What is a Tenor Saxophone?


The one who invented the first saxophone was named Aldophe Sax, and his father, Charles, was a maker of musical instruments. When Sax was young, he studied clarinet and flute. The way his father created musical instruments left him with a very deep and impressive interest in making instruments. As a result, he created a single-reed instrument constructed from metal that has a conical bore and was capable of blowing more than one octave. Later on, he first showed his invention to a composer named Hector Berlioz. Berlioz found it very interesting and was impressed on how unique it was.

After a while, Aldophe Sax obtained patent for the saxophone family with 14 variations: E flat sopranino, F sopranino, B flat soprano, C soprano, E flat alto, F alto, B flat tenor, C tenor, E flat baritone, B flat bass, C bass, E flat contrabass and F contrabass. And that’s where the first tenor was created.

Tenor Saxophone is a medium sized member of the saxophone family, invented by Sax in 1846. The saxophone was intended to form a tonal link between the clarinets and brass instruments found in military bands, which is the area where Saxophones considered sorely lacking. It was designed to provide the best of both brass and woodwind instruments. The brass material gave it the volume and brightness of a brass instrument, while the reed gave it a soft-flowy air like the other woodwinds. It is pitched in the key of Bb, unlike concert instruments such as flutes and pianos. The tenor is used if many different ensembles such as concert bands, marching bands and jazz ensembles. It also uses larger mouthpiece, reed and ligature than alto and soprano saxophone since it’s larger. The saxophone family did not really change too much over time: they are all made out of brass, sometimes coated with nickel or silver and they produce sound through a mouth piece and a single reed.

Sources: http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/saxacoustics.html