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tapered bore[edit]

Is that the same as a conical bore?Jeffmatt 07:18, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes, tapered/conical throughout the length of the instrument.


I've changed it so it says conical bore instead of tapered. I believe that all other pages use the word conical instead of tapered, and so changed this one for consistency. -- (talk) 03:44, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Instrument discrepancies[edit]

Other Googled sources of "Saxhorn" appear to contradict this article, as they do each other.

I do not know who is right on say whether the Euphonium or Flugel Horn are Saxhorns.

E.g. See: - Which states:- "Some consider the euphonium to be a B flat tenor tuba; others claim it to be a tenor or baritone Fluegelhorn; still others have mistakenly claimed that the euphonium was a Sax invention, or a derivation of a Sax instrument."

Perhaps this is a matter of ambiguous language depending on Country origin of each authority.

I'm interested in the GB context of Saxhorn, therefore as the original article demonstrates, please define in context of country.

Thanks in advance.

Sax could not have invented the Fluegelhorn. It's existence has been noted since the beginning of the 18th century. The Fluegelhorn is not a Saxhorn. Saxhorns are valved bugles that resemble the cornet in profile...Circa 1846, German bandmasters began referring to the new E flat soprano Saxhorn as a Flügelhorn, while in continental Europe there was an F or E flat soprano instrument referred to as the petite bugle in France, and the pikkolo in Germany. The soprano Saxhorn, however, is not a Fluegel instrument, as it is not possessed of today's universally accepted Fluegel characteristics. The mouthpiece, bore profile and bell-size of the Saxhorn family of instruments are of valved bugle (cornet) configuration.

So, basically, the fluegelhorn (I love saying "fluegelhorn"; it's almost as much fun to say it as to play it) isn't a saxhorn -- but there's a saxhorn that's been incorrectly referred to as a fluegelhorn. (Or, another way to put it might be that you're correct -- it's a matter of ambiguous language depending upon the country of origin of each authority, the German bandmasters inserting some confusion.)

Euphonium has a discussion about the origins of the instrument; apparently there's considerable debate. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 04:00, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

According to , what we refer to today as a flugelhorn is actually a soprano saxhorn known as the Infantry Saxhorn. I might add it as a reference. but I'm not entirely sure how reliable of a site it is. TrumpetMan202 (talk) 14:14, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Al's Horn pages are admirable fan pages but are neither scholarly nor complete. The saxhorn discussion in various editorial revisions has consumed many bytes on the various Wikipedia horn pages. Sax clearly was the first major manufacturer of a full line of predomniately conical valved brass instruments. Whether this makes one or another modern horn a Saxhorn seems to be a Theseus boat kinda question, since saxhorns neither mate nor reproduce, Adolphe Sax has gone on to that great brass band in the sky, and designs have changed over the years. Probably we should describe what saxhorns were, which is well documented, and stop asserting things about modern designs and their relationship to saxhorns, which may or may not ever have been exhaustively researched, until such a time as one of us who has encountered such research can summarize the research accurately. Jaxdelaguerre (talk) 14:50, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Difference between instruments[edit]

What is the difference between the modern `Tenor/Baritone in B-flat' and the modern `Baritone/Bass in B-flat'? I'm asking partly out of curiosity and partly because anyone who knows should explain it on the page. (talk) 20:49, 1 March 2009 (UTC)


So, what is the range of these things and what clef are these instruments written in? Gingermint (talk) 03:11, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Good point, have edited based on your comment (JacquesDelaguerre (talk) 16:14, 4 September 2010 (UTC))

On removing "factoids"[edit]

