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Encyclopedia > Tenor saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Playing range
in B♭: sounds one major ninth lower
Related instruments
More articles

The tenor saxophone is a medium-sized member of the saxophone family, a group of instruments invented by Adolphe Sax. It is perhaps the most well known of all saxophones and is a transposing instrument, pitched in the key of B♭, and written as a transposing instrument in the treble clef, sounding a major ninth lower than the written pitch. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (400x615, 19 KB) Yanagisawa Tenorsaxophon, eigenes Instrument und eigenes Bild (kku), Februar 2004, GNU-GPL GNU General Public License File links The following pages link to this file: Tenor saxophone ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... A wind instrument is a musical instrument that contains some type of resonator (usually a tube), in which a column of air is set into vibration by the player blowing into (or over) a mouthpiece set at the end of the resonator. ... A woodwind instrument is a wind instrument in which sound is produced by blowing against an edge or by a vibrating a thin piece of wood known as a reed, and in which the pitch governed by the resonant frequencies of an enclosed air column. ... An aerophone is any musical instrument which produces sound primarily by causing a body of air to vibrate, without the use of strings or membranes, and without the vibration of the instrument itself adding considerably to the sound. ... The playing range of a musical instrument is the region of pitch in which it can play, i. ... Image File history File links Alto_sax_range. ... In music theory, the term interval describes the difference in pitch between two notes. ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... The soprillo, a piccolo or sopranissimo saxophone, is the worlds smallest saxophone. ... An E-flat sopranino saxophone (right). ... The soprano saxophone is a variety of the saxophone, a woodwind instrument. ... Mezzo-soprano (left) and alto (right) saxophones. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The C melody saxophone is a saxophone in the key of C, one whole step above the tenor saxophone. ... The baritone saxophone, often called bari sax (to avoid confusion with the baritone horn, which is often referred to simply as baritone), is one of the larger and lower pitched members of the saxophone family. ... The bass saxophone (or bass sax for short) is the second largest existing member of the saxophone family (or third largest, if the subcontrabass tubax is counted). ... The contrabass saxophone is one of the lowest-pitched members of the saxophone family. ... A B-flat subcontrabass tubax (right), the closest extant instrument to a subcontrabass saxophone. ... A B-flat subcontrabass tubax (right). ... Explanation of columns: s = Sopranino S = Soprano A = Alto T = Tenor B = Baritone b = Bass c = Contrabass sc = Subcontrabass (i. ... The saxophone (colloquially referred to as sax) is a conical-bored instrument of the woodwind family. ... The saxophone (colloquially referred to as sax) is a conical-bored instrument of the woodwind family. ... Life-size statue of Adolphe Sax outside his birthplace in Dinant, Belgium. ... A transposing instrument is a musical instrument whose music is written at a pitch different from concert pitch. ... A clef (French for key) is a symbol used in musical notation that assigns notes to lines and spaces on the musical staff. ... In music theory, the term interval describes the difference in pitch between two notes. ...


Invention and usage

In the early 20th century, instrument makers manufactured a saxophone slightly smaller than the tenor which was pitched in the key of C, a whole tone higher that the modern tenor instrument. This was known as a C melody saxophone. C melody saxophones became common during the American saxophone craze (1919-1929). No C melody saxophones have been mass manufactured since 1929, and C melody saxophones are not usually included in any present-day band or jazz ensemble. The C melody saxophone is a saxophone in the key of C, one whole step above the tenor saxophone. ...

The tenor saxophone is used in many different types of activities, including concert bands, big band jazz ensembles, small jazz ensembles, and marching bands. It is occasionally included in pieces written for symphony orchestra and for chamber ensembles; two examples of this are Ravel's Boléro and Webern's Quartet for violin, clarinet, tenor saxophone, and piano. In concert bands, the tenor plays mostly a supporting role, sometimes sharing parts with the euphonium, horn and trombone. In jazz ensembles, the tenor plays a more prominent role, often sharing parts or harmonies with the alto saxophone. A concert band, also called wind band, symphonic band, symphonic winds, wind orchestra, wind symphony, or wind ensemble, is a performing ensemble consisting of several members of the woodwind instrument family, brass instrument family and percussion instrument family. ... A big band is a type of musical ensemble associated with playing jazz music and which became popular during the Swing Era from the early 1930s until the late 1940s. ... An American college marching band on the field (University of Texas) A marching band is a group of instrumental musicians who generally perform outdoors, and who incorporate movement â€“ usually some type of marching â€“ with their musical performance. ... Orchestra at City Hall (Edmonton). ... Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. ... Joseph-Maurice Ravel (March 7, 1875 – December 28, 1937) was a French composer and pianist, best known for his orchestral work, Boléro, and his famous 1922 orchestral arrangement of Modest Mussorgskys Pictures at an Exhibition. ... Boléro is a one-movement orchestral piece by Maurice Ravel. ... Anton Webern (December 3, 1883 – September 15, 1945) was a composer of classical music and a member of the so called Second Viennese School. ... A quartet is a group of four identical or similar objects, or a grouping of four persons for a common purpose. ... The euphonium is a conical-bore, baritone-voiced brass instrument. ... For other uses, see Horn. ... The trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

