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Jose Reyes

The Origin of the Saxophone

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So much is said about the great saxophone players of jazz but without the invention of this magnificent instrument they play, their uplifting spiritual music would have never existed. This here is a tribute to the inventor of the saxophone itself and whose name fittingly is Antoine-Joseph (Adolphe) Sax. I found this history of the saxophone to be the most complete and most educational:

Let’s take a look at the history of the saxophone. The saxophone was invented by a Belgian, Antoine-Joseph (Adolphe) Sax, born on November 6, 1814 in Dinant. His father, Charles was an expert maker of musical instruments. As a child he learned to make instruments in his father’s shop. His father’s passion for creating instruments had such a strong influence on him that by the age of six, Sax had already become an expert as well. He produced some of the finest specimens of flutes, clarinets, and other instruments. He also learned to play the instruments because he had to test them when he made them. During his youth, Adolphe Sax studied the clarinet and the flute at the Brussels Conservatory.

Sax, already a knowledgeable and skilled musician, became aware that there was a tonal disparity between strings and winds, as well as brasses and woodwinds. Sax noticed that the brasses were overpowering the woodwinds, and the winds were overpowering the strings. He saw the need to come up with a new instrument that would create some form of balance between the three sections (brass, woodwinds and strings). The sound that he was seeking would lie between the clarinet’s woodwind sound, and the trumpet’s brass tone. Sax combined the bowoodwind instrumentdy of a brass instrument and the mouthpiece of a , and the saxophone was born…..Learn More

It requires endless hours of practice and improvising (trial and error) in order to become a true master of a musical instrument like the saxophone but nothing would have ever been possible without Mr. Sax and his lifelong dedication to improve it. I wonder if while testing out the saxophones, Mr Sax realized the true potential it possessed. I’m sure he did!

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