(Single-reeded aerophone with keys)
|Developed||28 June 1846|
In B♭: sounds a minor seventh higher than written.
Military band family:
The sopranissimo or soprillo saxophone is the smallest member of the saxophone family. It is pitched in B♭, one octave above the soprano saxophone. Because of the difficulties in building such a small instrument—the soprillo is 12 inches long, 13 inches with the mouthpiece—it is only recently that a true sopranissimo saxophone has been produced. The keywork only extends to a written high E♭ (rather than F, F#, or sometimes G, like most saxophones) and the upper octave key has to be placed in the mouthpiece.
The extremely small mouthpiece requires a small and focused embouchure, making the soprillo difficult to play, particularly in its upper register. There is very little market demand for soprillos, reducing the economy of scale and making the soprillo more expensive than more common saxophones like the alto or tenor.
- "June 28, 1846: Parisian Inventor Patents Saxophone". Wired.com. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- Website dedicated to the soprillo
- Soprillo page from Benedikt Eppelsheim site
- The National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain (NSC) Hear the soprillo in action with other members of the saxophone family
- Strange saxes page at the web site of Jay C. Easton; includes pictures and sound clips of his soprillo.
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