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Aketa (Prima Gakki)
Topic Started: 11 Sep 2009, 08:58 PM (9,810 Views)
DavidRamos
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Main Site (Japanese): http://www.prima-gakki.co.jp/public_html/catalog/aketaocarina/index.html

Distributor (English): http://www.sammyocarinamusic.com/

Mr. Takashi Aketagawa was the inventor of the original 12 Hole ocarina back in 1928, and his ocarinas are said to be some of the greatest in the world. Here's what Richard Schmidt of Clayzeness Whistleworks had to say about Mr. Aketagawa and his Ocarinas...

Richard
 
Takashi Aketagawa is certainly entitled to a spot in the lineage of the only three true Ocarina innovators in the last few centuries, right behind Guiseppe Donati for the Budrio Tradition and before John Taylor for the condensation of the Budrio fingering system into the Four Hole "English Style" system. Takashi Aketagawa brought the Budrio system to a next higher level or two by innovating the 12 hole chromatic system and redefining the distinct shape so popular today - the fingering and shape both, of course, based on the Budrio tradition. Anyway, Takashi Aketagawa died in 1958, 30 years after his innovation and his career as a jazz musical innovator as well as an avid promoter of the Ocarina. His son Shoji continues the production today and has developed a substantial musical career of his own.

Gakki company also markets the Ocarinas as Prima Gakki Ocarinas, and are also known simply as Gakki and sell Tascam Digital Recorders, Suzuki Melodicas and Harmonicas, Excelsior Accordians, Piano Accesories - As well as the Ocarinas made by Aketagawa, Hayakawa, Night Windy and other Top Drawer goodies. Want one of the best Ocarinas made today and can wait 6 months to a year, get an Aketagawa.

Best, Richard


Here's a few of them in action:




And here are some beautiful sound samples of the Aketa SG, performed by Mr. Kokor: http://www.ijigg.com/songs/V2EB4CGPAD
Edited by DavidRamos, 11 Sep 2009, 09:16 PM.
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Ian McConnell
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Transverse Ocarinist x 4
I have a couple of these, the double, the "high end" alto C, and the low end alto C. I like the high end alto C better, but I think its just the paint job that cost more. I got the manual with one of them, they are all Prima, no original Aketa, and only reason I say high end is the manual has a price list and its double what the low end was. I only own one other 12 hole, a Pockle which I think is very nice so I don't have much else to compare them to. I like them though, don't play them much cause I like the 10 holes a lot better.
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Panch
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The Whistlemaker

Nice, David! I didn't even realize we were missing Aketa from this list!
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OcLover
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Triple Ocarinist
Visit Prima Gakki's YouTube Channel. They have videos of their 2009 Ocarina Festival posted. Be aware the language is Japanese, but you can get over that by listening to the fine performances. :D
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kissing
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tyrannical dictator

They seem to have released a new "Osawa" ocarina.
I think it was made by Focalink, but under Prima Gakki's name for some reason:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33og1S4DZGc
(he talks in Japanese for the first half, but plays the ocarina afterwards)
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杰里米亚
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该游戏 <----TRANSLATE IT!!!!
Either way, it is a nice ocarina.
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Crowler
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emergency medical hologram
Here is the page with prices of the five triples and two doubles, from Sam's link. Very expensive, but they seem very nice! Dave, if you buy one of these, I will kill you! You're not allowed to buy all the nice ocarinas. :nope:
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Ikaruka
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Double Ocarinist
It seems Focalink and Osawa released their new line of Oc's.

From what I understand (babelfish translator xD)

There are 5 models of the triple;

-SU: The Solo ocarina with gloss 126,000.00 JPY = 1,416.81 USD
-SN: The Solo ocarina without the gloss (standard forte look) 126,000.00 JPY = 1,416.81 USD
-U & N: The Ocarinas who are intended to be played with an another instrument
like the piano with (model U) and with gloss. (model N) 105,000.00 JPY = 1,180.75 USD

-LU: The light weight version of the ocarina...? :shrug: 105,000.00 JPY = 1,180.75 USD

I'm not sure if it's right or not, you know how those online translators are...

We need someone who can translate it for us.

