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Multi-Chamber Split Holes; Use of split holes on Multi-Chamber Ocarinas
Topic Started: 11 Oct 2017, 10:45 PM (197 Views)
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Transverse Ocarinist
Out of curiosity, what is the reason most multi-chamber ocarinas do not utilize split tone holes rather than cross-fingering to play sharps and flats on the higher chambers?

For that matter, why are split holes not used everywhere for sharps and flats?

I understand that they could be difficult to play with complete accuracy at high speeds due to the possibility of shading the split hole, but it seems like split holes would provide a simpler fingering to understand for slower playing. Split holes also allow the unique case of one tone hole per semi-tone that can be independently tuned rather than using another tone's hole and coming close to proper tuning for the accidentals.

When time allows, I plan to try to make some double and triple ocarinas, and I am debating whether or not to include all or some split holes on the second and third chambers.

What are your opinions on split holes?
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Transverse Ocarinist x 3
I am not sure to the answer for ocarinas. without a thumb hole but As I have recently found out that opening your thumb on any note will make it a sharp, which completely removes the use of split holes on the 2nd chamber. 3rd chamber is pretty small so personally I wouldn't want split holes on it
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I imagine it's uncommon since it would take much more time to tune an ocarina like this. It would drive costs up. The split holes would also become more challenging as the holes get larger near the highest notes, having to orient the split holes at specific angles, giving difficulty to players with certain hand shapes/sizes. The thumb holes, I think, should stay the same.

I remember Panch talking about making a 12-hole ocarina with as many split holes as possible.
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Transverse Ocarinist
Thanks for the replies.
@bigray: So sharps and flats are obtained using the thumb hole on second/third chambers made with a thumb hole? I made mine without a thumb hole due to an expected preference, but I have not played multi-chamber ocarinas before, so I really do not know what my preference is.

@Bateleur: That makes sense. I suppose I considered split holes since I only am experimenting for my own purposes, so business considerations do not apply for me. These ocarinas are also designed by me for me to play, so I can locate holes without worrying about exactly how they fit someone else's hands.
I cannot even imagine the challenge I would have with a split thumb hole! Your advice against it seems pretty solid to me.
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Kitten Forest
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Double Ocarinist x 2
I've never played a multichamber with split holes, but I love how Rotter's ocarinas have the split pinky hole. I use it a lot more than using subholes and I wish my 10 hole ocarina would have split holes. That being said, my 10 hole ocarina is a bass and my fingers barely cover the holes as it is! I think it would be fine for some notes that are commonly used or maybe smaller holes, but I haven't heard of anyone playing in a key with 4 or 5 sharps or flats on an ocarina so having a fully chromatic scale is not as big of an issue for most people. Personally, I stick with up to 3 sharps or flats depending on the ocarina's key.
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