What is a jam session?December 3, 2023
Ambassador Interview - Daniel BelloviFebruary 13, 2024
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.
Over the years, Sax perfected his invention by developing different types and sizes of saxophone, from sopranos to basses. At first, the saxophone was mainly used in military and marching bands. Over the course of the 20th century, however, it gained in popularity across a variety of musical styles, including jazz, rock, and classical.
Today, the saxophone is an iconic instrument, appreciated for its warm, expressive sound. It is an integral part of many musical genres, played in orchestras and popular music groups alike.
Creation of the instrument
In 1840, Adolphe Sax developed the saxophone with the aim of creating an instrument that could combine the characteristics of brass and woodwind instruments. He patented the first saxophone in 1846.
Integration into military bands
From the 1840s onwards, the saxophone was widely used in French military bands, thanks to its sonic power and ability to stand out from other instruments.
Popularity in jazz and popular music
In the early 20th century, the saxophone grew in popularity in jazz and popular music. Musicians such as Sidney Bechet, Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young helped popularize the instrument worldwide.
Use in symphony orchestras
The saxophone was very gradually integrated into symphony orchestras, thanks in particular to the compositions of Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy, who used it in a number of their works.
Development of new saxophone families
Over time, new saxophone families were developed, including soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, and bass saxophones, expanding the instrument's sound palette.
Use in jazz and contemporary music
The saxophone has become one of the emblematic instruments in jazz, and continues to be widely used in popular and contemporary music worldwide.