Or we could ask Mr. Zack Shih? He made them afterall, eventhough Prima sells them.
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kissing
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tyrannical dictator

I wonder how the solo ocarinas and the ones designed to be played with other instruments differ.....

seems kinda strange.
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Ikaruka
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Double Ocarinist
kissing
27 Feb 2010, 10:02 AM
I wonder how the solo ocarinas and the ones designed to be played with other instruments differ.....

seems kinda strange.
Yea, I was wondering the samething.

I never really thought of there being really "solo" and "non-solo" ocarinas.

Maybe it's just babelfish's translation? :shrug:

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Zack Shih


Dear my friends here, please allow me to make some explanations here as follows:

a) Osawa ocarinas are made by Focalink and solely for Prima and Osawa.

Why ? Because they are totally different from my current Forte AC Triple
ocarinas. Mr. Osawa has modified the voicing hole size and the breath slope
to make the Osawa designs. Once the above specifications are changed, the
ocarinas are new to manufacturing unit because all the set-up manufacturing
terms/ conditions must be looked for & set up again.

b) There are 3 different designs on AC Triples. One is Solo design, the other is
Mild design and the last is Light design.

Differences among them drop on the breath slope. And U and N represents
different clay & decoration.

c) There are 2 different design on AC Forte Doubles.

Difference between them drop on the breath slope and the clay material.

d) Since Mr. Osawa supervise the ocarinas and check the quality by himself,
we name these ocarinas " Osawa Ocarinas " and let them under Prima's
name for worldwide sales.

For your information.
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Bunjiro


Ikaruka
26 Feb 2010, 11:03 PM
From what I understand (babelfish translator xD)

There are 5 models of the triple;

-SU: The Solo ocarina with gloss 126,000.00 JPY = 1,416.81 USD
-SN: The Solo ocarina without the gloss (standard forte look) 126,000.00 JPY = 1,416.81 USD
-U & N: The Ocarinas who are intended to be played with an another instrument
like the piano with (model U) and with gloss. (model N) 105,000.00 JPY = 1,180.75 USD

-LU: The light weight version of the ocarina...? :shrug: 105,000.00 JPY = 1,180.75 USD

I'm not sure if it's right or not, you know how those online translators are...

We need someone who can translate it for us.

Or we could ask Mr. Zack Shih? He made them afterall, eventhough Prima sells them.
I can get my way through Japanese somewhat, but when I read this text through Google translate (just skimmed it), I couldn't find any mention of any of these being any better with any other instrument.

If you could point out to me where in the original text they seem to mention this, I can check out what it says. It's a bit too much text for me to translate it all right now.

Edit: Mr Shih posted his reply while I was typing up mine! That if anything is confirmation there is no mention of being better with other instruments :)
Edited by Bunjiro, 28 Feb 2010, 06:11 PM.
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Ikaruka
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Double Ocarinist
Bunjiro
28 Feb 2010, 06:09 PM
Ikaruka
26 Feb 2010, 11:03 PM
From what I understand (babelfish translator xD)

There are 5 models of the triple;

-SU: The Solo ocarina with gloss 126,000.00 JPY = 1,416.81 USD
-SN: The Solo ocarina without the gloss (standard forte look) 126,000.00 JPY = 1,416.81 USD
-U & N: The Ocarinas who are intended to be played with an another instrument
like the piano with (model U) and with gloss. (model N) 105,000.00 JPY = 1,180.75 USD

-LU: The light weight version of the ocarina...? :shrug: 105,000.00 JPY = 1,180.75 USD

I'm not sure if it's right or not, you know how those online translators are...

We need someone who can translate it for us.

Or we could ask Mr. Zack Shih? He made them afterall, eventhough Prima sells them.
I can get my way through Japanese somewhat, but when I read this text through Google translate (just skimmed it), I couldn't find any mention of any of these being any better with any other instrument.

If you could point out to me where in the original text they seem to mention this, I can check out what it says. It's a bit too much text for me to translate it all right now.

Edit: Mr Shih posted his reply while I was typing up mine! That if anything is confirmation there is no mention of being better with other instruments :)
Well since the SU and SN were labeled as "Solo" ocarinas I was assuming the others weren't "solo".

