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200th Anniversary of the Inventor of the Saxophone

200th Anniversary of the Inventor of the Saxophone
200th Anniversary of the Inventor of the Saxophone
Adolphe Sax, the man who invented the Saxophone, would have been 200 this year!

Here are 9 facts you may not know about him and his inventions.

By age six, he could drill the body of a clarinet, learning his skills from his father, a cabinet-maker who also made instruments for the Dutch army.

At 15, he invented an improved version of the bass clarinet which was widely adopted.

In music school, he challenged another musician to a bass clarinet 'duel', and won.

When Sax moved from Belgium to Paris, he lived in his shed workshop for a while.

His first range of instruments were calles 'saxhorns', similar to flugel horns, bass tubas and euphoniums today.

Early saxhorns (pre-1859) were made to match the pitch that ensembles used. After 1859, pitch was standardised in France.

The patent for the saxophone was obtained in 1846, but it's thought that the instrument was toured around trade shows before then.

Sax was made bankrupt three times, funding lawsuits to fight competitors when his 10-year patent ran out.

There's an annual international Adolphe Sax competition that takes place in his birthplace of Dinant, Belgium.

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By Alice Thomson

Posted on 13 Aug 2014 13:51 to category : Instruments News

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