingering. But I haven't practised the little beast much at all so can't say how long it takes to make a half decent sound.
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#7 Dotty old crotchet

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 13:44

Thanks for your assistance with my birthday dilemma.

Despite the many charms of the tin whistle and ocarina, I've decided to be loyal to my instrument and get a sopranino recorder (and some ear plugs).

Reason for decision: I realized I was making the mistake of thinking that a different instrument (ie not a recorder) would somehow be 'more fun', 'for a change'. After I viewed several tin whistle and ocarina videos Youtube kindly suggested I view Matthias Schlubeck playing the pan flute.

I think he's worth checking out if you haven't already come across him.

Anyway, what I learned from seeing him play was: the most fun is to be had playing ANY instrument really really well.

So I have six months head start on the recorder, only 10-20 more years to go!

Edit:i took out link to the YouTube because it didn't seem to work.
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#8 Dotty old crotchet

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 09:44

So there I was, vowing to be loyal to the recorder and then folks on another thread started talking about roll up pianos and mini keyboards...
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