Your favorite tune in an octave and a fourth

Your favorite tune in an octave and a fourth

I’m involved with the Newport Comhaltas group and they have sugested entering the reagional contest with them. My primary instrument is the italian ocarina which apparently would fit into ‘miscelanious’. Howeaver I have a lot of troubble fining any music of irish origin that will actually work on the ocarina, outside of verry basic tunes. Most of what I play is of english, french, scotish and moddern origin.

The ocarina can play an octave and a fourth, from D to g (D ocarina) or G to c’ (C ocarina) and are fully chromatic within this range. While most irish music requires a range D to a or b, especially the ‘staple’ tunes.

Do you have any sugestions for nice tunes fitting this range.

Also, having an option to search this site by range would be good.

Re: Your favorite tune in an octave and a fourth

I play a couple of jigs together that go from low D to higher G. First is The Maid at the Well and then Horse with a Heart (from Altan).

Re: Your favorite tune in an octave and a fourth

D to g:
All the Ways to Galway / The Road to Lisdoonvarna
Around the World for Sport
The Ashplant
The Ballintore Fancy (both of them)
Garrett Barry’s Jig
The Bashful Maid
The Blarney Pilgrim
Boil the Breakfast Early
The Boy in the Boat
The Boys of Portaferry
Tom Busby’s Jig
Condon’s Frolics (in Edor)
The Creel of Turf
Mrs. Crehan’s Reel
Cronin’s Hornpipe (in D)
Cúnla
Dinny Delaney’s
Drops of Brandy
The Drunken Landlady
The Dunmore Lasses
The Dusty Miller
Fair-Haired Mary / Molly Bán
The Famous Ballymote
The Fermanagh Highland
A Fig for a Kiss
Rosie Finn’s Favourite (in D)
The Foxhunter’s Reel (in G)
The Gander in the Pratie Hole
Gillan’s Apples (in D)
The Girl of the House
The Glass of Beer (in Emin)
The Glen of Aherlow
Michael Gorman’s
The Hag at the Churn
The Hag’s Purse
The Morning Dew
Paddy Keenan’s Jig
Elizabeth Kelly’s
The Killarney Boys of Pleasure
The Killavill Jig
The Leitrim Fancy
The Lonesome Jig
The Maids of Mitchelstown
The Malbay Shuffle
The Mountain Road
The Navvy on the Line
Dan O’Keeffe’s Slide
O’Sullivan’s March
The Old Favourite
Open the Door for Three
Out on the Ocean
Pull the Knife and Stick It Again
The Pullet
The Red-Haired Lass
The Return from Fingal
The Road to Lisdoonvarna
The Rolling Waves
The Rough Road
An Sean Duine
Seán Buí (in D)
The Swaggering Jig
The Trip to Cullenstown
Tripping up the Stairs
Jimmy Ward’s Jig
The Wedding Reel

I have a 12-hole ocarina myself. They’re fun! It’s nice to have all the chromatics. I found trying to play quick, ornamented trad tunes on it frustrating, though. Best of luck!

Re: Your favorite tune in an octave and a fourth

@Bredna thanks a lot, I like the altan tune.

@stanton135 that’s quite a list, a few I already know i.e. road to lisdonvarna, plenty to work on.

I make my own designed with trad in mind, tuning them with a verry flat breath curve and focusing heavily on ergonomics. Ditching the 12th hole also helps a lot as it totally eliminates the need to ‘accute bend’ to sound the highest note. The low a is prittymuch useless anyway as it needs a massive breath cut to make it technically possible to achieve, so ends up being really muddy and quiet. Tuning one without this the high ‘F’ or ‘G’ compleatly dies.

Having an ocarina in D is essential to maximise your range as playing in D on a C ocarina only gives you an octave and a note of range, D to e. The key of the instrumnt has to be matched verry closley to the tune. With regards to ergonomics playing the high notes quickly using the ‘3 point grip’ is a lot easier, this page shows how to do the technique: http://pureocarinas.com/playing-techniques/how-to-hold-an-ocarina/

Also unglazed ocarinas with a plain earthenware surface tend to be ergonomically superior, the surface dosn’t ‘cling’ when sliding your finger over it, unlike with glossy surfaces.

Re: Your favorite tune in an octave and a fourth

Something that might be more effort but is still doable: any note that falls above your ocarina’s range, drop an octave. Similarly, raise any note that falls below your range. Doesn’t really even have to be an octave; you might find that dropping or raising a fifth sounds pretty good, and definitely falls within the range of variations that occur within Irish music.

Re: Your favorite tune in an octave and a fourth

I actually do this already with a few tunes, generally looking for closer harmonies (3rds) as large leaps are verry hard to land in tune especially at speed.

I find it works best when the section sticks within range ‘for the most part’ buf falls out for a note or two. If the tune section starts out of range it’s a lot harder to do as it tends to change the feel of the tune, especially without someone else backing the origional on a different instrument.

Re: Your favorite tune in an octave and a fourth

‘The high reel’ will fit on a G ocarina.

Re: Your favorite tune in an octave and a fourth

Here is an example of something where I’m foulding a high note: https://soundcloud.com/robert-hickman/les-poules-huppees-crested-hens


The tune is les poules huppées, aka crested hens which normally would go up to a high A, but dropping to the E also works. I’ve not found any other tunes where I’m able to do this so seamlessly without origional backing. Gues it depends on the chords and structure.

I find a lot of tunes are structured such that they train the brain to expect to hear the out of range high note, as they lead up to it. So it sounds wrong if it’s missing.

Won miscelanious in midland reagonal fleadh

Eantered and won the miscelanious category in the midland fleadh, not a huge compertition as only two in category but the judges liked my playing and ornimentation. Will have to see how I get on in the all britain.

Re: Your favorite tune in an octave and a fourth

Llongyfarchiadau! Pob lwc i’r cam nesaf!