Jazz and popular music

The tenor saxophone became better known through its frequent use in jazz music. It was the pioneering playing of Coleman Hawkins in the 1930s which lifted the tenor saxophone from its traditional role of adding weight to the ensemble and established it as a highly-effective melody instrument in its own right. For other uses, see Jazz (disambiguation). ... Coleman Hawkins Coleman Randolph Hawkins, nicknamed Hawk and sometimes Bean, (November 21, 1901 or 1904 - May 19, 1969) was a prominent jazz tenor saxophone musician. ...

Many prominent jazz musicians from the 1940's onwards have been tenor players. The strong resonant sound of Hawkins and his followers always in contrast with the light, almost jaunty approach of Lester Young and his school. Then during the be-bop years the most prominent tenor sounds in jazz were those of the Four Brothers in the Woody Herman orchestra, including Stan Getz who in the 1960s went on to great popular success playing the Brazillian Bossa nova sound on tenor saxophone. Lester Young Lester Willis Young (August 27, 1909 – March 15, 1959), nicknamed Prez, was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and clarinetist. ... Four Brothers (1947) is a jazz standard composed by Jimmy Giuffre and performed by the Woody Herman Orchestra. ... Woodrow Charles Herman (May 16, 1913 – October 29, 1987), better known as Woody Herman, was an American jazz clarinetist, alto and soprano saxophonist, singer, and big band leader. ... Stanley Gayetsky (February 2, 1927 in Philadelphia – June 6, 1991 in Malibu, California), usually known by his stage name Stan Getz, was an American jazz musician. ... For other uses, see Bossa nova (disambiguation). ...

As a result of its prominence in American jazz, the instrument has also featured prominently in other genres. The tenor is extremely common in rhythm and blues music and has a part to play in rock and roll and more recent rock music as well as Afro-American, Latin American, Afro-Caribbean, and African music. It has also been used on occasion by many post-punk and experimental bands throughout the UK and Europe in the 1980s, sometimes atonally. For other uses, see Rhythm and blues (disambiguation). ... Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... For other uses, see Rock music (disambiguation). ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Latin American music, sometimes simply called Latin music, includes the music of all countries in Latin America and comes in many varieties, from the simple, rural conjunto music of northern Mexico to the sophisticated habanera of Cuba, from the symphonies of Heitor Villa-Lobos to the simple and moving Andean... A poster of African Reparation, Reconciliation and Restoration Conference The dispersion of Africans during and after the trans-Atlantic slave trade and others enroute to India as slaves and source of labor. ... Some musical genres of Northern Africa, Northeast Africa and the islands off the East African coast share both traditional African and Middle Eastern features. ...


The tenor saxophone requires a slightly larger mouthpiece, reed, and ligature than the alto. The mouthpiece of a woodwind instrument is that part of the instrument which is placed partly in the players mouth. ... A reed is a thin strip of material which vibrates to make music. ... Two Selmer C85 120 mouthpieces with ligatures. ...

Extended Ranges

On all saxophones, but especially tenor, the use of extended registers is common. Famous tenor saxophonists, John Coltrane, Michael Brecker, James Haulik, Sonny Rollins, Lenny Pickett, etc., use a register called the Altissimo. The Altissimo consists of notes higher than high F. Notes in altissimo go on forever until they are inaudible, but they are from high F#, G (Extremely Hard), G# (Extremely Hard), A, Bb, B, C, C#, D, Eb, E, F. It can go up at least one more octave. On tenor you can also go below low Bb, but you need to play low Bb and tilt the bell into your knee and it will be a low A. “Coltrane” redirects here. ... Michael Brecker (March 29, 1949 – January 13th, 2007) was a popular US jazz saxophonist and composer. ... Theodore Walter Sonny Rollins (born September 7, 1930 in New York City) is an American jazz tenor saxophonist. ... Lenny Pickett (born 1954) is an American tenor saxophonist, composer, arranger, music director, and teacher. ...

Prominent musicians

Some famous tenor saxophonists are:

  Results from FactBites:
HyperMusic -- Musical Instruments: Saxophone (678 words)
Although saxophones are built in different keys and sizes, each uses the same fingerings, allowing saxophone players to transfer from instrument to instrument with ease.
The saxophone was invented to be a bridge between the woodwind and brass sections, and to boost the sound of the woodwind section in military bands.
However, the saxophone is classified as a member of the woodwind family because of its flute-like key system and the use of a reed.
  More results at FactBites »



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