Jaxdelaguerre has removed a note of mine in the table because the facts are already found in other WP articles. But my note was meant to explain to someone coming to this article why if saxhorns supposedly alternate between E-flat and B-flat there are two B-flat rows in a row in the table without an intermediary E-flat row. Someone coming to this article does not necessarily know where to begin to look for an answer to this puzzling question or is not necessarily ready to investigate who knows how many articles in order to find an explanation for this. Most likely they will go away pretty confused which is exactly the contrary of what an encyclopedia article is meant to achieve. It was a short harmless note that fulfilled a useful role and I can think of no truly reasonable justification for its removal. Contact Basemetal here 15:09, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Basemetal, thanks for communicating! The most pressing problem with the modern saxhorn terminology column on the page is that nearly no one in the working music world nor even in academia applies the name "saxhorn" to any modern instruments. Also, I'm not sure your explanation actually explained the terminology! I'm an alto (sax)horn player. I know of no "bass saxhorns" in current use, yet there the name is in the "modern terminology" column. Apparently what is intended by the "modern terminology" chart is to indicate that there is a bass saxhorn an octave below the baritone/euphonium range. There would not need to be an intervening E-flat instrument. I prefer to leave it without explanation until someone can come up with a solid and credible citation that such instruments actually exist, such as a manufacturer's catalog calling them "saxhorns" and describing the range precisely. Thanks for trying to clarify, but the subject of the names and ranges of the possibly mythical "modern saxhorn" seems to defy clarification. JacquesDelaguerre (talk) 16:01, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Difference between Tenor/Baritone in B♭ and Baritone/Bass in B♭?[edit]

It has been asked before, with no answer, but inquiring minds want to know... so what'S the difference between the two B flat instruments in the table? Are they in the same pitch or an octave apart? -- megA (talk) 17:39, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Octave apart. There were two sets of "duelling" naming conventions and some of the saxhorns effectively disappeared over the past century and a half. So what we're left with in terms of common band brass instruments named according to these saxhorn conventions today is effectively is "baritone" (B below Low C) and "alto" or "tenor" (still name-confused) (E above Low C). JacquesDelaguerre (talk) 03:11, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. The whole matter, what saxhorns are and how they are related or identical to Alto/Tenor/Baritone horns is really confusing. For instance, why did Messiaen explicitly call for a B flat Bass Saxhorn in 1984? (as can be seen here, not an Euphonium or Baritone horn, as far as I see) What are the differences, if any, to Euphonium and Baritone horn? I think that and the current situation should be addressed in the article. -- megA (talk) 23:47, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
The deeper we go the more arguments we start. The issue descends into pedantry of terminology, here and on the euphonium, baritone and alto horn pages. People start arguing which modern instrument is "descended" from which saxhorn, as if they mated and reproduced. Best simply to identify the family and let persons who are intensely interested do their own original research (since the matter is not extensively treated in modern brass literature) and/or draw their own conclusions! As for Messiaen in 1964 (not 1984) he was a lover of exotic instruments. The saxhorn in question appears, if I see the video correctly, to be a bass instrument at B (below second low C). However, the truths about exotic instrumentation in classical music tend to be passed from expert to expert, so I defer to anyone more expert than myself for the correct instrumentation for this particular composition. JacquesDelaguerre (talk) 01:15, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, Messiaen made me curious about these "Saxhorns" in the first place, and I'm quite sure he didn't just think "Hey, let's add some weird exotic instrument just to impress musicologists, instead of a tenor tuba." I'm quite sure he had another reason, and I'm quite sure the reason was acoustics, not musicology. And I'm quite sure there is a difference. -- megA (talk) 22:18, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Oh, there's a difference. I did not mean to imply otherwise; I love my alto horn! The saxhorn difference is the conicalness. I mean, Mr. Sax is long gone, and these instruments have "wandered off" in design. But the basic idea is the predominately conical brass. You don't need a "saxhorn" in the trumpet range, flugelhorn was invented before Mr. Sax got busy. You don't need a "saxhorn" in low B because euphonium was developed independently of Sax. Down below that, there's the tuba family. So the only useful "saxhorn-and-saxhorn-only" left is alto in E below Middle C, the alto horn (called tenor horn in England). Messiaen apparently wanted true saxhorn sound so he specified Sax-measurement horns for his piece, thus getting, for example, a tuba-pitch bass horn that is a little more biting because the saxhorn design, being like 2/3 conical rather than 3/3 like a tuba (or orchestral horn) is a bit more cylindrical than modern tuba. More cylindrical: more biting. More conical: more mellow. That's an oversimplification: there are so many weird little details that make brass sound different: curvature, placement of struts, valve design, bell ratio, etc. But you get the picture, I think. Massiaen's work about the resurrection of the dead is pretty biting, and he used saxhorns to add a little bite to the parts typically played by more conical brass. At least, that's my interpretation; what do you think? JacquesDelaguerre (talk) 23:05, 17 February 2015 (UTC)