Sopranino saxophone

Last updated

Sopranino saxophone
Orsi Sopranino Saxophone.jpg
Orsi curved sopranino saxophone (c. 2000)
Woodwind instrument
Classification
Hornbostel–Sachs classification 422.212-71
(Single-reeded aerophone with keys)
Inventor(s) Adolphe Sax
Developed28 June 1846 [1]
Playing range
Sax range.svg

In E: sounds a minor third higher than written.
Sounding: Sounding range of sopranino saxophone.png
Related instruments

Military band family:


Orchestral family:


Other saxophones:

Musicians
More articles or information

The sopranino saxophone is one of the smallest members of the saxophone family. It is tuned in the key of E, and sounds an octave higher than the alto saxophone. The sopranino saxophone has a sweet sound and although it is one of the least common of the saxophones in regular use today, it is still being produced by several of the major musical manufacturing companies. Due to their small size, sopraninos are not usually curved like other saxophones. Orsi, however, does make curved sopranino saxophones.

Top to bottom: a curved E sopranino saxophone, a straight E sopranino saxophone, a C soprano saxophone, and a B soprano saxophone. SopraninoSax2.jpg
Top to bottom: a curved E sopranino saxophone, a straight E sopranino saxophone, a C soprano saxophone, and a B soprano saxophone.

The original patented saxophone family, as developed by Adolphe Sax, included sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass, contrabass, and subcontrabass instruments (although he never built the last). Since the late 20th century, however, a B piccolo, or sopranissimo saxophone (called soprillo, and tuned a fifth above the sopranino) and a B subcontrabass instrument (called tubax, also made in C) have been developed by the German instrument maker Benedikt Eppelsheim.

The most notable use of the sopranino is in the orchestral work Boléro by Maurice Ravel. Although Ravel called for a soprano saxophone in F, this member of the "concert" family of saxophones never gained popularity and is no longer built. In recent years, rock band Violent Femmes have incorporated sopranino saxophone into the band's live performances as well as their newest albums. Saxophonist Blaise Garza plays a curved sopranino saxophone in the song "I'm Not Gonna Cry" off of the 2019 album "Hotel Last Resort." [2] Outside of classical and rock music, notable jazz and improvising musicians using this instrument include Carla Marciano, James Carter, Anthony Braxton, La Monte Young, Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, Paul McCandless, Lol Coxhill, Roger Frampton, Hans Koller,[ citation needed ] Wolfgang Fuchs, Douglas Ewart, Larry Ochs, Vinny Golia, Thomas Chapin, Martin Archer, Jon Irabagon, [3] Massimo Falascone, Gianni Gebbia, Garth Hudson (seen playing one in the film The Last Waltz ) and Ian Anderson (credited with having played the instrument on the Jethro Tull albums A Passion Play and War Child ). The sopranino saxophone is also used in the six-member Nuclear Whales Saxophone Orchestra, currently played by Kelley Hart Jenkins.

Being the highest-pitched representative of the original saxophone family, the sopranino sax is notable for its expressive sound.

Related Research Articles

Saxophone type of musical instrument of the woodwind family

The saxophone is a family of woodwind instruments usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece. Although most saxophones are made from brass, they are categorized as woodwind instruments, because sound is produced by an oscillating reed rather than lips vibrating in a mouthpiece cup as with the brass instrument family. As with the other woodwind instruments, the pitch of the note being played is controlled by covering holes in the body tube to control the resonant frequency of the air column by changing the effective length of the tube. The player covers or uncovers the holes by pressing keys.

Tuba Type of musical instrument of the brass family

The tuba is the lowest-pitched musical instrument in the brass family. As with all brass instruments, the sound is produced by lip vibration, or a buzz, into a large mouthpiece. It first appeared in the mid-19th century, making it one of the newer instruments in the modern orchestra and concert band. The tuba largely replaced the ophicleide. Tuba is Latin for "trumpet".

Sarrusophone

The sarrusophones are a family of transposing woodwind musical instruments patented and placed into production by Pierre-Louis Gautrot in 1856. Originally designed as double-reed instruments, single-reed mouthpieces were later developed, at least for some of the larger sizes. It was named after the French bandmaster Pierre-Auguste Sarrus (1813–1876) who is credited with the concept of the instrument, though it is not clear whether Sarrus benefited financially from this association. The instrument was intended to serve as a replacement in wind bands for the oboe and bassoon which, at that time, lacked the carrying power required for outdoor band music.

Contrabass refers to several musical instruments of very low pitch—generally one octave below bass register instruments. While the term most commonly refers to the double bass, many other instruments in the contrabass register exist.

Contrabass clarinet

The contrabass clarinet and contra-alto clarinet are the two largest members of the clarinet family that are in common usage. Modern contrabass clarinets are pitched in B, sounding two octaves lower than the common B soprano clarinet and one octave lower than the B bass clarinet. Some contrabass clarinet models have a range extending down to low (written) E, while others can play down to low D or further to low C. This range, C(3) – E(6), sounds B(0) – D(4). Some early instruments were pitched in C; Arnold Schoenberg's Fünf Orchesterstücke specifies a contrabass clarinet in A, but there is no evidence of such an instrument ever having existed.

Alto saxophone Type of saxophone

The alto saxophone, also referred to as the alto sax or simply the alto, is a member of the saxophone family of woodwind instruments invented by Belgian instrument designer Adolphe Sax in the 1840s, and patented in 1846. It is pitched in E, and is smaller than the tenor, but larger than the soprano. The alto sax is the most common saxophone and is commonly used in popular music, concert bands, chamber music, solo repertoire, military bands, marching bands, and jazz. The fingerings of the different saxophones are all the same so a saxophone player can play any type of saxophone.

