Robert Ward, James Houlik, North Carolina Symphony Orchestra Gerhardt Zimmermann Jubilation Overture Symphony No 4 Concerto For Saxophone And Orchestra Sonic Structure 1988, CD

The Structure Of The Saxophone

The typical saxophone is a single reed instrument constructed from brass with a curved bottom. Originally available in 14 different sizes and keys, today that number has been reduced to six. This includes—in order of pitch from highest to lowest—the sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, and bass saxophones. Generally, the smallest instrument is the sopranino and the largest is the bass. The true potential of the sax was realized by jazz musicians during the early 1900s. Artists like Charlie Parker and John Coltrane helped make it the most popular woodwind solo instrument for jazz.

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Alto saxophone is one of the standard instruments in concert bands. It has an aesthetic style with a wide range of lacquer finish. You’ll have to place the flat end (or the “head”) of the wedge or file below the pad, just at the point where it warps to the downside.

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Pads need a certain degree of humidity in order to remain elastic enough to resist the heavy interactions with the tone hole edges. These hindrances are very likely to develop at one point or another, especially if we don’t do regular cleaning. The saxophone’s inner tube is constantly exposed to saliva and water vapour from our lungs, and the pads, since they face the inner side of the horn, are prone to become wet as well. Hornlip – That’s an excellent description of the Eb trill key on vintage saxes.

  • Thumb rest – It is a hook-shaped piece of plastic or metal where you place your right thumb to support the sax.
  • Small levels of phosphorus or arsenic may also be used to when the tubing is being applied.
  • It’s usually recommended for beginner players to choose a softer reed (under 2.5) as they are easier to play and then more advanced players will opt for a harder reed.
  • Alto and tenor saxophones are known as transposing instruments with similar nature.
  • Body – It is a conically shaped brass tube that has plates attached to it and holds the rods, keys and other parts of the saxophone.

Smaller saxophones such as the alto and tenor were created a short time later. A saxophone is a single reed, woodwind instrument first developed in the mid-1800s by Adolphe Sax. It is composed of a mouthpiece, conical metal tube, and finger keys. Sound is produced when air is blown through the instrument causing the reed to vibrate.


Jazz bands everywhere began to adopt it as a staple piece of equipment. So it was, and the sax would continue to undergo structural changes, eventually becoming the masterpiece that you can see all over the world today. It does house a few of the keys that play lower notes, but its main function is to project the sound from the horn and stabilize The Structure Of The Saxophone the note. Just about every saxophone player uses a neck strap to hold their instrument in place. Saxophone NeckThe next piece down the line when you assemble your sax is the Neck which is the part that connects the mouthpiece to the body of the saxophone. The mouthpiece is the most important component when it comes to sound creation.

The Structure Of The Saxophone

The mouthpiece is hard rubber, which is made from soft rubber and sulfur. The saxophone has lots and lots of parts that we are not able to cover in this article. But this is a great way to get familiar with the common parts of the saxophone. However, for the purpose of this article, it is time we focused on the common saxophone parts and discover their functions. Like the clarinet, the saxophone https://www.wave-accounting.net/ is a single-reed instrument (unlike the oboe and bassoon which are ‘double-reed’ instruments). It’s also worth mentioning that if you buy a second hand saxophone, there’s a good chance that it won’t come with a mouthpiece, so you’ll need to buy your own. All other saxophones arrive with a neck in the case, and this will generally be made from the same material and lacquer as the body.

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