Music 101: The Saxophone

This instrument is well known in the music world that can be used in different genres including jazz, rock, pop, etc. The saxophone is part of the woodwind family (flutes, clarinets, etc.).

It is played with two hands, the right hand toward the bottom of the instrument and the left hand at the top of the instrument with each finger on a key except the right thumb will be on a thumb rest to hold the instrument and the left thumb will be on the octave key. Like the clarinet and its octave key, the octave key on the saxophone changes the notes to a higher octave, same notes, but sounding higher than the original notes.

The saxophone consists of three pieces, the mouthpiece where you place the reed and play into, the neck, and the body that curves up to the bell. where the sound is expelled along with the openings along the body the keys are covering.

The most common saxophones used are the B flat soprano, E flat alto, B flat tenor, and E flat baritone saxophone. the B flat soprano is the smallest of the four that plays a higher range of notes that has physical similarities as a clarinet. The E flat alto saxophone that starts to curve the bell upwards The B flat tenor saxophone physically looks like the E flat alto saxophone but bigger to the point when sitting down it has to be played with the saxophone body to the side of the leg. Lastly, the E flat baritone saxophone stands at three and a half to four feet tall with the bell reaching almost to the neck of the saxophone and having the lowest range of notes out of all four saxophones needing a strong steady stream of air to be able to play.

With many variations of this woodwind instrument, all four play with singular reeds that are held on to the mouthpiece by a leather or metal strap to have you blow a steady stream of air to make a note from the instrument.


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