History of saxophones: dating back to 1841

The history of saxophones dates all the way back to 1841 when it was invented by Adolphe Sax. At that time he was still in Brussels. 4 years later he patented the saxophone in France. The patent covered a total of 14 instruments. Seven of them were pitched in E-Flat and B-Flat for military band use. The other seven were pitched alternatively in F and C for the orchestra.

So when discussing the saxophone historyreference must be made to its use in the orchestra and military.In fact Adolphe Sax created them exactly for this purpose - orchestra and military use. The instrument was originally made of brass and later replaced by metal. Saxophones have a wide conical bore and slightly flared bell. They have a beaked mouthpiece resembling that of a clarinet and are played with a single reed.

It would be remiss of me to talk about the history of saxophones and not stress its role in French music. Before 1845, saxophone music was scored for French orchestras and opera music. And in 1845 the music was introduced into French military bands.

The contrabass saxophone was created in 1848 by Adolphe Sax. Several years later, in 1904, Conn of Elkhart, Indiana added the subcontrabass. This saxophone, as the name suggests, had a much lower range to the contrabass sax.

By studying saxophone history, one can better understand its place in modern music. Saxophones play a major role in today's music. The alto and tenor saxophones are the most popular.

Related reading:

  • Antique Saxophones
  • Vintage Saxophones
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