The saxophone is made of brass and is a member of the woodwind family. It is played with a single Reed mouthpiece that looks like a clarinet. Instruments that fall under the woodwind category use wind instruments to play music.
The saxophone is often confused as a brass instrument because it is brass. However, the sound of the saxophone is made by blowing into the mouthpiece and giving room for the Reed to vibrate against the mouthpiece.
The saxophone makes use of the Reed to direct air into it. The air, in turn, forms the sound, and then the notes are altered by the pressing key to open and flap the instrument’s holes.
The sound that the saxophone produces is very much smooth and relaxing. Composing music calls for perfect focus and concentration. It does not require a divided mind or soul. This is one of the best ways to relax and live in the moment.
The saxophone is often referred to as “Sax” and falls under the woodwind instrument category, just as we have previously discussed. Individuals that plays saxophone are often referred to as “Saxophonist”. The saxophone was introduced as Carnatic music in India.
Check out this Best Saxophone For Beginners
Is Saxophone A Brass Instrument
In 1933, as the Nazis government took over power in Germany, the saxophone became the symbol of Jazz music. The Nazis saw this as what they referred to as “Entartete Kunst”. As a result, it saw a lot of art forms banned.
Occasions, where the saxophone can be used, include;
- Rock and Roll.
- Contemporary music.
- Jazz music.
- Contemporary music and
- Marching bands.
History Of The Saxophone – When Was The Saxophone Invented
The saxophone was invented by a man called Adolph Sax. In the early years of Adolph Sax, he was quick to learn his father’s craft and skills and even went ahead of him in both skills and vision. At the age of 15, he designed a Clarinet alongside two flutes.
At the age of 20, he formed a new fingering method for the Clarinet and redeveloped the bass Clarinet, changing it from what almost seemed useless to a nice woodwind instrument.
Asides from the fact that he invented the woodwind instrument, Adolph Sax is known by many inventors as the inventor of the modern trumpet.
As a result of his intelligence, he had a hint on forming a modern instrument. Having experimented enough, he arrived at his first working model in 1841. It was called the bass horn.
As a result, he was awarded two patents for his creativity. The first award was for the set of saxophones that was supposed to be used for the orchestra’s performance, while the other award was supposed to be used for the Army band.
The two patent stands for his two dreams for saxophone. But unfortunately, his first dream for the saxophone was unable to be manifested because he made enemies in the period of the orchestra establishment.
His continuous wish to enhance the mechanics of the wind instruments in the orchestra gave room for a lot of players to become furious with him. Also, the fact that he was pompous annoyed the orchestra conductors.
Another reason for the failure in Adolph Sax’s dream was the fact that the saxophone did not possess an exact and quick tone.
This made it very difficult at the orchestration time; his second dream came into manifestation on a higher level than he could ever have imagined. Adolph Sax so much loved the French military bands.
Adolph Sax had so much faith that with the help of his instrument, he could transform the way and manner in which the France military bands were being pictured.
The France military bands didn’t want to make use of his instrument at first, but after much conviction, they made use of it. Then, having adopted his instrument and saw its effectiveness, they went back, asking for the help of Adolph Sax and his instrument.
Reason Why The SaxophoneIs A Saxophone A Woodwind Instrument
It is always determined by how the sound is being produced. For example, when blowing the brass instrument like the Trombone, the sound is usually produced by the player’s lips vibrating on the mouthpiece. Then the musical notes are altered by pressing on the valves of the Trombone.
The saxophone uses Reed to direct air into it; the air then forms the sound, and then the musical notes are altered by mounting pressure on the keys to open and flap the holes.
The saxophone possesses a warmer tone quality. Therefore, when you plan on learning how to play the Saxophone, it is beneficial for you to know that you are dealing with a woodwind instrument and not a brass instrument.
The classification of instruments is not based on their formation but on how the sounds are produced when they are being used.
The Components Of The Saxophone
Antonie Joseph Saxin Paris invented the first saxophone in 1846. The saxophone is originally brass. It comes with 24 openings that are directed and controlled by padded keys. Out of the 24 keys is the two-octave keys that give room for the instrument to blow at a very high pitch.
