Wednesday, February 13, 2008


The family of saxophone patented in 1846 by Adolphe Sax combines the single reed of the clarinet with the bore and fingering patterns of the oboe, producing the tonal qualities of neither. The instruments fit well into bands, for their sound blends well with brass and woodwind instruments, their application to the orchestra has been more limited, because saxophones tend to dominate the varied tonal characteristics of that ensemble. Saxophones are made in eight sizes and pitch levels, spanning the entire spectrum of wind-instrument pitches. The most common are the alto and tenor saxophones. They have been effectively used in jazz bands and popular dance orchestras. Numerous jazz performers have risen to fame with the instrument, and composers, beginning in 19th-century France, have employed it in their solo or ensemble composition.

The saxophone, a single-reed-musical instrument named for its 19th-century inventor, Adolphe Sax, is a hybrid of the clarinet, oboe, and brass instruments. Although eight type are made, only four are widely used: the B-flat soprano, the E-flat alto, the B-flat tenor, and the E-flat Baritone. The saxophone is used in military bands, dance bands, and orchestras and is particularly important in jazz. Parts include mouthpiece (1), reed (2), neckpiece (3), crook (4), upper stack keys (5), lower stack keys (6), bell keys (7), and bell (8).

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