Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Belgian musical instrument designer and musician Antoine-Joseph "Adolphe" Sax was born on November 6, 1814. In Paris in the 1840s, he successfully worked on a new type of valved bugles that became known as saxhorns. In 1846 he patented his namesake instrument, the saxophone, with its single reed mouthpiece like a clarinet, conical brass body like an ophicleide (bugle) and acoustic properties of the French horn and clarinet. Most saxophones are made from brass but are categorized as woodwind instruments, since an oscillating reed produces the sound waves (not the player's lips against a mouthpiece) and pitches are produced by opening and closing keys. Pictured: President Bill Clinton accepting a Limited Edition Presidential Model Tenor Saxophone by the L.A. Sax Co., 1994.