Starting making own musical instruments at 14, he invented a whole new family of musical instruments!!!
Posted December 13th, 1901
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Antoine-Joseph "Adolphe" Sax (6 November 1814 – 7 February 1894) was a Belgian musical instrument designer and musician who played the flute and clarinet, and is well known for having invented the saxophone. He also invented the saxotrombasaxhorn and saxtuba. Antoine-Joseph Sax was born in Dinant, Belgium. His father, Charles-Joseph Sax, was an instrument designer himself, who made several changes to the design of the horn. Adolphe began to make his own instruments at an early age, entering two of his flutesand aclarinet into a competition at the age of 15. He subsequently studied those two instruments at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.


Having left the school, Sax began to experiment with new instrument designs, while his father continued to make conventional instruments to bring money into the household. 


Adolphe's first important invention was an improvement of the bass clarinetdesign, which he patented at the age of 24. Sax relocated permanently to Paris in 1841 and began working on a new set of instruments exhibited there in 1844. These were valved bugles, and although he had not invented the instrument itself, his examples were so much more successful than those of his rivals that they became known as saxhorns. They range in approximately seven different sizes, and paved the path to the creation of theflugelhorn. Saxhorns are widely used today in concert bands and sometimes in orchestras. The saxhorn also laid the groundwork for the moderneuphonium.


Sax also developed the saxotromba family, valved brass instruments with narrower bore than the saxhorns, in 1845, though they survived only briefly.


Saxhorn instruments spread rapidly throughout the world. The saxhorn valves were accepted as state of the art and are largely unchanged today. The advances made by Adolphe Sax were soon followed by the British brass band movement which exclusively adopted the saxhorn range. The Jedforest Instrumental Band formed in 1854 and The Hawick Saxhorn Band formed in 1855, within the Scottish Borders, a decade after saxhorn models became available.


The period around 1840 saw Sax inventing the clarinette-bourdon, an early unsuccessful design ofcontrabass clarinet. He developed around this time the instrument for which he is now best known, the saxophone, patented on June 28, 1846. The saxophone was invented for use in both orchestras and concert bands. Composer Hector Berlioz wrote approvingly of the new instrument in 1842. By 1846 Sax had designed, on paper, a full range of saxophones (from sopranino to subcontrabass). Although they never became standard orchestral instruments, the saxophones made his reputation and secured him a job, teaching at the Paris Conservatoire in 1857.


Sax continued to make instruments later in life and presided over a new saxophone class at the Paris Conservatoire. Rival instrument makers attacked the legitimacy of his patents and mounted a long campaign of litigation against Sax and his company. He was driven into bankruptcy in 1856 and again in 1873.


Sax suffered from lip cancer between 1853 and 1858 but made a full recovery. He died in 1894 in Paris and was interred in section 5 (Avenue de Montebello) at the Cimetière de Montmartre in Paris.


The saxophone is a family of woodwind instruments. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with asingle-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. Sax wanted to create a group or series of instruments that would be the most powerful and vocal of the woodwinds, and the most adaptive of the brass—that would fill the vacant middle ground between the two sections. The series pitched in B♭ and E♭, designed for military bands, has proved extremely popular and most saxophones encountered today are from this series. Instruments from the so-called "orchestral" series, pitched in C and F, never gained a foothold, and the B♭ and E♭ instruments have now replaced the C and F instruments in classical music. The saxophone is commonly used inclassical music (such as concert bandschamber music, and solo repertoire), military bands,marching bands, and jazz (such as big bandsjazz combos, reggae/ ska bands, etc.). Saxophone players are called saxophonists.


The saxotromba is a valved brasswind instrument invented by the Belgian instrument-maker Adolphe Sax around 1844. It was designed for the mounted bands of the French military, probably as a substitute for the French horn. The saxotrombas comprised a family of half-tube instruments of different pitches. By about 1867 the saxotromba was no longer being used by the French military, but specimens of various sizes continued to be manufactured until the early decades of the twentieth century, during which time the instrument made sporadic appearances in the opera house, both in the pit and on stage. The instrument is often confused with the closely related saxhorn.


The saxhorn is a valved brass instrument with a conical bore and deep cup-shapedmouthpiece. The sound has a characteristic mellow quality, and blends well with other brass.


The saxtuba is an obsolete valved brasswind instrument conceived by the Belgian instrument-maker Adolphe Sax around 1845. The design of the instrument was inspired by the ancient Roman cornu and tuba. The saxtubas, which comprised a family of half-tube and whole-tube instruments of varying pitches, were first employed in Fromental Halévy's opera Le Juif errant(The Wandering Jew) in 1852. Their only other public appearance of note was at a military ceremony on the Champ de Mars in Paris in the same year.


Sax Revolutions: The Adolphe Sax's life(glompse)


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