History of the Saxophone

The History of the Saxophone


I hope that you enjoy this history of the saxophone

The Saxophone has been a big part of my life I have played for many years as I started in High School in 1950. I have been in many Different
Bands, and Groups during this time. I have played in road groups and well as club dates and 6 nights per week. I hope this history gives someone some
information. The Sax Man I most wanted to be like or sound like was Boots Randolph The Man The King of Sax. I have been a BIG fand of his from day
one and I still enjoy his music even today

For me The saxophone has been like a long love affaire, it like that 1st love that you can just never forget or get over. I started on ALTo and then made to switch to TENOR.
There is just no sound like a well-played tenor saxophone it is in a class all of its own. I have played in bands from the Maryland area To Florida as well as other places
it is who and what I am what can I say. I have played on a SELMER SAXOPHONES Most of the Time.

This poast is in progress

Sax Man Mike Clark


Rebranding Nigeria’s Cities

A conceptual gap still exists in the understanding of the principles and practices of place branding amongst Nigeria’s many state and local government officials. Despite the efforts at the center to promote this novel concept that has been described by branding professionals as one of the fastest growing knowledge sectors in global branding and marketing, it appears that place branding is largely only linked and associated with the various activities embarked upon by the federal government, aimed at improving Nigeria’s image in the international community, and to position her as a good destination for tourism and investment in sub-Saharan Africa.

Since the Nigerian government launched the Nigeria Image Project in 2004, which was subsequently re-branded The Heart of Africa Project, not much has been seen from the respective local and state governments in the direction of formulating strategies to attract foreign investors and tourists to their various towns, villages, and states. This overwhelming notion that place branding rests with the center amounts to defeatist and faulty logic because according to Tom Traynor & Ro Breehl ‘ every place does have some distinction, some reason to live there, work there, vacation there, rather than some other place’ They also argue that finding that ‘ true compelling claim of distinction’ can be hard work which lots of tourism boards, city councils, business improvement districts aren’t prepared for, ‘ preferring instead to move directly to (inevitably drab) advertising execution’. This line of least resistance

appears to be the one towed by Nigeria’s state and local government officials.

There are many benefits to states and local governments who make conscious efforts to market their regions both to internal and external stakeholders. If the governments in these states and local governments can institute sound fiscal policies and invest in infrastructures, the job of selling their places becomes easier. The starting point would be the development of a branding framework and strategy encompassing their distinctive cultural, tourism, human capital, economic, educational and personality assets. The second stage would be the implementation of the strategy by appointed marketing communication professionals working closely with the commissioners of information and strategy; the local governments could also do a similar thing by appointing qualified to supervise councilors to head the information and communication units of the local governments.

The respective state governors and local government chairmen having recognized the strategic importance of managing their brand assets could also set up small committees headed by marketing communication professionals, to coordinate their various place branding efforts. Appointing non-professionals to such positions purely on political grounds is actually counter – productive and could undermine their prospects of reaping the benefits of economic development which strategic place branding may attract.

Donald Duke, the saxophone playing governor of Cross River state provides a good model for other states and local governments in Nigeria to copy. He has consciously pursued a policy of shying away from controversy since he became the governor of the state. This has helped ensure that his reputation remains quite intact as he has not been named or mentioned in any media report, nor by Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as one of the corrupt governors. This is quite encouraging as the same can not be said about his colleagues.

Governor Duke’s admirers cut across different age groups and gender, not only because of his boyish looks, social savvy and bespoke fashion sense but also because he is one of the few governors that have actually implemented programs that have directly impacted on the lives of his people. He has gone a step further with his Tinapa project (Africa’s premier business resort); a project which when completed would put his state and Nigeria on the map of world tourism. The state government has also set up well-designed and maintained websites – http://www.tinapa.com and [http://www.crossriverstate.com] which serves as its windows to the world. The Calabar and Cross River brands have steadily improved as strong Nigerian brands during Governor Duke’s stay at the government house.

Nigeria’s many states and local governments should indeed take advantage of emerging technologies such as the internet and incorporate them as governance tools, many do not yet have functioning websites, and for some that do, their sites lack the professional touch that would help enhance their overall brand image.

Another state which recently impressed is Kwara state. Kudos to the state governor, Bukola Saraki who has managed to attract sacked Zimbabwean farmers to the state, and have kept faith with them despite the criticisms his government received over the move. Some of the criticisms were rather unfair and seemed ill-informed as to the potential economic benefits to the state and her citizens were obviously overlooked by the critics. The Kwara state government recently scored another PR coup which would help project the image of the state further; it successfully exploited the opportunity of the ThisDay music festival and invited the star attraction Jay-Z to Kwara state to commission some government projects. During his visit to the state, Jay-Z was honored by the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari and also had a road named after him – Shawn “Jay – Z” Carter Road.

