The saxophone is a musical instrument wind (or aerophone) belonging to the family of the woods. It was patented in 1846 by Adolphe Sax, Belgium.

It should not be confused with the saxhorn, the family of brass, developed, too, by Adolphe Sax.

The instrument consists of three parts welded or glued made brass: conical body, the cylinder head and the flag. Keys (numbering 19 to 22 depending on the family) control the opening and closing of the side holes drilled on the body. The higher end of the body is extended horizontally by the jar (removable), which covers the tip (ebonite or metal), equipped with a single reed attached with a ligature.

The sound of the saxophone is produced with a beak and a reed (usually reed, but can also be made of synthetic material). It is the vibration of the reed on the mouthpiece facet of the issue that will sound for by the vibration of the column of air contained in the body of the instrument.

Although metal, the saxophone historically belongs to the family of wood by its sound operation for the production notes. However, it is seen as part of the brass ensemble in popular music such as rock, pop music, rythm'n blues, soul where it is associated with trumpets and trombones (instruments mouth).

Moreover, as it tends to be closer to the sound of strings (this is stipulated in the patent saxophone), we can anecdotiquement be a "missing link" uniting strings, woodwind, brass and percussion (thanks to the sounds slappés).

The saxophone is consistent with the other instruments vary slightly by the deflection of the beak (thanks to the modular cork around the tip jar) when the sound is too low, driving the beak, when it is too high, it draws the mouthpiece. It presents some similarities with the clarinet (including soprano), which is different in its pierces conical rather than cylindrical. It is this last feature that allows it to be an instrument octaviant (while quintoie clarinet): the very purpose of Sax imagined when his new instrument.

The family of saxophones
The family of saxophones designed by Adolphe Sax included 14 sizes. Only 7 are still used today:

* Bass saxophone rare, in E flat
* Bass saxophone fairly rare, in B flat
* The baritone saxophone in E flat
* The tenor saxophone in B flat
* The alto saxophone in E flat
* The soprano saxophone in B flat
* Sopranino saxophone fairly rare, in E flat

There are however a few relics sometimes sets in C and F would initially by Adolphe Sax in addition to the series in B flat and E flat:

* C-saxophone mélody in C, but not transposing tenor, very rare today
* The mezzo-soprano saxophone extremely rare in F
* Few sopranos in C.

B. Eppelsheim has been very active in recent years and has produced several instruments which have contributed a lot to saxophonists, especially those interested in extreme registers:

* Tubax, developed in 1999. Their drills closer in fact different instruments, closer sarrussophones actually provided a single reed):

1. The sub-bass saxophone in B flat.
2. The tubax in E flat.

* Saxophone sopranissimo rare, in B flat, an instrument developed by 2002, sometimes called "soprillo"

The most common are the soprano, alto, tenor and baritone. They make up the saxophone quartet. In saxophone quartets, the soprano is sometimes replaced by a second alto.

Most current saxophones are the so-called transposers, ie that the note played on the instrument does not match played on the piano. For example when playing an alto saxophone do, the note sounds like a piano in E flat.

Sax had designed two sets of saxophones: a first whose instruments were granted in C or F, was intended to symphony orchestras, the second set (the one we know today) was given in B-flat and E-flat and was to serve for military bands. However, the orchestral musicians who shunned instruments Sax, as they were many opportunities in the newly reformed military music, the instruments in C or F gradually fell into disuse: they are no longer manufactured after 1930 by the main factors saxophone.

The saxophone has three registers: severe acute medium and over a range of two octaves and a fifth. In many current and contemporary music, it also uses the on-acute whose scores are obtained from special fingerings for a harmonic ringing.

Through his invention late, and even though composers as Bizet and Ravel have recognized its merits and have sometimes used, the saxophone is a pretty marginal in classical music and is rarely represented in symphony orchestras. However, it remains unquestionably a major instrument of jazz and contemporary music has made it one of his favorite instruments since the 1980's, as a soloist in small ensembles.

History of the bill saxophone
The Belgian Antoine Joseph Sax, said Adolphe Sax (1814-1894), sought tirelessly to improve the musical instruments, especially the wind instruments, and he has improved the accuracy, quality of the sound as well as the ease of Thursday (he filed 33 patents).

The very first saxophone built by Sax in Paris in 1842, was a baritone saxophone in F. This first ever saxophone exhibited all the characteristics of current saxophone: metal tube to pierce cônique, reed mouthpiece and simple system key Boehm, but he still had the general shape of a ophicléide.

In 1844, the saxophone is exposed for the first time at the Industrial Exhibition in Paris. On 3 February this year, Berlioz, a great friend of Sax, runs at a concert his sacred choral song that includes the saxophone. In December, the saxophone made his orchestral debut at the Paris Conservatoire in the opera by Georges Kastner, The Last King of Judah.

On March 21, 1846, Sax files its patent for a "system of wind instruments called Saxophones" which includes eight instruments. The complete reorganization of regimental music and the adoption by the French army in 1845, instruments of his own invention (saxhorns, saxophones, saxotrombas) Sax placed in a monopoly position for the supply of these instruments.

