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The saxophone is a type of single-reed woodwind instrument with a conical body, usually made of brass. As with all single-reed instruments, sound is produced when a reed on a mouthpiece vibrates to produce a sound wave inside the instrument's body. The pitch is controlled by opening and closing holes in the body to change the effective length of the tube. The holes are closed by leather pads attached to keys operated by the player. Saxophones are made in various sizes and are almost always treated as transposing instruments.

The saxophone is used in a wide range of musical styles including classical music (such as concert bands, chamber music, solo repertoire, and occasionally orchestras), military bands, marching bands, jazz (such as big bands and jazz combos), and contemporary music. The saxophone is also used as a solo and melody instrument or as a member of a horn section in some styles of rock and roll and popular music.

The saxophone was invented by the Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in the early 1840s and was patented on 28 June 1846.

Saxophone in jazz

Jazz saxophonists are musicians who play various types of saxophones (tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, etc.) in jazz, jazz fusion, and other jazz subgenres. The techniques and instrumentation of this type of performance have evolved over the 1900s, influenced by jazz at large and by influential sax players within it. Jazz saxophonists adapted different soloing and playing styles to suit the different periods of jazz history. In the 1930s, during the swing and big band era, one of the well-known sax players was Johnny Hodges (1906– 1970), an alto saxophonist who led the saxophone section in the Duke Ellington Big Band.

In the early 1940s, jazz bebop saxophonists such as Charlie Parker shifted jazz from danceable popular music towards a more challenging "musician's music", with solos that included more chromaticism and dissonance. In the 1950s, hard bop sax players infused their music with rhythm and blues styles and gospel influences. In the 1950s and 1960s, free jazz pioneers such as sax player Ornette Coleman (1930- ) (alto, tenor) and John Coltrane (1926-67) developed unusual new sounds and playing styles. In the 1970s-era jazz-rock fusion scene, Wayne Shorter was one of the key sax players. In the 1980s, sax players such as Kenny G (Kenny Gorelick, 1956- ), (soprano, alto, tenor) and David Sanborn (1945- ), (alto, soprano) played a radio-friendly style of fusion called smooth jazz. In the 1990s and 2000s, Joshua Redman (1969- )(alto, soprano, tenor) returned to a more traditional approach which reached back to the sax greats of the 1950s and 1960s.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Saxophone" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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