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Table of Contents

How the Ocarina Business Started

How Easy Is Your Ocarina?

History of the Ocarina

Ocarina Styles

Making an Exceptional Ocarina

Hard Times In The Ocarina Business

Giving Up On The Ocarina Business?

The World Against You?

Enjoying Ocarina Entrepreneurship

Skills of an Ocarina Master

Pre Ocarina Master

Interesting Ocarina Places

Ocarinas and Health

Ocarinas and Holidays

Pets and Ocarinas

How Kids React to Ocarinas

Memorable Ocarina Kids

Misconceptions About Ocarinas?

Mountain Ocarinas Accomplishments

Mountain Ocarina Costs

Ocarina Learning Tips

Dreams for the Future



"What Will You Ask
Our Ocarina Artisan?"

If you had the opportunity to have a leisurely talk with the master ocarina maker, what would you want to know from him? What would you like to learn from someone who has devoted the last 7+ years to studying, refining and creating the finest of ocarinas?

When you read every page of this interview, you will certainly learn many fresh insights about the ocarina. Undoubtedly you will be entertained as you read the interview as Karl has a sincere and delightful way of conveying his experiences.

If you...  (check all that apply)
Are interested in learning more about the ocarina
Already play the ocarina
Like to hear an entertaining story
Do not play the ocarina, but are even the slightest bit interested...

...you will want to read the rest of this interview since you will certainly find what you're looking for.

When you read this interview, you'll answer these questions:

  • How it could cost $5 to make one ocarina and $35,000 to make another ocarina (hint: it's not on the page about ocarina costs)?
  • What is a dog saying if he howls along with your ocarina playing? (It's not what you think.)
  • Is a common house cat more scared of an ocarina, a plastic baseball bat, or a charging two year old?
  • Why one Ohio music teacher favors the ocarina over the recorder as her basic teaching instrument?

And of course you want to know...

  • How does the pocket-sized factor contribute to gaining musical proficiency?
  • What does "ocarina" mean in Italian?
  • What are the advantages of an ocarina that can be played soft or loud?
  • Why would anyone play their ocarina from morning till night for seventeen days straight?
  • What is one very important thing that the SBA (Small Business Administration) doesn't tell you about getting a bank loan?

Karl Ahrens has spent the last 7+ years applying 21st century technology to re-invent the ocarina, an ancient instrument that has been around since the earliest of times.

Karl's story will fascinate you if you are interested in ocarinas, music, entrepreneurship or just a good story. It's a story which I love to tell, and which gives me an excuse to put more pages on the web site :-) For the record, my name is Cliff, and I am a close personal friend of Karl. I am a professional Java programmer for one of the big Insurance companies in the insurance capital of the world, Hartford Connecticut.

This web site is based primarily on an edited transcription of an interview with Karl which was conducted on October 8, 2004.

Other than on this page, commentary by me (Cliff) will appear in side bars like this.

Information from the interview (from Karl) will be in black text. Pictures, bolding, and commentary have been added by me.

Anatomy of a master ocarina:

Anatomy of a master ocarina maker:

Here's the contents of the interview:



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Mountain Ocarinas Inc., 71 Hoskins Rd., Bloomfield, CT 06002, (860) 242-6626

All Mountain Ocarinas® are protected
by US Patent No. US 6,348,647 B1.
Mountain Ocarinas® Inc. has other Patents Pending.