Saxophone History: When Was The Saxophone Invented?

In the history of musical instruments, what do you think about saxophone or why it is of that shape and, how and when was the saxophone invented?

Some may find these questions such unnecessary. They believe that they are hearing and enjoying fantastic music gifted by musicians.

And do not want to know the background.

But as a music lover and explorer same questions become so interesting. Then you are at the right place! 

Because we are here trying to satisfy your thirst for knowledge about the invention of the saxophone. 

The saxophone is a musical instrument which is used in classical music, jazz, military bands, solo repertoire, etc. it is a soloing as well as a melody instrument.

This is the family of Woodwind Instruments, made of brass (usually), need a single-reed mouthpiece to play.

It enhances the quality of music and makes euphonic. 

So, now you have a little view of a saxophone. Then come to the main case.

History Of The Saxophone​

At the very beginning, nothing had just created by magic.

Behind the invention of every single thing, there has some necessity, thoughts, creativity.

When did Adolphe Sax invent the saxophone

Source File: Wikimedia

From the need of most powerful as well as vocal of the woodwinds, a man Adolphe Sax invented the saxophone family in 1840.

He is a Belgian instrument maker and also a clarinetist.

An interesting video on Adolphe Sax's life...

​Invention of Saxophone

Adolphe Sax born in Dinant but for establishing his musical instrument business moved to Paris.

From the experience of bass clarinet and ophicleide, he improved the technology and skill and created the first saxophone.

As it is made of brass, this is the most adaptive brass instrument which fills the vacant between the two sections.

Sax patented on 28th June at the year of 1846. He then got a patent for 15 years for his made instrument.

In the patent, there have two groups, and each group has seven instruments.

history of the saxophone

Source File: Wikimedia

Saxophone family has various sizes of saxophone in alternating transposition, but all of the members are of same basic.

He divided two groups naming B and E series and C and F series. So the whole instrument was fourteen.

Military bands use the set B and E, and nowadays most saxophones are of this series.

military band

​Image Source:

C and F series instruments are applied in the orchestra, but these could not get the popularity.

So B and E series instruments replaced C and F series and frequently are using in the orchestra.

The instruments had the initial range from the B. In 1866, the patent of Sax expired.

Then many saxophonists and instrument makers worked to improve the design and also the keywork.

The first person who brought little change in the Sax's saxophone was a French manufacturer.

He extended the bell and added an extra key for extending downward range.

But the confusion is many of the people said Sax had done the modification himself and not the French man.

Whoever had brought the change, this only increased the effectiveness of the instrument as it has become in modern saxophone’s designs.

Then alternate fingering using brought an appreciating change because the player or saxophonist can play faster and bend the pitch.

Sax designed the instrument basing on Triebert system 3, for the left hand and another one Boehm clarinet was for the right hand.

This was difficult for fingering.

For making the playing easy many developers of saxophone added extra keys and alternate fingering.

Early saxophones had 2-octave vents for playing the upper registers; the moderns have the same.

Sax designed for left thumb operating where to have two-octave keys.

So then there was an advancement in keywork where with a single octave key, left thumb operates the two tone holes.

From 1930 to 1940, Selmer made the developments.

Offsetting tone holes is one of his best developments in saxophone.

M. Houvenaghel made the most radical revision in the 1950s. He was from Paris.

He brought the development in the allowable number of notes by developing the mechanism system.

M. Houvenaghel’s this change in mechanism never see the popularity. So later the use of it becomes less, and now this is not in use.

From the beginning of Sax's saxophone to the Selmer developed saxophone with advancing, this is the one who is using now.

Final Words...

We think from this article you can have the clear view of the invention of saxophone and saxophone family.

As the real enthusiast of the history and invention of musical instruments, it's very natural to have this interest.

And as an inquisitive person, you want to satisfy yourself knowing every single detail on which you have interest.

​If you are fond of saxophone, you like to explore each step of its invention, and the process started. So from here know the history and have some quality information.

 Happy Music!

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