December 4, 2023

History of the saxophone

The saxophone was invented by Adolphe Sax in Belgium in the mid-19th century. Sax, a musical instrument maker, wanted to create an instrument that would combine the qualities of wood and brass. Around 1840, he succeeded in designing the first saxophone, a brass instrument with a clarinet-like mouthpiece and an oboe-like conical body.
December 3, 2023

What is a jam session?

A jam session or improvisation session is an informal, improvised session where musicians from different backgrounds play together in total spontaneity. It's a shared experience where artists come together without prior rehearsal or a musical score, giving free rein to their creativity and virtuosity.
November 26, 2023

Jazz's great periods

Jazz, born in New Orleans in the late 19th century, is a blend of African-American and European cultures, with blues and ragtime as major influences. The first musicians played brass, wind and percussion, taking advantage of surplus military instruments after the Civil War.
November 22, 2023

The Saxophone in classical music: difficult beginnings

The saxophone's identity is deeply rooted in jazz, but the instrument has also flirted with classical music. But is its near-absence from the symphony orchestra really due to its sound, or are there other, more complex reasons for this sidelining?
November 18, 2023

The first jazz waltz ever recorded

In 1936, jazz purists were about to be shaken by an experiment that would go down in history: the jazz waltz. A 3/4 compositional style was born, shaking up the world of traditional jazz which, let's not forget, was still in its infancy: this was still just 20 years after the first recordings became available. Its name? "Waltzing the Blues". At the heart of this fusion was Benny Carter, playing tenor saxophone and trumpet on the recording.
November 12, 2023

History of the clarinet

The clarinet is descended from the chalumeau, a wooden instrument resembling a recorder with a reed, widely used in the Middle Ages. It was Johann Christoph Denner, a German instrument maker, who brought major improvements to this instrument, notably by adding a bell and two keys, thus transforming the chalumeau into a clarinet around 1700.
October 18, 2023

Are there any special instructions for looking after reeds in different climates or weather conditions?

In humid climates, it's essential to keep reeds in a dry, well-ventilated environment to prevent mold growth. In dry climates, reed humidification systems are recommended to maintain optimum humidity levels. Inspect and rotate reeds regularly to ensure even exposure to air and to avoid warping.