Sopranino saxophone

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Sopranino saxophone
Orsi Sopranino Saxophone.jpg
Orsi curved sopranino saxophone (c. 2000)
Classification

Wind, woodwind

Aerophone
Hornbostel–Sachs classification 422.212-71
(Single-reeded aerophone with keys)
Inventor(s) Adolphe Sax
Developed 28th 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

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 above the alto saxophone. This saxophone has a sweet sound and although the sopranino 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 saxes. Orsi, however, does make curved sopranino saxophones.

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 latter). 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, although they are, technically, not true saxophones. Thus, the E sopranino, originally the smallest size of saxophone, can now be considered the second smallest.

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 in existence. Outside of classical 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, Massimo Falascone, and Ian Anderson (credited with having played the instrument on the Jethro Tull album A Passion Play). The sopranino saxophone is also used in the six-member Nuclear Whales Saxophone Orchestra, currently played by Kelley Hart Jenkins.

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


Being the highest representative of the original saxophone family, the sopranino sax is notable for its juicy and expressive sound, reminiscent of the sonority of the mini clarinet, but with a more tender tone, free from the sharper sound inherent in the mini clarinet.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "June 28, 1846: Parisian Inventor Patents Saxophone". Wired.com. Retrieved 14 February 2011.