November 6 is Saxophone Day, an unofficial holiday that celebrates the woodwind instrument popularly used in jazz, classical music, and military ensembles.
The day honors saxophonists and commemorates the birth anniversary of its inventor Adolphe Sax. Born in Belgium in 1814, Sax was an instrument maker and musician who designed and introduced the Saxophone in 1840.
It was first adopted for use in military bands and soon became a popular instrument played in a concert band and in chamber music. Chamber music is a type of music played by a group of small instruments - ones that usually can fit into a small room or chamber.
Today, the Saxophone is used extensively in jazz and other kinds of dance music and in symphony orchestras around the world.
Many Different Types
The Saxophone comes in many different varieties, though most saxophonists usually use one of the four most popular types. These are tenor, baritone, alto, and soprano saxophones. The tenor saxophone is usually used in jazz and rock music bands, while the baritone saxophone tends to be reserved for jazz solos. The Alto Saxophone is easy to play and therefore used to train beginners. The Soprano plays the highest pitch among all saxophones and is also often played in jazz bands.
Other saxophones include Mezzo Soprano, Sopranino, Tubax, Bass and Contrabass.
World Saxophone Day
In 2015, the Sax Open Project, a group of music composers and saxophonists declared June 12 as the first annual World Saxophone Day. The day is part of the week long World Saxophone Congress and Festival.
How to Celebrate?
Are you a saxophonist? Bring out your instrument and play some music with a band or solo for your family and friends.
Attend a chamber music, jazz or symphony orchestra concert. Keep an ear out for the Saxophone notes.
If you have always wanted to learn how to play the Saxophone, today is the day to get started.
Did You Know…
…that Adolphe Sax was also responsible for inventing the Saxhorn, Saxotromba, and the Saxtuba?