saxophone basics
saxophone warmup
saxophone tone
saxophone articulation
saxophone vibrato
saxophone technique
saxophone tuning
saxophone education
saxophone teaching
saxophone lesson/masterclass
beginner saxophone
counting, sightreading
saxophone performing
Joe Murphy, saxophone
saxophone techniques
saxophone altissimo
circular breathing
saxophone multiphonics
saxophone quartertones
saxophone slap tongue
improvising, transposing
saxophone resources
saxophone research
saxophone repair/reeds
saxophone literature, recording
jazz saxophone
saxophone history
saxophone humor
 

Saxophone History

 (to be expanded soon)


CONDENSED SAXOPHONE HISTORY
1840 - invented by Antoinne (Adolphe) Sax, a Belgian, in Paris; Until his death in 1894 he spent much time in court defending patents, mostly successful. Instrument making in the Industrial Revolution was popular
1853 - first played in US (isolated case)
1870s- common usage begins (in professional bands)
GILMORE (1870s-92), SOUSA (1892-1932) THE 2 MOST FAMOUS BANDS (OUT OF THOUSANDS)
Lefebre, Jean Moeremanns, Ben Vereecken, Benne Henton, Jascha Gurewich
1889 - first American saxophone made by F.A. Buescher for Conn company (Elkhart IN) [now Swedish owned, called United Musical Instruments]. Buescher later started his own company [now owned by Selmer]. Other early saxophone makers: Holton [now Leblanc], Martin [now Leblanc], White (King).
1890s- recordings begin
1919-24 Saxophone Craze; ragtime popular (precursor to jazz) - Brown Brothers, Rudy Wiedoeft
saxophone outsells all other instruments, school band movement begins
1920s-40s Big Bands (fizzled out after WWII)
1920s - Johnny Hodges, Coleman Hawkins
1930s - Lester Young
1940s - Charlie Parker combo, not big band; Classical Mule (Fr 42-68), Rascher (ret 1981) USA
1950s - John Coltrane; Classical Leeson, Teal (ret UM 53-74)
1960s ¨C Classical Hemke (NU 63-), Rousseau, Sinta, Defayet(Fr ret '90) Londeix (Fr ret '93)
1980s-present Sampen, Delange (Fr), many others (still too early to evaluate)
For more detail see: http://www.mnsfld.edu/~jmurphy/saxweb/bibsearch.cfm and http://www.mnsfld.edu/~jmurphy/saxweb/websearch.cfm

 LISTING OF SELMER PARIS SAXOPHONE MODELS FROM THE COMPANY FILES
1. "Modele 22" 1922 Adolphe Sax instruments still in production. Serial #957 is on the alto shown in the catalogue. Power forging key mechanism.
2. "Modele 26" 1926 Now known as the "Pea Shooter" due to the small bore. First serial number shown #3373.              SELMER ACQUIRES SAX COMPANY
3. Unmarked (transition) model 1930 Catalogue describes "New Large Bore Alto
4. ¡°Cigar Cutter¡± 1931 See cut for octave mechanism. The flat plate with the hole, reminiscent of the cigar tip cutter men carried, gave this model its nick-name. It was really the first Super model. First Serial number is 14222.
5. ¡°Super¡± 1933 The octave mechanism was changed about Serial number 18,600. The body of the sax, and the playing characteristics were not changed.
6. ¡°Balanced Action¡± 1935 Many mechanical changes, with the bell keys now on the right side of the bell.
7. ¡°Super-Action Sax¡± 1947 Another transitional model, with some changes in key leverages, but otherwise same as ¡°balanced¡±.
8. ¡°Mark VI¡± 1954 Much greater refinement of the mechanism and many tuning resolutions.
9. ¡°Mark VII¡± 1975 Bore and taper changed to facilitate production of the extremely high altissimo register. Minor improvements on intonation.
10. ¡°Super Action 80¡± 1981
11. Super Action Series II (1987), front ¡°x¡± key more like clarinet A key, high F# key bent; series Iia (1989) left hand little finger keys.

Since the saxophone, as are most instruments, is a compromise in respect to producing a ¡°perfect scale¡± each step closer to ¡°perfection¡± taken by a manufacturer takes more time and produces less in the way of measurable change. The ¡°perfectly tuned¡± saxophone would have to have twelve separate octave vents, an impossible key mechanism to operate.


History, cont.

