Adolphe Sax was born on 6th November 1814 in Wallonia, Belgium. His father was an instrument designer and so Adolphe began to make his own instruments at an early age. Adolphe studied music at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.
Adolphe's first important invention was an improvement of the bass clarinet which he patented at the age of 24.
He moved to Paris in 1841 and began working on a new set of instruments, these valved bugles became so successful that they became known as Saxhorns, with a range of approximately seven sizes in all from Sopranino to subcontrabass and he patented them in 1846.
He also created the Saxtromba, but this was to survive only briefly and the unsuccessful clarinette~bourdon an early design of contrabass clarinet.
Saxhorn instruments spread rapidly throughout the world and remain largely unchanged today. The British Brass Band movement exclusively adopted the saxhorn range and they are widely used in Concert bands. However they never became a standard Orchestral instrument for which they had been intended to be used.
A plaque on the side of Adolphe Sax's tomb
The saxophone made Adolphe his reputation and secured him a teaching post at the Paris Conservatoire in 1857.
Adolphe suffered from lip cancer between 1853~58 and although he made a full recovery, he died in Paris in 1894.
The Saxophone Family
Belgium's Famous Son is celebrated on currency and postage
A variety of Saxophone styles
Light Jazz Sax ~ Cry me a River ~ Tenor Sax
Ravel ~ Bolero ~ Mi~Bemol Saxophone Ensemble
Piazzolla ~ Libertango ~ The Italian Saxophone Quartet
Tex Beneke and the Glenn Miller Orchestra ~ In the Mood