The saxophone is a wind instrument with one reed and it’s the most recent among the classical instruments. It was invented by Adolphe Sax in the 19th century, aiming to sound as loud as brass instruments (which sound is produced through lip vibration) and as versatile as woodwinds (which sound is produced through reeds or mouthpieces). It was created with different variations, having some of them been through time. The most popular is the Tenor Sax, but it is also common to find soprano, alto and baritone saxophones. It is known by its metal sound mixed with the velvety sound of the clarinet. The challenge of producing a beautiful sound in the saxophone will be overcome each day mastering the position of your mouth in the mouthpiece, and the way you control the air flow through the reed. Your fingers will become more agile too and soon you will know the place of each finger on their respective keys, corresponding to the music notes. Listen to the timbres of the different saxophones:
The Tenor Saxophone music sheets are written on the treble clef but the saxophone is a transposing instrument. It means that the note written in the saxophone’s score is not the note produced by the saxophone. This happens because the note range of the saxophone is too high for the bass clef and too low for the treble clef and so, to simplify the reading and writing of the scores they write the notes in a more comfortable place. In the case of the tenor saxophone, it’s C sounds a B flat in reality. That is, the saxophone’s C is one step lower than the real C. Plus, although the tenor saxophone sheets are written on the treble clef, its pitch corresponds to an octave lower than the treble clef.
A musician who plays the tenor sax will easily play the other saxes, but also other reed instruments like the clarinet (with a similar mouthpiece) and also the bassoon or the oboe.
You can start learning the saxophone with a saxophone from the Cascais Music School. Check for more information at our Shop.
Meet the Saxophone Teachers from the Cascais Music School.