It is indeed a positive thing for the state to have Jay-Z dressed up in native also oke attire riding the traditional horse during his turbanning ceremony. Such images beamed across the world are actually priceless and could help to project the Kwara state brand further. However for this PR coup to actually impact on the economy of the state, the Kwara state government must also complement its efforts with good governance.

Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city has also done well in this regard and seems to be enjoying a new lease of life, conscious efforts by the federal capital territory (FCT) minister Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and his team to sanitise the city appears to be paying off, some of these efforts though have come at a heavy price such as homelessness for the residents of the houses demolished during the various rounds of demolition exercises in the city. Residents, however, appreciate the changing face of Abuja and the various recreation parks now available for their use. The FCT minister has embarked on policies to change the face of the city which sometimes appeared controversial. His ban on Okada (commercial motorcycles), importation of London cabs and vigorous pursuit and implementation of the Abuja master plan has led to the demolition of illegal structures in and around the city, and has in so doing reclaimed back lands which have now been transformed into parks for the enjoyment of city residents and visitors. Nigeria’s capital city has also consolidated efforts at re-branding its image through music, art, tourism, and business. The annual Abuja carnival modeled after the Rio de Janeiro carnival, Abuja Rocks @ 30 (an entertainment package to celebrate the city’s 30 years and strengthen the consciousness of unity in Nigeria) and the proposed Abuja tower are some of the efforts aimed at repositioning Abuja as a good destination, such efforts would also help to stretch the Abuja brand further.

States such as Anambra state has a lot to do to improve their brand image which has been negatively undermined by the activities of indigenous politicians such as Chris Ubah and Emeka Offor before him. The current governor Mr. Peter Obi with his private sector background and experience appears to be the right man for the job but his slow start has continued to attract the criticisms of Anambra state indigenes whose patients are now running out. With all the material and human resources that abound in the state, including the extra advantage of being the home state of some famous Nigerians such as Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chinua Achebe, Phillip Emeagwali, Arthur Ekwensi, Prof. Charles Soludo, Emeka Anyaoku, Prof. (Mrs) Oby Ezekwesili, etc.

Anambra state should indeed be more than it is at the moment. Worryingly, the state government appears not to be quite in sync with current perceptions and concepts in place branding. The only reported effort at rebranding Anambra state was the changing of the state’s slogan from Anambra – Home for all to Anambra – Home for all good people. Surely the state can do better. Part of the problems with the Anambra brand is the general perception that its citizens are mainly interested in commercial pursuits as against intellectual engagements, the state also continues to suffer from the huge burden of the political class, most recently the state legislators have initiated the process of impeaching Mr. Peter Obi thus fuelling further instability, riots, and demonstrations in the state. It’s about time that Anambra state, a potential economic and regional tiger wakes up and starts to harness her true potentials for the benefits of her indigenes. Historical sites such as the Ogbunike cave, Agulu lake, Igwe Osita Agwuna’s Obu Ofor Nri palace, Ochanja main market, etc should be actively positioned as business and tourist attractions. Also with the rise in interest in Igbo culture and history, packaged and guided tours to the towns in Nri kingdom (the acclaimed cradle of Igbo civilization and ancestral home of Ndigbo) could also help in extending the Anambra brand worldwide. The latter approach is favored by Chikodi Anunobi, author of the book Nri Warriors of Peace. According to him ‘The story of Nri dynasty sums up the story of Ndigbo, and so anybody wishing to know more about Ndigbo and their history is better off visiting Nri towns’

The Lagos, Delta, Rivers and Akwa Ibom state governments have repeatedly failed to capitalise on the rich natural resources abundant in their states, they have also not fully exploited the huge presence of foreign nationals in their states who are active in the oil and gas industry, these expatriates could easily serve as unofficial goodwill ambassadors of these states to their respective home countries and help them to attract additional foreign direct investments in other sectors. Despite the huge revenues these states earn as oil-producing states and the blessings of Mother Nature which has richly endowed them with oceans, rivers, fertile farmlands, and crude oil, infrastructural development has not been top on the agenda of the respective governments thus making it difficult to leverage on their natural brand assets to successfully brand their cities and states as Nigeria’s favourite destinations for tourism and business.