Tenor saxophone

The tenor saxophone is a medium-sized member of the saxophone family, a group of instruments invented by Adolphe Sax in the 1840s. The tenor and the alto are the two most commonly used saxophones. The tenor is pitched in the key of B (while the alto is pitched in the key of E), and written as a transposing instrument in the treble clef, sounding an octave and a major second lower than the written pitch. Modern tenor saxophones which have a high F key have a range from A2 to E5 (concert) and are therefore pitched one octave below the soprano saxophone. People who play the tenor saxophone are known as "tenor saxophonists", "tenor sax players", or "saxophonists".

Baritone saxophone

The baritone saxophone or "bari sax" is one of the larger members of the saxophone family of woodwind instruments, only being smaller than the bass, contrabass and subcontrabass saxophones. It is the lowest-pitched saxophone in common use. The baritone saxophone uses a mouthpiece, reed, and ligature in order to produce sound. It is larger than the tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, which are the other commonly found members of the family, and it is pitched one octave below the alto. The baritone saxophone is commonly used in concert bands, chamber music, military bands, and jazz. It also is occasionally employed in rock bands and marching bands, though less frequently than other saxophones due to its size, weight, and cost.

Soprano saxophone

The soprano saxophone is a higher-register variety of the saxophone, a woodwind instrument invented in the 1840s. The soprano is the third smallest member of the saxophone family, which consists of the soprillo, sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass, contrabass saxophone and tubax. Soprano saxophones are the smallest and highest saxophone in common use.

Subcontrabass saxophone

The subcontrabass saxophone is a type of saxophone that Adolphe Sax patented and planned to build but never constructed. Sax called this imagined instrument saxophone bourdon. It is a transposing instrument pitched in B, one octave below the bass saxophone, two octaves below the tenor saxophone, and three octaves and a major second below its written pitch.

Contrabass saxophone

The contrabass saxophone is the second-lowest-pitched extant member of the saxophone family proper. It is extremely large and heavy, and is pitched in the key of E, one octave below the baritone saxophone.

Bass saxophone Wind instrument in B♭

The bass saxophone is one of the largest members of the saxophone family—larger than the more commonly encountered baritone saxophone. The modern bass saxophone is a transposing instrument pitched in B, an octave below the tenor saxophone. The bass saxophone is not a commonly used instrument, but it is heard on some 1920s jazz recordings; in free jazz; in saxophone choirs; and occasionally in concert bands.

C melody saxophone

The C melody saxophone is a saxophone pitched in the key of C, one whole tone above the B-flat tenor saxophone. In the UK it is sometimes referred to as a "C tenor", and in France as a "tenor en ut". The C melody was part of the series of saxophones pitched in C and F intended by the instrument's inventor, Adolphe Sax, for orchestral use. The instrument enjoyed popularity in the early 1900s, perhaps most prominently used by Rudy Wiedoeft and Frankie Trumbauer, but is now uncommon.

Mezzo-soprano saxophone

The mezzo-soprano saxophone, sometimes called the F alto saxophone, is an instrument in the saxophone family. It is in the key of F, pitched a whole tone above the alto saxophone. Its size and the sound are similar to the E alto, although the upper register sounds more like a B soprano. Very few mezzo-sopranos exist—they were only produced in 1928 and 1929 by the C.G. Conn company. They were not popular and did not sell widely, as their production coincided with the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression. Harsh economic conditions forced Conn to reduce the range of saxophones they produced to the most popular models.

Yanagisawa Wind Instruments

Yanagisawa Wind Instruments Co., Ltd. is a Japanese woodwind instrument manufacturing company known for its range of professional grade saxophones. Along with Yamaha they are one of the leading manufacturers of saxophones in their country of origin. The company currently manufactures sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones.

London Saxophonic is a saxophone ensemble begun by Gareth Brady, Will Gregory and Simon Haram, while they were studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. They made their debut in 1994 on Atlantic Records with Sax Pax for a Sax, a collaboration with Moondog, who composed all of the works on the album. In 1998, they went to the now-defunct label Tring with a Michael Nyman retrospective titled An Eye for a Difference, produced by David Roach.

Reed aerophones is one of the categories of musical instruments found in the Hornbostel-Sachs system of musical instrument classification. In order to produce sound with these Aerophones the player's breath is directed against a lamella or pair of lamellae which periodically interrupt the airflow and cause the air to be set in motion.

<i>L-R-G / The Maze / S II Examples</i> 1978 studio album by Roscoe Mitchell

L-R-G / The Maze / S II Examples is an album by American jazz saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell recorded in 1978 and released originally as a double LP on Nessa Records. It was reissued in 1989 as a single CD.

<i>Hotel Last Resort</i> 2019 studio album by Violent Femmes

Hotel Last Resort is the tenth studio album by American rock band Violent Femmes. The album was released on July 26, 2019, by Add It Up Productions and PIAS Recordings.

References

  1. "June 28, 1846: Parisian Inventor Patents Saxophone". Wired.com. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  2. Hotel Last Resort - Violent Femmes | Credits | AllMusic , retrieved 30 June 2020
  3. Ackermann, Karl (1 September 2015). "Jon Irabagon: Inaction is An Action album review @ All About Jazz". All About Jazz. Retrieved 30 June 2020.