Alto Saxophone, Woodwind Instruments

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Woodwind Musical Instrument – ALTO SAXOPHONE (ALTO SAX)

The Alto Saxophone is a woodwind musical instrument belonging to the family of Saxophones.

History of Alto Sax

The Saxophone was invented in 1841 by Adolphe Sax, an instrument designer of Belgian descent. Since their invention, the Sax have occupied an important position in classical compositions.

Different Types of Saxophone

The Alto Sax is one of the 6 main sizes of Sax identified and widely accepted during the 1850’s. The others include the Sopranino, Soprano, Tenor, Baritone and Bass.

Look of the Alto Sax

The alto sax falls somewhere in the middle as far as its size is concerned. While it is larger than the Soprano, the alto sax is smaller in size than the tenor sax.

The Alto Saxophone is a powerful and versatile woodwind instrument that has a flared bell and extends largely from the mouth piece to the bell. The most noticeable feature of the alto sax is its upper section which bends beautifully at right angles. Such a bend helps the player to hold and play music comfortably.

If we were to talk about the popularity of the Saxophone, we could conclude that the alto sax and the tenor are the 2 most popular varieties of the saxophone. Classical compositions have been composed especially for these two types of saxophones.

Some Famous Jazz Musicians, Composers and Alto Saxophonists

Some of the earliest Jazz musicians who popularised the Alto Sax were

  • Johnny Hodges
  • Jimmy Dorsey
  • Phil Woods
  • Eric Dolphy, etc.

Famous classical musicians who played tbe alto sax include

  • Larry Teal
  • Donald Sinta
  • Marcel
  • Mule, etc.

Other prominent names in the history of Alto Sax are

  • Alexander Glazunov and
  • Jacques Ibert

If we were to look at its history, we would find that the alto sax has been most popularly used in Jazz and marching band music.

Want to know more about Woodwind Musical Instruments? Click Here

Do you play or teach the Alto Sax?

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