Also in one of the demonstration video's of Osawa with the Osawa Ocarina AC Triplet U he mentioned something about the piano and playing a violine part? (I'm really not sure. I don't understand much Japanese so he could've been talking about something else. :rofl: )

I was just trying to make a connection between it all. (Eventhough I found it a bit weird.)
That's why I said we should better ask it Mr. Zack Shih himself. (No need since he already answered on here :thumbsup: )

Sorry for the missunderstanding. :shame:

Thank you Mr. Zack Shih, for taking your time to explain us the differences of the ocarinas!
Edited by Ikaruka, 28 Feb 2010, 07:41 PM.
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Kartoonkid91
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Pokemon Master
Ok, so is the only way to get an Aketa Oc to go to Japan and buy one directly?
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RJ924
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My ocarina has no hair...either

David has a website to Sammy Ocarina Music in the first post. I have two Aketa ocarinas. I bought one through him, and it is the better of the two that I own. I emailed him with my request, and he was really good at keeping in communication. I tried to purchase my second ocarina through him, but he was on vacation at that time, and didn't get back to me before I found another way to get what I wanted. I would recommend going through him. He was very helpful to me, and honest.
Roger
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Kartoonkid91
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Pokemon Master
I emailed that same website twice:( I really want an RT-1C in white, but I don't know how to get one. My "worst case scenario" would be to have my dad email one of the guys he knows that lives in Japan and go through that mess. Is there another way? If not, if you get a hold of him, let me know! Thank You Roger :)
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RJ924
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My ocarina has no hair...either

Sammy from Sammy Ocarina Music is Sammy Chu. Here is his email address: sammy.chu@sammyocarinamusic.com
I ordered my second Aketa through here: http://global.rakuten.com/en/ . You can just type "Aketa" in the search engine, and it will bring up what they have in stock. Their stock changes from time to time, and the color of the ocarinas in the picture are not necessarily the same as what you will get. You can specify a color with Sammy, and he will let you know if he has one that color in stock or not.
Also, the one I ordered through rakuten has a smell of turpentine, or something like it in the inside of the ocarina. I can also taste it when I play the ocarina. For that reason, I don't play this ocarina. I like it a lot, but I don't know how to get rid of the smell and taste. My RT-1C that I bought through Sammy didn't have this problem. I have had these ocarinas for more than a year now, so they were not recent orders.
Roger
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Ocarinadiva
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Play what makes you happy. - Achint

I tried to use the Sammy Ocarina email and never got a response. The Aketas I have are from an ebay auction. There are some other ways to get them, like rakuten or ebay buying agents, but occasionally 10holes.com will answer emails too.

I've been wondering about an Aketa double for a while. If they were more convenient to purchase, I'd probably already have it :shrug:
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Kartoonkid91
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Pokemon Master
Who is Rakuten? And how does the EBay agent work?
Also the 10 hole website had all these letter/number combinations that seemed like a different language like 7-]|<
Ok so I found a purple-ish RT-1C one from Rakuten, but am hesitant because of what Roget was explaining. What is the email address for the 10 Hole place? Also I'm still not sure how the EBay agent thing works:/
Is this what you were talking about Roger?
Aketa Main Site Q&A
 
Ocarina is opened, and the rich material of good quality soil moisture, are made at low temperature bake. In the remains of the biscuit is because you can not blow with the mouth directly into the instrument, paint a color on it, painted with lacquer in order to have the durability over the addition, the complete coating of urethane at the end There are dry. Ocarina of new, but may be concerned about the smell of urethane, urethane is used by law ordained that, for safety is always necessary. Ocarina is a urethane coating for finishing opened finest tableware are the most commonly used, even if at first the smell, and high safety is secured. The smell is fully taken up, it may take up to a month. Early to take the smell, out of the case, please to air out the instrument.
Edited by Kartoonkid91, 25 Jul 2011, 08:30 PM.
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Ocarinadiva
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Play what makes you happy. - Achint

Kartoonkid91
25 Jul 2011, 04:56 PM
And how does the EBay agent work?
Also the 10 hole website had all these letter/number combinations that seemed like a different language like 7-]|<
You can turn any Ebay seller into a buying agent by simply approaching them and asking them what they can get and what kind of finders fee they would charge. Be sure to shop smart.




10Holes.com is a Japanese website and if you use google translate you'll see a bit more text. Ordering wasn't easy and took time but I am happy with all of the ocarinas I bought from them. Once communication was started, the gentleman was very nice and extremely conversant.