¡±Famous¡± 20th Century Composers (boldface wrote for sax)
 before 1890, chronological
d'Indy, Vincent
1851-1931 Concerto
Elgar, Edward 1857-1934
Debussy, Claude 1862-1918 one solo
Strauss, Richard 1864-1949
Glazounov, Alex. 1865-1936 Concerto, quartet
Satie, Erik 1866-1925
Vaughn-Williams, R 1872-1958 trio, band
Rachmaninoff, Sergi 1873-1943 orchestral
Holst, Gustav 1874-1934 band music
Schoenberg, Arnold 1874-1951
Ives, Charles 1874-1954 chamber, orchestra
Ravel, Maurice 1875-1937 orchestral (Bolero)
Respighi, Ottorino 1879-1936
Bartok, Bela 1881-1945 orchestral music
Stravinsky, Igor 1882-1971
Grainger, Percy 1882-1961 band, quartet, solos
Kodaly, Zoltan 1882-1967 orchestra (Hary Janos)
Varese, Edgar 1883-1965
Webern, Anton 1883-1945 chamber
Berg, Alban 1885-1935 violin concerto, Lulu
Villa-Lobos, Heitor 1887-1959 chamber

1890s, alphabetical
Cowell, Henry
1897-1965 solo/quartet/chamber
Hanson, Howard 1896-1981 band music
Harris, Roy 1898-1979 orchestra music
Hindemith, Paul 1895-1963 sonata, trio, band music
Ibert, Jacques 1890-1962 solos
Martin, Frank 1890-1974 Concertos
Milhaud, Darius 1892-1974 concerto
Piston, Walter 1894-1976
Poulenc, Francis 1899-1963
Prokofiev, Sergei 1891-1953 orchestral

1900s
Badings, Henk
1907-87 quartets/solos (Malinconia)
Carter, Elliot b. 1908 one quartet, one chamber
Copland, Aaron 1900-1991 orchestral music
Creston, Paul 1906-85 solos, band music
Finney, Ross Lee 1906 Concerto
Lutoslawski, Witold 1913-94
Messiaen, Oliver 1908-92
Shostakovich, Dimitri 1906-75 orchestral
Walton, William 1902-83 chamber

1910s
Babbitt, Milton
1916 three chamber music pieces
Barber, Samuel 1910-1981
Bernstein, Leonard 1918-1991orchestral/band music
Brant, Henry 1913 several solos, chamber
Britten, Benjamin 1913-76 orchestral music
Cage, John 1912-92 one quartet piece
Dahl, Ingolf 1912-70 concerto
Gould, Morton 1913 t. sx concerto, band music
Hovhaness, Alan 1911 solo/chamber/band/orch
Persichetti, Vincent 1915-87 solo, band
Rochberg, George 1918 chamber music

 1920s
Adler, Samuel 1928 solos
Bassett, Leslie 1923 2 solos, chamber, band
Benson, Warren 1924 solos, chamber, band
Berio, Luciano 1925 Sequenza, orchestral music
Boulez, Pierre 1925
Crumb, George 1929 chamber
Denisov, Edison 1929-1996 solos, chamber
Donatoni, Franco 1927 quartet
Feld, Jindrich 1925 sonatas, concerto
Foss, Lucas 1922 quartet
Husa, Karel 1921 2 solos, band music
Rorem, Ned 1923 solo
Schuller, Gunther 1925 concerto, orchestra
Stockhausen, Karlheinz 1928 solos
Xenakis, Iannis 1922 quartet

1930s
Andriessen, Louis 1939, chamber
Amram, David 1930 Ode to Lord Buckley (Concerto)
Bolcolm, William 1938 solo
Colgrass, Michael 1932 concerto
Gaubidulina, Sofia 1931, quartet
Glass, Philip 1937 chamber music
Harbison, John 1938 sonata
Hodkinson, Sydney 1934 chamber
Penderecki, Krzystof 1933 orchestral
Reich, Steve 1936
Riley, Terry 1935
Shnitke, Alfred 1934-98
Subotnik, Morton 1933 solo
Tower, Joan 1938 solo
Wuorinen, Charles 1938 solo
Zwilich, Ellen 1939

1940s
Albright, William 1944- solo/trio/chamber/concerto
Corigliano, John date? band music
Iannaccone 1943 chamber, band
Maslanka, David 1943 2 solos, quartet
Ran, Shulamit 1949 solo
Schwantner, Joseph 1943 chamber
Shrude, Marilyn 1946 many

1950s

Larsen, Libby 1950 solo

Lauba, Christian 1952 many

Lennon, John Anthony 1950 concerto, solo

Rouse, Christopher 1957

 

1960s

Chambers, Evan 1963 solos, chamber

 

 

    

saxophone basics
saxophone warmup
saxophone tone
saxophone articulation
saxophone vibrato
saxophone technique
saxophone tuning
saxophone education
saxophone teaching
saxophone lesson/masterclass
beginner saxophone
counting, sightreading
saxophone performing
Joe Murphy, saxophone
saxophone techniques
saxophone altissimo
circular breathing
saxophone multiphonics
saxophone quartertones
saxophone slap tongue
improvising, transposing
saxophone resources
saxophone research
saxophone repair/reeds
saxophone literature
jazz saxophone
saxophone history
saxophone humor