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The Smule Holiday Songbook

Happy Holidays from Smule!

Just in time for the Holidays, we at Smule are happy to be able to offer the great members of our community a token of our appreciation: the Smule Holiday Songbook, a collection of holiday melodies bundled together with helpful Ocarina and Music Theory lessons to get your musical juices flowing.

It wouldn't be a gift if it wasn't free so... it is!

Download your pdf copy now!


How To Play

The ocarina is an ancient family of instrument (believed to date some 12,000 years), and one of the easiest instruments to learn. The Smule Ocarina both preserves this instrument and extends/transforms it for your iPhone or iPod touch. Blow into the phone/instrument. Control pitch with different fingerings. Learn to play countless melodies.

Caring for your Ocarina

  • For best results, make sure your iPhone screen is clean. If you can see a build-up of smudges, clean the iPhone screen gently to improve performance. Take care of your Ocarina, and it will take good care of you!
  • We suggest keeping your lips 2-3 inches away from your phone and blowing with a directed but restrained stream of air. Be careful not to spit or blow too hard into your microphone.

Holding your Ocarina

  • Rest the iPhone on your ring fingers and thumbs with the headphone jack facing away from you. Use your index and middle fingers to cover the four holes.
  • To play the highest note, you will need uncover all four holes, but don't drop the iPhone! It may take some time to learn how to balance it, so be patient and remember to play over a cushioned surface.

Creating sound

  • In order to play your Ocarina, you will need to blow into the microphone (you will see a small gold arrow where to blow). The mic is sensitive, so try not to blow very hard (if you are puffing your cheeks, you are blowing too hard).
  • For best results, blow softly, as if you're blowing kisses.
  • To make a clear separation between the notes, say the word "tu" or "du". This technique is called "tonguing".

Playing your Ocarina

  • Although the ocarina is a very simple instrument to learn, don't expect to be an ocarina virtuoso after five minutes. Start slow, Take your time learning the instrument, and have fun!
  • It's cliché, but true: practice makes perfect (or at least something close to it).
  • What's great about the iPhone Ocarina is that you can play it anywhere! If you are afraid that the sound may bother people around you, just lower the volume or pop in some earbuds.
  • Sometimes it's encouraging to hear what other people are playing. Check out the world map to listen to other people practicing.
  • To change the timbre of your Ocarina and add vibrato to the tone, try tilting the Ocarina down, as if bowing to someone.

Now featuring "touch mode"

  • Ocarina now includes a touch mode, enabling iPod touch users to make music with their hands.
  • Rather than blowing into the instrument as iPhone users would, iPod touch users simply press the holes to create sounds.
  • To play along to existing compositions, check the "touch mode" toggle and all notated "open" fingerings will be changed to use the new yellow "touch" key. If you're playing from an old .pdf or print out, simply press the yellow hole when the composition tile shows all holes being open.

An Introduction to the iPhone Ocarina
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Explore the Zeldarian mode!
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Now featuring "touch mode"
Click here for high resolution video.

What To Play

Because we feel that Ocarina is a very evocative and engaging instrument for performers of all levels, we want to make sure that everyone can join in the fun. We're posting a whole bunch of scores to help you learn and enjoy Ocarina. These scores use an easy-to-follow system that requires no past musical training.


Each score is presented using a simple 4-hole diagram, where the filled-in blue hole means you should press and hold your finger on that hole while you blow. There are 16 possible different finger-combinations available for you to play within each mode, and we display them in our scores like this:


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

For iPod Touch users, when playing Ocarina in "touch mode", to replicate the note created when all holes are uncovered please press the yellow button, which is notated in Ocarina scores using a yellow circle:

16


To get you started here are a few classic melodies with which you can whet your virtual whistle:


Amazing GraceThe Song of TimeJoy To The WorldTwinkle Twinkle Little StarAll CreaturesPlaymateKumbayaShaker Melody


Modes

You can choose to tune your Ocarina using 8 sets of pitches called modes. These modes can be thought of as patterns of notes, similar to scales, which are based on a starting pitch called the root. The mode consists of certain notes from a musical scale above and below the root.

For complete sets of scales detailing the notes available in each mode in Ocarina starting on each root pitch, including the associated fingering diagram number, see these detailed modal scale .pdfs:


And some instant classics created by users just like you using the Ocarina Composer.


Theme from Zelda: Ocarina of TimeJ.L. Picard's "Inner Light"Thassaliki Mou (Greek Folk Song)O CanadaGreensleeves