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The alto saxophone, also referred to as the alto sax, is a member of the saxophone family of woodwind instruments invented by Belgian instrument designer Adolphe Sax in the 1840s, and patented in 1846. It is pitched in E, and is smaller than the tenor, but larger than the soprano. The alto sax is the most common saxophone and is commonly used in concert bands, chamber music, solo repertoire, military bands, marching bands, and jazz (such as big bands, jazz combos, swing music). The fingerings of the different saxophones are all the same so a saxophone player can play any type of saxophone.

Alto saxophone
Yamaha Saxophone YAS-62.tif
Woodwind instrument
Classification
Hornbostel–Sachs classification 422.212-71
(Single-reeded aerophone with keys)
Inventor(s) Adolphe Sax
Developed 28 June 1846[1]
Playing range
Sax range.svg

In E: sounds a major sixth lower than written. Most modern alto saxophones can reach a high F
Related instruments

Military band family:


Orchestral family:


Other saxophones:

Musicians
More articles

Contents

RangeEdit

The range of the alto saxophone is from concert D3 (the D below F—see Scientific pitch notation) to concert A5 (or A5 on altos with a high F key). As with most types of saxophone, the standard written range is B3 to F6 (or F6).[2] Above that, the altissimo register begins at F6 (or G6) and extends upwards. The saxophone's altissimo register is more difficult to control than that of other woodwinds and is usually only expected from advanced players. By covering or partially covering the bell of the saxophone when playing B3, it is possible for the alto saxophone to reach A3 as well[citation needed].

Alto saxophonistsEdit

ManufacturersEdit

Some companies that currently produce saxophones are Buffet Crampon, KHS/Jupiter, Conn-Selmer, Selmer Paris, Yamaha, Leblanc/Vito, Keilwerth, Cannonball and Yanagisawa. New alto saxophones range in price between €250 ($281.05) for lower quality student models to over €6000 ($6745.20) for professional models.

In classical musicEdit

The alto saxophone has a large classical solo repertoire that includes solos with orchestra, piano and wind symphony. Two of the most well-known solo compositions are Jacques Ibert's "Concertino da Camera" and Alexander Glazunov's "Concerto in E Flat major".

Also, the alto saxophone is part of the standard instrumentation of concert bands and saxophone quartets.

The alto saxophone is also occasionally used in orchestral compositions. Several orchestral examples are listed below.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "June 28, 1846: Parisian Inventor Patents Saxophone". Wired.com. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  2. ^ "Range of the Alto Saxophone". Library.thinkquest.org. Archived from the original on 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2011-01-18.