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Five Reasons the Saxophone Rocks, Rolls, and Jazzes Up the Music World

November 1, 2017 - Musical Education

girl playing vintage king zephyr saxophone

We hope you have not missed an important celebration this week: November 6th marked the National Saxophone Day. What, you didn’t know about this event? We are guessing many other people were not aware of it either, so let us tell you a bit about it.

Why November 6th, you may wonder? That’s because on this day in 1814, the woodwind’s inventor, the appropriately named Adolphe Sax was born in Belgium. He started building saxophones in the early 1840s.

And the rest, as the saying goes, is history!

We love the sound a saxophone makes and so did scores of musicians like John Coltrane, Branford Marsalis, Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, former President Bill Clinton, and countless others.

Five Things About the Sax You Didn’t Learn in the Kindergarten (or Later)

  1. The saxophone family consists (from the smallest to the biggest) of the sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass, contrabass and sub-contrabass.
  2. Though most commonly constructed of brass, the saxophone is a member of the woodwind family.
  3. French composer Hector Berlioz created the first saxophone composition, Chant Sacre, which he conducted in 1844 while Adolphe Sax played this instrument.

  4. The first American jazz musician to become a famous saxophonist was Coleman Hawkins, in the 1920s.

  5. Inventor Thomas Edison auditioned saxophone players for his recording label, Diamond Disks.

More Joys of Sax…

Another important fact about the saxophone that should not go unmentioned is that the Muppets have a sax-playing character named Zoot.

DOn a more serious side, the most compelling reason to love the sax is because it makes such beautiful music, as demonstrated by this orchestra!

Just ask some of our excellent saxophone teachers. They can show you how truly versatile and expressive this instrument is.

Photo: King Zephyr Alto Sax (c.1946) courtesy of woodleywonderworks and WikiMedia Commons
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