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Kartoonkid91
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Pokemon Master
Thank you Cris, I'm sorry to ask this of you (because I know your probably busy) but can you help me a little by getting the ball rolling?
*EDIT* A miracle has happened! Sammys music has replied! Thanks For all of your Help!
Edited by Kartoonkid91, 26 Jul 2011, 05:17 PM.
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Nicho
Pendant Ocarinist x 3
Kartoonkid91
26 Jul 2011, 04:44 PM
Thank you Cris, I'm sorry to ask this of you (because I know your probably busy) but can you help me a little by getting the ball rolling?
*EDIT* A miracle has happened! Sammys music has replied! Thanks For all of your Help!
I actually send an e-mail to Prima Gakki yesturday and I got a e-mail today saying they would talk to sammy about the subject. I guess it worked.
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Kartoonkid91
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Pokemon Master
Awesome! Congrats! Let me know what happens.
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chu.po.ming
Beginner
Dear Ocarina friends,
I noted my ocarina friends had been sending e-mails many times but you are not received my response.
I feel very sorry for that
After my investigations, I found my previous had never worked properly.
I have changed my email address in my website.

I will response within 1 to 2 days for any Aketa ocarina matter.
Sammy Chu
Sammy Ocarina Music

My Performance with Aketa ocarinas:

Model use:
RT-5C, RT-3G and RT-1C

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3aeV_ZVdw8

Chu Po Ming Sammy

Edited by chu.po.ming, 29 Sep 2011, 07:29 AM.
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UnicornWarrior
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A Lurker
I know this is a long dead thread, but does anyone know if the 13 hole soprano aketas are good ocarinas?
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Elven Spellmaker
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== Cirno -- Opinionated Baka ==

Your best bet is to ask David as he has one. :)

He says he loves it in his collection video.

I can only find one video with it in now, but I'm sure he's used it in more than one video. (Unless I used to hear it via TinyChat or on DocJazz's BlogTV Videos/Broadcasts)

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Ocarinadiva
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Play what makes you happy. - Achint

UnicornWarrior
29 Aug 2012, 11:14 PM
I know this is a long dead thread, but does anyone know if the 13 hole soprano aketas are good ocarinas?
I have a 13 hole Aketa soprano, and I like it a lot. It's one of my better sopranos. The extra sub-hole plays down to G5, and it has a really bright tone. As far as sopranos go, its fairly dynamic because of that low G, so the high notes need more breath than you would normally expect for a soprano C ocarina.
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UnicornWarrior
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A Lurker
Hmm. But the high notes aren't airy at all? I would think with 13 holes it would have some problems, but the videos seem like they are good ocarinas.
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Roberto
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OcarinaJapan
Mr Aketagawa is well known in Japan as "The Father of the Ocarina" (the modern 12 holes ) and his Ocarinas still the same as first designs. More than a musical instrument is a piece of History.
one mor picture
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Edited by Roberto, 30 Aug 2012, 07:57 AM.
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pankuolong
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Maker of Takashi Ocarinas
This lady, Aketagawa Shoji's mother, is 94 years of age and is still taking order for Bass F (9F) ocarina.
I guess she is the oldest ocarina maker in the world.

Posted Image
Posted Image
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Roberto
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OcarinaJapan
Wow ! She's Master in the art of making Ocarinas in Japan. Thanks for share it Casper.
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pandorado100
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Premium Poster
pankuolong
4 Oct 2013, 09:03 AM
This lady, Aketagawa Shoji's mother, is 94 years of age and is still taking order for Bass F (9F) ocarina.
I guess she is the oldest ocarina maker in the world.

Posted Image
Posted Image
@ Kuolong Pan

I am very impressed that this woman doesn't think of retiring from her work. She must be very strong to handle the heavy clay for making a bass ocarina.