The unrest and spate of kidnappings in the Niger Delta region by organizations such as MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta People) have also further eroded the brand images of the affected states. If President Obasanjo’s various economic reforms begin to pay off, and the true atmosphere of competition emerges in the Nigerian socio-economic terrain, these states may find themselves being left out in the scramble for enabling investment climates, as both potential investors and human capital may chose only those cities and states that have positively positioned their brands and effectively communicated their place brand assets.

It is in the interest of the federal government of Nigeria to actively involve the states and local governments in this new drive to re-brand Nigeria, state and local government officials should be encouraged to set up standing committees or to have designated positions responsible for liaising with the officials of Nigeria’s ministry of information and national orientation (the overseeing ministry of the Heart of Africa project), this is in order to share ideas and adopt models of best practice. The recently concluded 2-day National Conference on the Nigeria Brand and Economic Development tagged Mind the Gap 2006 presented a good opportunity to get both the states and local governments involved, but it remains to be seen if they were even invited.

The Surviving Child

I lost my brother before any of the people I know experienced any type of loss. I was 31, he was 32. He came home on October 20th, and after having a meal at my parent’s house – my mom, dad, husband and brother, Stuart said he wanted to tell us something.

My father was reluctant to sit down, as they had not really spoken much in the last few years. My father was tyrannical and if you did not adhere to his “life rules”, you were excommunicated. My brother had been in and out of college and ended up out west. He had 2 successful bakeries and a health food poster exporting business.

He was an amazing artist and musician (played saxophone. flute, piano, and pretty much anything else he laid his hands on). He was accomplished and adventurous and lived more in his 32 years than most people live in a lifetime. He was a huge part of me, and when I lost him, I lost half of my heart.

We all sat down at the dining room table, and he said: “I have something to tell you.” He hesitated long enough for me to throw out some guesses- starting with marriage and concluding with being arrested. He said “No, I have systemic melanoma and I have a 20% chance of living for the next 2 years.” (Skin cancer from a mole on his back, that became malignant and metastasized through his body). I screamed and became paralyzed. HE actually got up to comfort me.

I got pregnant in December. Stuart died 6 months later when I was in my fourth month. I can’t really tell you how I got through this period of my life.

I always wanted children, and had already been married for 4 years, but felt if I could not bring some happiness into our lives, we would all drown in sorrow.

My mother said, “Don’t fall apart on us now”. So, I had to continue being strong- even though a part of me was dying with him. It was the most horrible thing that has ever happened to me. We were losing him- but he was losing everything.

I spent the last few days in his home with him. My parents left Tuesday morning and I arrived later that day. Suddenly, he took a turn for the worse.

He said he wanted to talk to me, but he never again was able to do so. He asked my husband to assist him in suicide if he did not die by Thursday. It was a moot point.

On Thursday, everyone left to get some pizza. I stayed back with him and sat in the room next to him. He was very warm, and it was snowing out and freezing in his house. I sat in his living room with a fur coat on. Suddenly, I could hear a change in his breathing (known as the death rattle). He would take a breath, and then there was way too much time before another would come. He died while I sat there holding his hand.

I talked to him. He was in terrible pain. I kept telling him to let go and not hold on anymore. It was awful. A few minutes later, he took his last breath. I remember feeling very frightened- which I felt guilty about for years later. It was as if his spirit left his body and I did not recognize the encasement of his soul.

I called my parents. They flew out the next day and we made arrangements. He wanted to be cremated, and so, he was. My religion does not really favor cremation, but I felt, and convinced my parents to understand, that everyone has the right to die the way they choose. His ashes were spread on a beautiful lake that he selected, one year after his death, by some very close friends.

My life has changed so much since his passing. As parents get older, they tend to re-write history. Stuart validated my sanity. Now, I just have to believe in myself and the accuracy of my memories. The last thing he said to my husband was “please, don’t let Kate suffer for me.” I have never stopped.

I have continued living my life and have made him a big part of my children’s lives as well, even though they never had the privilege of meeting him.

As the surviving child, we go through a whole different set of emotions.

Of course, losing a child is one of the worst things in the world, and it is certainly not how things are supposed to be. But losing a sibling, especially your only sibling, has to be right up there as well. I became the supplier of all the happiness for my family. Everything that arose became my responsibility and decision. I needed my brother to be in my life.

My father retired at 57, a year after my brother died. He could no longer work. My father died in 2001, 17 years after my brother.

People say it gets easier. I don’t think it ever gets easier- you just forget what it felt like before your heart was ripped apart.

