The Transverse, or more commonly known as Sweet Potato Ocarina is the most well known Ocarina. It has a rounded shape and is held horizontally with both hands. They are immediately recognizable by their protruding mouthpiece on the side of the instrument.
Depending on the number of holes, one just needs to open one more hole than the previous in order to ascend in pitch. The two most common Sweet Potato Ocarinas are the 10-holes and the 12-holes.
Sweet Potato Ocarinas were invented in Italy in the 1850s by Giuseppe Donati.
For around 80 years the Sweet Potato Ocarina was made in clay or metal. Picking up in popularity during the 1930’s, plastic and wooden Sweet Potato Ocarinas were being made.
Nowadays that best sounding ocarinas are made of ceramic, and they are also the best looking ones. Replicas of the Ocarina of Time featured in the Legend of Zelda are made of ceramic. Always look for hand crafted and hand tuned Ocarinas to get the highest quality sound.