Except for the soprano Saxophone that is constructed like a Clarinet, Saxophones tend to possess a curved lower end and a removable neck or crook. The saxophone was a well-known Solo instrument used in World War 1 that occurred in the United States.
It was later used in the dance band, making it one of the advantageous solo instruments in the invention of swings. The use of saxophone in large bands altered the mouthpiece design to give a brighter and more indulging sound.
The saxophone can be easily amended and fit in with woodwind and brass. Below are some of the greatest jazz saxophonists;
- Charlie Parker.
- John Coltrane.
- Lester Young.
- Sonny Rollins.
- Coleman Hawkins.
Types Of Saxophone
There are 14 different types of Saxophones. Among these 14, four are commonly used. They are referred to as the major types of Saxophones. They include;
1. The Alto Saxophone
It is the most common beginner type of saxophone. Any individual that wishes to learn how to play saxophone is always recommended to use this type of saxophone.
The Alto saxophone is the no 1 type of saxophone when it comes to worldwide sales. It has become well known as a result of its size.
The Alto Saxophone can be used to play different types of music, be it classical or even Jazz. It has a higher pitch when compared to the Tenor saxophone, but it is not as high pitched as the Soprano Saxophone.
2. The Soprano Saxophone
The Soprano saxophone is the highest pitches of all types of Saxophones. Its structure is different from the Alto saxophone. It is constructed like the shape of a Clarinet.
3. The Tenor Sax
The tenor saxophone is the most common choice of almost every individual. It is used on different occasions, just like the Alto saxophone. The tenor saxophone is used mostly in playing Jazz music.
4. The Baritone Saxophone
Of all types of saxophones, the Baritone Saxophone has the lowest pitch.
The Uncommon Types Of Saxophone
The types of Saxophones listed above are the major and common types of Saxophones. The uncommon types of saxophone include;
1. The Soprano Saxophone
This type of saxophone is the smaller version of the soprano saxophone. This type of saxophone is mostly used in big band scoring.
2. The Bass Saxophone
The bass saxophone is generally big. For this reason, it requires to be placed in a stand while playing. However, it is ideal for concert bands because the full-pitched octave is below the tenor saxophone, producing a rich supporting sound.
3. The C Melody Saxophone
This type of saxophone is the only saxophone that plays at a very high pitch. Between 1920 and 1930, the C Melody Saxophone was a bit well known.
4. The Sopranissimo Saxophone
This type of saxophone is the smallest member of the saxophone family. It is the smaller version of the Soprano saxophone; when using this type of saxophone, the saxophonists are required to put in their all being that it is more difficult to play.
Even though the Sopranissimo Saxophone is the smallest member of the Saxophone family, it is more costly than the common Saxophones due to its minimal demand, which in turn minimizes the economic scale of the saxophone. The sopranino saxophone is not ideal for beginners.
5. The Contrabass Saxophone
The Contrabass Saxophone is pitched at a full octave below baritone. The Contrabass Saxophone seems to be out of the inventions by Adolph Sax. It is believed not to be a part of it. Although, this does not mean that it is not a part of the Saxophone family.
6. The Tubax Saxophone
This type of saxophone comes in the sizes of the subcontrabass saxophone. The Subcontrabass tubax makes use of the mouthpiece of the baritone saxophone.
It has a thin tubing when compared with other types of Saxophones. In addition, the timber of the E flat has shown to be more centralized than the full-sized Contrabass saxophone.
The present Saxophone family comprises B flat and E flat instruments. The contrabass saxophone is the giant of all when it comes to size and weight.
While the baritone saxophone is big, the contrabass saxophone is rather weighty. Therefore, one of the largest members of the Saxophone family is the Bass Saxophone.
The saxophone is made of brass but not a brass instrument. It belongs to the woodwind family. Just as it has been discussed, the instrument that falls under the woodwind category makes use of wind instruments to play music.