The Saxophone is a popular type of single-reed wind instrument made of brass, often with a conical outer body. Like most single-reed wind instruments, sound is created when a single reed strikes an instrument body to create a noise wave within the body of the instrument. Saxophones, also known as Saxophone, have two sets of horns, one fixed above the other, that swing in a figure eight pattern. The first set of horns swings out straight and can be depressed or released to produce different levels of tone.
The sound created by a saxophone, unlike that from a clarinet saxophone, is more crisp and louder, lending itself to jazz music and pop music. Because of this crisp sound, a saxophone player may want to consider purchasing a set of saxophones that are made for lower tones. One such model is the tenor saxophone.
A tenor saxophone has a body that is rectangular with six measures, or ribs, between each of the tenor bars. The middle bar (also called a pillar) is called the selmer mark and is about four to five inches from the ends of the six measures. In the lower part of the body of the tenor saxophone, there is a collar bone that runs from just below the selmer to just above the ear. It connects the Saxophone bell to the tailpiece.
For some time, the standard saxophone bell size was the forty-five millimeter bell, but as technology advanced, the sizes of the bell began to change. In order to keep pace with changing demands, manufacturers began making saxophones in different diameters ranging from a seven-inch bell to over one hundred and twenty-five millimeters. Because of this variety, it became necessary to purchase different sets of saxophones in order to match the different types of music played.
Today's saxophones are made in all the same sizes as the older models, except for the selmer mark. Some saxophones are also marked "tenor only." While these saxophones are excellent for playing tenor parts, they are not considered a true tenor. Saxophones that are designated "tenor" have a slightly larger sound than "tenor only" saxophones. The exception is made by the "master" type of saxophone, which is made especially for the tenor range.
The style of the saxophone has changed over the years as well. Early saxophone brands were created to reproduce the sounds of wood and metal rather than steel or aluminum, which were becoming more commonly used in contemporary music. The sound of the early saxophone was closer to that of a trumpet, but closer in tone to that of a saxophone. Tenor saxophone brands such as the Martin-jacobs and the Sealy model 40th were designed with a round body and a long flute-like neck in a convex position. Early models of the Sealy model 40th, with its curved fluting mouthpiece, had a flute-like sound signature as well.
Saxophones are generally categorized according to their tonal qualities. Pure tone, or clear tone, is usually related to the diameter of the bell, while strength, which can be adjusted by changing the size of the bell, is related to the tension of the spring and the material used to create the bell tone. The most common shapes of saxophones include the oval-shaped, the triangular, the round, and the half-moon.
Saxophones are played by plucking with the right hand and striking the mouthpiece with the left. Plucking and striking of the mouthpiece changes the sound produced by the instrument. Saxophones have been in existence for hundreds of years. They are a valuable part of history as they enable many musicians to reach an exceptionally high standard of tone and are also available for purchase today to those who want a quality saxophone but cannot afford a new one.