Posts Tagged 'saxophone'

10 Fun Facts About the Saxophone

By Carolyn Walter

A relatively new-kid-on-the block as instruments go, the saxophone was invented less than 200 years ago! Here is a short sampling of facts about this versatile instrument:

1. While typically constructed of brass, the saxophone is actually a member of the woodwind family.  The sax earns this classification because of the way sound is produced: a player’s embouchure creates an airtight seal over the mouthpiece, vibrating a single reed in the manner of a clarinet.  Brass instruments, by contrast, are played by buzzing one’s lips on the rim of the mouthpiece.

2.  Despite the previous statement that saxes are usually made of brass, there are exceptions. Continue reading ’10 Fun Facts About the Saxophone’

Tips for Woodwind Doublers

By Carolyn Walter
Woodwind “doubling,” or performing on multiple members of the single reed, flute or double reed family, is a fairly common practice.  From an arranger’s standpoint, utilizing players who can double on multiple woodwinds vastly expands the available stylistic and timbral palette available, especially when there can only be a finite number of players in an ensemble.  It may seem a bit unfair, but doubling is even expected in certain musical subcultures.  For example, a member of the sax section in a jazz big band is often expected to pick up a clarinet or flute for portions of a number. In some cases they may be asked to cover a whole song on the alternate instrument.  When a woodwind specialist works in a musical theater pit orchestra situation, their music will sometimes call for the use of not only clarinets, flutes and saxes but oboe, english horn or bassoon as well. If an artist is already skilled at one woodwind, it is often the case that Continue reading ‘Tips for Woodwind Doublers’

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