Simply referred to as sax, the saxophone is a woodwind musical instrument. It is commonly made from high quality brass. It is played using a single-reed mouthpiece, which is similar to that of a clarinet. In 1841, a Belgian musician and designer of musical instruments named Adolphe Sax invented the sax, with the goal of creating a versatile brass instrument and loudest amongst the different woodwind instruments. Additionally, there are other interesting things to learn about it including the different dimensions of saxophones.
The Dimensions of Saxophones
The saxophone comes in various forms, one of the most common of which is the tenor saxophone. It measures about 28 inches high and 18 inches wide. The sopranino is considered the smallest type of sax, the height of which is approximately 7 inches only.
In addition, there is also an alto saxophone, the average length of which is 25.2 inches, while the average width is 4.72 inches. Meanwhile, the length of a soprano saxophone is 27.56 inches, with an average width of about 7.87 inches. In terms of weight, one of the heaviest is the baritone saxophone, which weighs about 13 to 14 pounds.
Additional Facts and Other Interesting Details
Most saxophones are usually made out of high quality brass. However, they are classified more as woodwind instruments because they make use of oscillating reeds that produce sound waves. From 1920, almost all saxophones feature key touches, which are usually made from materials like mother of pearl or plastic. Phosphor bronze is also used to make saxophones because it produces slightly varied tonal qualities. Some of the known manufacturers of this particular kind of sax include Bauhaus Walstein and Yanagisawa.
When it comes to designs, the soprano saxophone and the sopranino are the simplest, which are usually straight. In the early parts of the 1840s, Sax decided to apply for a patent spanning 15 years. This decision came after he was able to construct different kinds of saxophones with varying sizes. The patent eventually expired in 1866. After that, instrument manufacturers and saxophonists decided to implement their very own enhancements to the key work and designs of sax.
After a saxophone is completed, the bare brass is usually coated with a thin layer of colored or clear acrylic lacquer. As an alternative, silver plate can also be used. The main purpose of this is to prevent oxidation from damaging the brass. Add to that, it also gives the instrument a longer lasting shiny appearance. Other possible coatings include gold and nickel.