I can equate it to a crack-addicted baby. The pain they feel is the only way they know how to feel. Of course, they are in pain, but they don’t know what it feels like not to be. I think we may not pay enough attention to the children that survive.

I deal with “survivors guilt” of remaining children in my practice. The question of “why him and not me?” arises. I cannot answer that. I don’t believe we have that answer. But, we must accept it and move forward.

I must say though, that after the first death- there is no other. My world was and will never be the same.

The fact that he spent 32 years in my life is one of the things that I am most grateful for. “I was at heaven here with him”. I will always miss him and will cherish his memory forever.

To those who have loved and lost, you are far from alone.


Source by Kate J Carlton

Saxophone Blues Scales – If You Want To Play Blues, Rock or Jazz You Need To Start Here

If you' re a saxophonist interested in playing any type of blues-based music including rock and roll and even jazz then you need to use the blues scale as your number one tool to make things sound right.

A little history

If you want to investigate back to the beginnings of the blues as it came about in America just start with WC Handy, who was a black composer active in the early 1900's when the blues form began to get popularized in large part because of his instrumental compositions "Memphis Blues" (1912) and "St. Louis Blues" (1914). Of course, the blues oral tradition can be traced back to the mid 1800's.

The blues scale

Because our western music has it's roots in European classical music the music theorists needed to notate the blues scale as it was naturally played and sung into an understandable notation which could be analyzed and played by western trained musicians.

The simplest way to explain it's theory is this:

Simply take the traditional major scale; CDEFGABC and flatten the 3rd, 5th, and 7th. Now it looks like this: CD Eb EF Gb GA Bb C.

(Please look at the example on my website for the full musical notation). Notice the E, G, and B have been flattened, they are the 3rd, 5th and 7th notes of the C major scale and flattening them makes the scale sound minor so giving it the "blues" or sad sound as opposed to the " major " or happy sound.

For us sax players these flat notes are perfect to incorporate a "growl" sound to further emphasize that "bluesy" expression or make it a bit more nasty. Two other things to notice; the 3rd and 5th can be played as a flat or not but the 7th generally is only played as a flat and not the major 7th in this type of scale or musical genre. (for some audio examples please refer to the website version of this article).

So now our basic major scale of 8 notes is now a blues scale of 10 notes. There are other variations to this blues scale; the basic version, for example, is a 7 note scale: C Eb FF # G Bb C (the F # being the same as the Gb). Adding the D, E natural and A gives us more musical abilities and will not change the basic sound of the blues scale. Even adding a flat 9th (D flat) was a favorite thing Charlie Parker did a lot and is a good way to jazz up your phrases.

The blues progress

Of course this is all just words and notes and theory. You have to apply it and in any blues music, this is done over musical progress that's 12 measures in length, so the term "12 bar blues"

We' re in the key of C so the first 4 bars will be the C chord. The 5th and 6th bars change to the 4 chord which is F (4th note in the C scale).

The 7th and 8th bars change back to the 1 chord (C). The 9th and 10th bars change to the 5 chord, which is G. The 11th and 12th bars change back to the 1 chord (C). There are variations in this 12 bar pattern and can be seen on the website version of this article.

When starting out you can get away with just playing the same C blues scale over the entire progress but try to emphasize 1 or 2 of the notes in the F and G chord to make things a little more interesting. For example, over the F chord play an F or an A note to emphasize the harmonic color of the chord a little more.

In conclusion

The blues mean different things to many people ranging from musical styles to a way of life or philosophy. The blues do have musical influences from Europe and Africa but it is truly an American musical form and tradition fully rooted in the black experience of the post-war southern United States.

I want to be clear that when I talk about the blues or the blues scale I'm not only referring to this type of musical tradition and style but include funk, R & B, country, jazz, and pop. Like the old saying goes; The blues had a baby and they names it rock & roll and from there came just about every form of pop music in western history since that explosive time in the mid 1900's

And so, I think it's safe to say that the blues scale is easily one of the most used and important scales for all types of western popular music.

Source by Johnny Ferreira

The Role of the Trumpet Within a Big Band

The trumpet has always been an integral part of the traditional big band, both as a lead instrument and as a soloist. The section consists of four players, with the first chair being labeled the “lead” chair and the second part generally considered the “jazz” chair. Although improvised solos can be played by any of the four players, the second trumpet is usually depended upon to cover the solos within the section when needed.

It is the “lead” trumpet that carries the melody over all other musicians during full band sections. This important position carries quite a large responsibility, mainly because it is he/she who is called upon to play the highest notes within the ensemble sections.

