One scenario runs that a baker in a noble Roman household was so impressed by the sound and sight of the Aztec clay instrument,that he immediately made some clay whistles of his own-it was common at the time to utilise the hot ashes of the bakers' ovens to make low fired pottery items-mostly toys-and the novelty swept into fashion among bakers all over Europe and were an amusing new toy -the word 'ocarina' means 'little goose' in the Italian Emilian dialect.

It is possible that 'little goose'has some connection with the affectionate mockery of children-or even it's sound.There seems no obvious connection with it's shape.

These sweet sounding toys sold at Markets and Fayres spreading to other makers throughout Europe.

The ocarinas remained a popular toy for more than 340 years until a 17 year old Musician-Baker

*Guiseppe Donati*


of Budrio (near Bologna) Italy, transformed them (local tradition says that it was as a joke to amuse his friends) from a toy which only played a few notes,into a real instrument which could play more than an octave accurately: Donati originated the first pitched diatonic scale ocarinas.

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