Alto saxophone

Alto saxophone

Infobox Instrument
name=Alto Saxophone

range= lower. Note: most modern alto saxes can reach a high Fmusic|#.

related=Military band family:
*Sopranino saxophone
*Soprano saxophone
*Alto saxophone
*Tenor saxophone
*Baritone saxophone
*Bass saxophone
*Contrabass saxophone
*Subcontrabass saxophone----Orchestral family:
*C melody saxophone
*C soprano saxophone ----Other saxophones:
musicians=*List of saxophonists

The alto saxophone is a member of the saxophone a family of woodwind instruments invented by Adolphe Sax. The alto is the third smallest of the saxophones. It is the second most common size of saxophone behind only the tenorfact|seems inaccurate, e.g., right now there are twice as many altos for sale on ebay as there are tenors| ()|date=October 2008, and is the size most commonly included in classical compositions. In concert band, the alto typically plays the counter-melody in a supporting role, but it sometimes gets the melody. It often shares parts with the clarinet, horn, and trumpet.

The alto saxophone is a transposing instrument and reads the treble clef in the key of Emusic|b (meaning that a written C for the alto will sound as Emusic|b; concert, a major sixth lower, or a minor third above).

The range of the alto saxophone is from concert Dmusic|b (Dmusic|b3) to concert Amusic|b (Amusic|b5) (or A5 on altos with a high Fmusic|# key). The "normal" range as written for the player is Bmusic|b3 to F6 (or Fmusic|#6). [ [ Range of the Alto Saxophone] ] The third octave, known as the altissimo register, begins at Fmusic|# and extends upwards. Since the altissimo register of a saxophone is much more difficult to control than other woodwinds, it is usually only expected from advanced players.

Notable alto saxophonists include jazz musicians Charlie Parker, Johnny Hodges, Cannonball Adderley, Lee Konitz, Eric Dolphy, David Sanborn, Ornette Coleman, Anthony Braxton, Phil Woods, and Paul Desmond, and classical musicians Marcel Mule, Sigurd Raschèr, and Eugene Rousseau (for more see the Complete list of saxophonists) [ [ Famous saxophonists] ] . The alto saxophone is included in classical music more often than the tenor, and many concertos for alto exist. The alto has great versatility and is used commonly in concert, jazz, funk, blues, pop, marching bands, and rock music.

Some companies that currently produce saxophones are Buffet Crampon, Cannonball, P.Mauriat, KHS/Jupiter, Selmer, Yamaha, Leblanc/Vito, Keilwerth, and Yanagisawa. New alto saxophones range in price between US$200 for lower quality student models to over US$7000 for professional models.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • alto saxophone — noun or alto sax : the second highest member of the saxophone family pitched in F or E flat …   Useful english dictionary

  • alto saxophone — noun A member of the saxophone family of woodwind instruments that is smaller than the tenor but larger than the soprano …   Wiktionary

  • Saxophone — An alto saxophone in E♭ Classification Wind Woodwind Aerophone Hornbostel–Sachs classification …   Wikipedia

  • alto — [ alto ] n. • 1771; mot it. « haut » 1 ♦ N. f. Contralto. 2 ♦ N. m. (1808; d ab. appelé quinte ou haute contre de violon) Instrument de la famille des violons, d une quinte plus grave et un peu plus grand. ♢ N. Instrumentiste qui joue de cet… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Saxophone ténor — Le saxophone ténor est membre du registre medium de la famille des saxophones. Cet instrument est en si , mais peut aussi exister en ut. Dans ce cas, l instrument s appelle le saxophone C mélody (cet instrument a un son légèrement différent des… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • saxophone — [ saksɔfɔn ] n. m. • 1843; de Sax, nom de l inventeur, et phone ♦ Instrument à vent en cuivre, à anche simple et à clés, muni d un bec semblable à celui de la clarinette. ⇒ sax, saxo. Saxophone ténor, saxophone alto. ● saxophone nom masculin (de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Saxophone tenor — Saxophone ténor Saxophone ténor Le saxophone ténor est membre du registre medium de la famille des saxophones. Cet instrument est en si , mais peut aussi exister en ut. Dans ce cas, l instrument s appelle le saxophone C mélody (cet instrument a… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alto — is a musical term, derived from the Latin word altus , meaning high , that has several possible interpretations.When designating instruments, alto frequently refers to a member of an instrumental family that has the second highest range, below… …   Wikipedia

  • Alto (disambiguation) — Alto (meaning high or tall in the Italian language, Portuguese language and Spanish language, and stop in Portuguese and Spanish) may refer to:Music*Alto, a singing voice below soprano *A high register musical instrument, such as: **Alto horn… …   Wikipedia

  • alto — [al′tō] n. pl. altos [It < L altus, high: see ALTITUDE] 1. the range of the lowest female voice or the highest male voice; specif., a) CONTRALTO b) COUNTERTENOR 2. a) …   English World dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.