A patent to expire in 1866 Sax. The Company Millereau then patented the saxophone-Millereau, who has a key to F # bifoquer. In 1881, Sax is expanding its original patent: it lengthens the flag to include a B-flat and the serious, and also extends upward by adding F # and soil with a key fourth octave .

Between 1886 and 1887, the Association of Workers invents the key to trill do for the right hand, the system of half hole for the first fingers of the hand, the adjustment ring agreement and the dual-key; improves soil Articulating that the key to soil can be maintained while any finger of the right hand is used, improves F # Bifurcated and adds a B-flat major. Lecomte invent in 1888 the key octave simple and rolls for the model mid b-C low.

The company Adolphe Sax & Co. was acquired by the company Selmer H. & Co. in 1928 (the first model 22 Selmer saxophone was born in 1921). Since then, the company has participated in Selmer improvements in the manufacture of saxophones, and it led to conquer the American market and to establish itself in Europe. The other former factors saxophones (Buffet-Crampon, Millereau, Gautrot, Couesnon) present in the late nineteenth century, were gradually replaced by international brands: Adler, Huller (Germany), and Yamaha Yanagisawa (Japan).

Overview repertoire of the nineteenth century
After his invention dating from the early 1840, the saxophone soon emerged in the orchestra and especially in the opera partitions, which could be explained by the Director of the music scene held him by Adolphe Sax even (a sort of military music used in major scenes) at the Paris Opera.

After the anthem or sacred song and sanctity of Berlioz's oratorio The Last King of Judah Kastner, works performed for the first time in 1844 and 1845, includes the saxophone Halévy's opera The wandering Jew (made in 1852), L'Africaine created in 1865, Ambroise Thomas in Hamlet (1868) and Frances in Rimini (1882), Bizet's Arlésienne (1873), Delibes in Sylvia (1876), in Massenet's Le Roi de Lahore (1877) Herodias (1881 ) and Werther (1886), Saint-Saëns in Henry VIII (1883), in Fervaal Indy (1895), and so on.

But the cabal derived from Sax was too strong, and the instrument, with few exceptions, found it difficult to penetrate among orchestras. In fact, the only area where Sax managed to impose its new instruments was that of military bands, in the midst of reform under the leadership of the aide-de-camp of the Emperor Napoleon III, Marie-Theodor Rumigny, who admired the work of Sax. But at the discretion of the many political upheavals of the time, and pardons or disgrâces enjoyed by the inventor, the saxophones were imposed in turn, banned or tolerated within this music (hence periods of pomp and bankruptcies known by the company Sax).

The most desirable time was undoubtedly that between 1857 and 1870, Sax was appointed professor at the Military College attached to CNSMD Paris. There will train dozens of talented instrumentalists, which essaimeront within the various musics of the army. And he would write by his friends and colleagues in different parts contest, saxophone ensembles that make the joys of Parisian music lovers for several years. He published himself these pieces signed Jean-Baptiste Singelée, Jean-Baptiste Arban, Jules Demersseman, Jean-Baptiste-Victor Mohr or Jerome Savari. But this exclusive military use of the instrument was not only beneficial effects in terms of image. Today, you can trace the conventional wisdom against the saxophone to classical musicians of this period.

The coup de grace was the outbreak of war in 1870, which saw the Military College empty of his students, recalled under the flags of their respective regiments. It was then permanently closed and all efforts were useless Sax: the saxophone had to wait until the opening of a class to Marcel Mule in 1942 for further recognition french official circles. What followed a period of decline that could have been fatal if the relay was not taken in North America by Elise Hall, who developed the first saxophone solo repertoire, and then by jazz musicians who apprivoisèrent gradually new instrument until it became the icon symbolic of their music as we know it today.

The explosion of popular saxophone
In 1906, the quartet of Tom Brown was in its infancy with the Ringling Brothers circus in the United States. The original musicians were multi-instrumentalists in the style shows Minstrels very popular overseas, but in 1914, the total becomes the Brown Brothers Saxophone Sextet. With a repertoire ranging from Verdi (Rigoletto Sextet) to the first draft of "jass" (That Moanin 'Saxophone Rag, Smiles and Chuckles), they had a huge popular success with music, tours and music hall even musicals mounted for them.

In 1917, Rudy Wiedoeft and Frisco Jass Band also had great success with its participation in the comedy-musical Canary Cottage, where despite the presence of stars like Eddie Cantor, saxophonist was clearly the attraction of the evening . After this success, registrations Wiedoeft met a very wide audience.

The American public, very fond of this new instrument relatively easy to learn, launches fashion saxophone with magazines such as Sax-O-Trix and The Saxophone Journal. It requires the presence of saxophones in the orchestras of varieties, an opinion that was not shared by the proponents of the style New Orleans, but which quickly became de rigueur due to popular demand. During this period, there are even orchestras composed entirely of saxophone who act as bands during popular in American cities.


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