Saxophone Facts

Saxophone Facts
The saxophone is an instrument in the woodwind family, most often made with brass, that was invented in 1846 by Adolphe Sax. Adolphe Sax had been a Belgian instrument maker who had been working on the ophicleide and clarinet for several years, which eventually led to his creation of the first saxophones. The saxophone's popularity grew first as a military band instrument, then as a concert band instrument, chamber music instrument, symphony music instrument, and jazz music instrument. The saxophone is classified as a woodwind instrument because of the way sound is created, with the musician blowing into a mouthpiece that creates the vibration of a single reed, as opposed to the buzzing of one's lips on the mouthpiece which is common with most brass instruments. Sound is made by blowing into the mouthpiece and using one's hands to play the keys which help to change the sound.
Interesting Saxophone Facts:
When Adolphe Sax introduced the first saxophones most people were not impressed.
Hector Berlioz was the first musician and composer to give praise to the saxophone. He also created the first saxophone composition.
Most saxophones are made of brass but in some cases they are also made of precious metals such as sterling silver, copper, or bronze.
Some saxophones have been made of plastic, acrylic, or polycarbonate.
The mouthpiece of the saxophone was originally made of wood, such as boxwood, and later rosewood and granadilla. There are still some wooden mouthpieces manufactured today but they are much less common.
Many jazz and classical musicians use saxophone mouthpieces made of rubber, but others prefer mouthpieces made of metal.
Beginner saxophone players often use mouthpieces made of plastic.
The saxophone's design includes a reed, ligature, main body, tone holes, a thumb rest, a rod system, pads, and a bell.
The contrabass is the largest standard saxophone built today. It is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs approximately 45 pounds. It has a sound a full octave lower than the baritone sax.
The smallest saxophone built today is the soprillo. It is only 12 inches and has a sound that is an octave higher than the soprano sax.
The saxophone family includes soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass, contrabass, and sub-contrabass saxophones.
The military band family of saxophones includes the sopranino saxophone, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, bass saxophone, contrabass saxophone and the sub-contrabass saxophone.
The orchestral family of saxophones includes the C soprano saxophone, the mezzo-soprano saxophone, and the C melody saxophone.
The Tubax and Sopranissimo (soprillo) are also types of saxophones.
The first American jazz musician to become famous with the saxophone was Coleman Hawkins, in the 1920s.
Famous saxophone players include Jimmy Dorsey, Johnny Hodges, Lester Young, John Coltrane, Branford Marsalis, Ornette Coleman, Kenny G, Cannonball Adderley, Charlie Parker, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, Fats Navarro, Steve Lacy, Lee Konitz, Louis Jordan, Woody Herman, Stan Getz, Benny Carter, Jackie McLean, Ben Webster, and Dexter Gordon.
Former United States President Bill Clinton is an accomplished saxophone player.
The Muppets have a saxophone-playing character named Zoot.


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