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The saxophone is probably the most popular of all the wind
instruments, for everybody loves its mellow, sonorous tones
and is familiar with it from hearing dance bands and many
other kinds of music in which it plays a leading part.
It is not a difficult instrument to play, and beginners can
usually learn to play the scale in an hour or two. Within a few
days the average person should be able to play popular music
and any other melodies he has a mind to. It is partly because
of the ease with which it can be learned that so many young
people have taken up the saxophone. Many of them play in
orchestras and earn a good deal of money, as well as having
a good time.
While the saxophone has reached its greatest popularity in
the United States, it was invented by a Belgian named Adolphe
Sax, who named it for himself. Sax perfected his first instru-
ment about the year. 1845.
Saxophones are available today with six different ranges of notes.
The highest is the soprano Bb saxophone. Next in order
come the Alto in Eb, the melody tenor in C, the tenor in Bb,
the Baritone in Eb, and the Bass in Bb. The saxophone that is
most widely used and played is the Alto saxophone in Eb,
which is the one described in this chapter.
When we say that this saxophone is in Eb, this means that
when you read and play the note C, your saxophone will give
out with the note Eb next below the C you are playing.
Points on Playing the Saxophone
The saxophone has a strap attached to it, which goes around