I feel very wimpy compared to her. If I ever live to be 94, I will probably look a lot like her but I won't have her skill or talent. :grin:
Edited by pandorado100, 4 Oct 2013, 10:37 PM.
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Wollemi Pine
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Triple-Double Ocarinist

Impressive. . .
Impressive . . .
Edited by Wollemi Pine, 4 Oct 2013, 05:54 PM.
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TheZ
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Multichamber Ocarinist
I wonder if she wedges her own clay...
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pankuolong
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Maker of Takashi Ocarinas
according to the description, her son, Aketagawa Shoji, the president of Aketa company, prepare the clay for her. :-D
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TheZ
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Multichamber Ocarinist
That's good. I've heard wedging clay is a very taxing task.
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Ocarinadiva
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Play what makes you happy. - Achint

Aw, it's very kind of him to prepare the clay so his mother can continue making the ocarinas. She must enjoy her work very much, to want to keep doing it at 94.
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Amerred
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Can't play pendants
I apologize for digging this thread back up, but... well, I have a question concerning Aketa/Prima ocarinas, and I don't want to make a whole thread for it because I don't expect it to be a very lengthy matter, and it seems like it would fit here.

So, I recently bought an ocarina on eBay. Now, it looks like an Aketa, but it's not called an Aketa. I have reason to believe that it is an Aketa or is very closely aligned with/similar to the Aketa brand.

Let's start with the box it had with it (not the shipping one, but the one provided by the manufacturer). On the top of the box, in the bottom right corner, it says "Prima Ocarina". In the top right corner, it says "Maestro" and in the top left it has this logo that looks like a wave, which looks familiar but doesn't call anything definite to mind. On the front of the box (facing you if it was placed on a table) it says "Lehl Institute Folk Musical Instrument". This does not yield any results should one attempt to search it. Or, at least, it didn't when I tried. On the right side of the box is a rectangular sticker, with T-5C typed on it, which, via Aketa's labeling system when it comes to key, just means that the ocarina's an alto C.

Inside the case, there's a fingering chart. On the top, it says " 'PRIMA' 12 Hole Ocarina".
Here is a picture I found online of the fingering chart:
Spoiler: click to toggle

The other side has some short songs to play, but is not necessarily important to this discussion.

As for the ocarina itself, it is exactly like an Aketa ocarina in every way, from the glaze to the metal loop on the side for a neck chord... even the smell is spot-on. The only difference is the fact that, where the Aketa name should be, there's "Prima MAESTRO". It's pretty easy to see in this photo:
Spoiler: click to toggle

Of course, mine has a few differences, such as the configuration of the inside of the box, the lack of a tag, the glaze, etc., but it's a good example of the main point: it's an Aketa with a different marking.

So... who knows anything about Prima Maestro, I guess? I mean, I looked into it, but I didn't really find much except some mentions of it, which seemed to imply that Prima Maestro and Aketa were very closely related, if not the same thing. I mean, I know that Prima (Gakki) was a distributor for Aketa, so is it like Songbird and Focalink, where Songbird acts as a distributor and re-labels some of Focalink's stuff? Would Prima go so far as to change the mark altogether? I had seen pictures of ocarinas labeled as Aketa but with "Maestro" written on the edge (you know, just about where your right palm would hover). Basically, I'm pretty short of concrete info. Anybody know anything about it?
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TheZ
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Multichamber Ocarinist
Maestro was a special line of Aketas a while back. I'll dig up more info when I get home.
The "Maestro" line was produced about 35/40 years ago by Kitai, the master craftsmen of Aketa (back then). The old ones have the Maestro stamp on the mouthpiece.
like this one
In 2013, Aketa released a new line of premium ocarinas labeled "New Maestro". These are crafted by the "talented artisans of the modern age." The new ones have Maestro printed across the side (as you described) in addition to a gold or silver stripe across the opposite side of the tail.
New Maestro
Edited by TheZ, 21 Jul 2014, 07:09 PM.
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Amerred
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Can't play pendants
Huh. Well, there ya go, I guess. Thanks for the information!

