The Saxophones

The saxophone is a single-reed instrument that belongs to the woodwind family.  Despite it being made out of brass, it is still considered a woodwind due to its sound being made by air blowing across a reed fastened to a mouthpiece. It is one the newest acoustic wind instruments being invented in the 1840’s.  The saxophone family includes the more common saxophones: soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone.  However, there is also bass, contrabass, sopranino, and soprillo.  Like the flute, the saxophone has keys which are pressed down to change notes.  The sound of the saxophone has been described as “warm and rich,” “powerful and loud,” and “expressive.” The style and shape of mouthpiece used can change the sound characteristics to fit a variety of styles of music. While the saxophone is only used occasionally in orchestras, it is still used as a solo instrument in classical music.  The saxophone was widely used in marching bands and saxophone quartets until it found its home with jazz and blues.  The saxophone became the symbol and sound associated with jazz, and eventually found its way into Motown, R&B, Rock, Funk, Caribbean and Latin-American music, and across the globe into popular and traditional folk music.

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Fundamental Warm-Ups and Exercises

Articulation Warm-Up    Exercises