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Alto Sax Origin Essay

  • Submitted by: betateam
  • on September 3, 2013
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 327 words

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Below is an essay on "Alto Sax Origin" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The newest of the woodwinds, it was invented by Adolphe Sax, a Belgian. He was born in 1814, and as a child he learned to make instruments in his father’s shop. At the Brussels Conservatory, he studied the clarinet and the flute. In 1840, Sax decided to construct an instrument that would fulfill the middle range sound of a military band. The sound that he was seeking would be between the woodwind tone of the clarinet, and brass sound of the trumpet. He moved to Paris in 1842, and completed his work in 1845. The created instrument he named the "saxophone". It was soon taken up by many French orchestral composers. The saxophone started to be used in little orchestras in the 1800’s. It was also popular in military bands. It gained greater popularity in the 1920’s because of jazz music.The reason a saxophone is considered a woodwind is because the way it is played is very similar to the clarinet. It is made of brass, and is the only woodwind that has never been made of wood. It has a single reed mouthpiece. It is made of a long, bent tube with holes in it, which are covered by pads called keys. The player operates the keys, opening and closing them, determining the pitch. The saxophone has three parts: the body, the neck and the mouthpiece. Soprano saxophones are straight, whereas deeper-toned saxophones have a bent crook and an upturned bell. Since saxophones and clarinets are similar, many clarinetists, in their spare time, also play the saxophone. There are at least six different types of saxophones in use today, the most popular being the alto sax. The smallest of the saxophone family is the soprano, which is only 16" long. But the biggest is the contrabass, being 6-1/2 feet tall. The saxophone is used more in jazz and military bands than in orchestras, though it is included in some classical music.

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