On a side note, THIS is why I decided not to make a new thread - my question was literally answered in a single post. You know, it would be a good idea to make a thread all about small-ish questions that people want to know but don't feel that they warrant a whole thread. Of course, posting it to the relevant topic works too, but that might not always be possible.
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maximtomato
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is bad at playing ocarina
I have an old Aketa double marked Prima Maestro that I found on the 'bay. I'm pretty sure it was listed by one of the members here.
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Amerred
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Can't play pendants
Yep. That box is a spot-on representation of what I was talking about, too. If I may ask, how much did that cost you? I never saw any doubles when searching up Prima Maestro, and the Aketa double I have wasn't too cheap (though I think it was a pretty good price for what I was getting). I'm not sure what price you might have paid when dealing with someone who actually knew their stuff.
Edited by Amerred, 21 Jul 2014, 11:35 PM.
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Amerred
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Can't play pendants
Just to add some more information... I got out the Prima Maestro this morning, and I decided to lift up the styrofoam padding for no particular reason. Under it I found an extra fingering chart and two booklets (pictures will be below). The booklets are the same; I'll write out the text here as it appeared in the booklets. The back of the booklet is blank except for the bottom where it says

"Prima Gakki Co., Ltd
1-1-8 Higashi-Nihonbashi
Chuo-Ku, Tokyo 103, Japan"

The front just says "Prima Ocarinas" over a map centered on northern Italy/Bologna.

Text inside booklet:

"Ocarina Story
There is a small village called Budorio near Bolognia, Emilia Dist., Italy, where the Ocarina was first made as earthenware flutes by a man named Donati around the middle of the 19th century. Because of its naive tone and humorous shape, it was called 'Ocarina' meaning 'Child Goose'.

Travellers and wanderer poets introduced this lovely instrument to Vienna, Austria and then to Germany, France, Switzerland and many other countries around the world. By and by, the original shape has been changed in the process of improvements for better sounds, and the present shape was designed by Mr. Chiesa Guido who is the third generation maker. Some years ago, Mr. Guido, a foster parent of Ocarinas, gave us special applause toward our 'PRIMA' Ocarinas.

At present, Ocarinas are produced in many countries, and have been enjoying a great popularity around the world since they were introduced on The Euro-Vision TV in 1968. Ocarinas are enchanting all the people of the world."


(This is the part in white to the left of the ocarinas)

"The 'PRIMA' Ocarina
You can feel the warmth of the earth in your hands.
Enjoy attractive appearance and peaceful sounds.

The 'PRIMA' Ocarina was developed by LEHL M.G.K. after long strenuous efforts since 1928, with the epoch-making feature of the 12-holes (Pat. No.990429) and it is the first class precision hand-made product made of the finest quality selected clay with the accurately adjusted A = 440Hz pitch for the best sound effect.

Because of the earthen musical instrument, the 'PRIMA' Ocarina can produce a very clear sound, the unique essence of ocarina, while long time pleasant playing can also be enjoyed for no water-drop stands on the mouthpiece or in the inside.

Enabling the chromatic performance easily, the 'PRIMA' Ocarina can be played in the concert with piano and guitar etc., not to speak of the solo.

The ensemble is available with the variety of different tone and different scale 'PRIMA' Ocarinas. Recently, The Doublette Model T-14C and T-4F are becoming popular among many lovers for their wide scales, despite the higher skilled technique is required.

It is a great pleasure of the makers that more and more ocarina lovers increase, for the makers of this cute, naive earthen instrument are all the very ocarina lovers and players themselves."


(Text w/ picture including chart)

"Handicrafted Simplicity Makes Them Expressive.
Prima Ocarinas.
Prima Ocarina 'Maestro'
C Major

  • T-1C Piccolo
  • T-5C Cornetta
  • T-14C Doublette
  • T-12C Bass

G Major

  • T-3G Larigho
  • T-9G Alto

F Major

  • T-2F Cornettino
  • T-10F Tenor
  • T-4F Doublette


A-5C Amabile and S-5C Sonetta are special models made all through the special processes from the material clay selection to the final inspection.
A-5C Amabile is designed by a noted painter, Mr. Yoshinori Takahashi. With such finest character and beautiful tone, this is really an art work of the ocarinas."



Pictures:

Front


Ocarinas &tc.


Not much on back like I said, and "Ocarina Story" was basically all text (not much of a point to take a picture, especially when I wrote what it said already).
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Stephen Bobchin
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Close the World, Open the Next

I did not like my aketa, primarily due to tone. I think I gave it away.
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maximtomato
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is bad at playing ocarina
Very cool! Mine didn't have any of the literature with it. I wish they'd take another crack at multi-chamber ocarinas. I love my Aketa, but the old Prima is so heavy and the second chamber is tough to play, so most of the time it just sits in its box.
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