Melodic and Harmonic Roles

In traditional big band repertoire, the trumpet section provides both melodic and harmonic roles. Melodies can be played by one or up to all four players at one time. Melodic roles are often coupled with instruments of similar timbres, such as the alto saxophone. As a melodic instrument, the trumpet is generally in the middle range when matched with other instruments. The upper register is used for full ensemble sections where the lead player must carry the melody over the rest of the band.

When fulfilling a harmonic role, the section is usually voiced in either three or four distinct parts. Since the trumpets are set in the upper register of the ensemble, they have the responsibility of covering the upper extensions of the given chord. In harmonic roles, the section often extends the basic chord tones (i.e. root, 3rd, seventh) that are played by the trombone and saxophone sections. These upper extensions often take the form of a simple triad when played alone, but create sophisticated extended chords when playing with saxophone and trombones.

Mutes and Utility Instruments

Modern trumpeters today are expected to own and carry a variety of mutes to alter the sound of the instrument. In every trumpeter’s bag are a straight mute, a cup mute, a Harmon mute and plunger. Each of these “tools” is designed to alter the color and sound of the instrument by bringing out low (cup and plunger) or high (straight and Harmon) overtones. The use of mutes can significantly alter the overall sound of the section with a wide variety of colors. Gil Evans was one famous arranger that used muted trumpets extensively in his arrangements and compositions.

In addition, most professional trumpeters today own a flugelhorn. This instrument looks like a large trumpet but sounds much more mellow and with a limited high range. Flugelhorns are used primarily for melody, but can also be used as harmonic pads with the big band. Modern writers such as Maria Schneider utilize flugelhorns in this role quite often

Famous Big Band Trumpeters and Sections

Trumpet players and big band trumpet sections can be found throughout the history of jazz. Maynard Ferguson, for example, made his debut with the Stan Kenton Orchestra during the 1950s. Maynard played lead trumpet and was featured as a high note virtuoso at a young age. He later went on to lead his own big and small bands for more than half a century. High note artists such as Stan Mark and Lynn Nicholson were members of famous Maynard Ferguson trumpet sections.

Bill Chase led one of the more famous trumpet sections in the 1960s with the Woody Herman orchestra. Known for his high range, Bill Chase provided the high note excitement for the band. In 1974, Chase met an untimely death in a plane crash near a small airport in Minnesota, Among the most famous trumpet sections of all time might have been in the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Cootie Williams and Cat Anderson filled soloist and high note roles, respectively, for Duke’s band for many years. Duke often wrote entire compositions to feature Cootie (Concerto for Cootie) on trumpet.

The trumpet will always play an integral role within the realm of big band jazz ensemble music. Because of this, skilled lead players and gifted soloists will always be in demand in the jazz and commercial music industry.

Source by James P Martin

Get The Best Instruments At The Best Prices

Music is something that is all around us, in different forms throughout the day. Different people like different instruments, and learn or experiment with those sounds accordingly. There are a number of cities and states that have picked up on this tendency of people to gravitate towards music, and have set up stores which sell musical instruments. But the fact is, it is rare to find any shop which has a comprehensive list of all instruments under the sun. For this, it would make much more sense to find a store online.

These days, there are so many stores online that have a number of musical instruments, and what is more, all of them are available at great prices. There are so many different instruments in the world today, so it is hard to find a place that has them all. Some of these companies strive to do just that. You will find all the instruments classified in the simplest possible manner. They are classified by pricing as well as by brand, and each instrument is listed in the greatest possible detail, along with pictures.

Say for example you need to get an acoustic guitar. These companies will have an Acoustic Guitar section, where you can choose from a wide range of brands like Takamine, Valencia, Yamaha, Gold Tone and so on. Otherwise, if you have a certain fixed budget, you can go through the guitar lists by pricing and find something that suits you. You will find all details regarding the pickups, inlay, wood used, headstock veneer, neck and body binding and so on. In fact there will be so much detail that you can choose what exactly you want in a matter of minutes.

Every instrument is a separate category, split into a number of sub categories for convenience. For example, if you were to look through violins, you would find them divided into student violins, professional violins, silent violins, electric violins and so on. You can quickly zero in on what you have in mind. Similarly, guitars will be divided into acoustic, electric, acoustic-electric and bass. Then there are saxophones, which will be split into alto saxes, tenor saxes, baritone, Selmer, Jupiter and so on. You can even buy used saxophones from some of these sites! These are just some of the instruments. There are flutes, tablas, sitars, clarinets, cellos, ukuleles and many more.

Of course, when it comes to buying from an online site there will be a lot of misgivings. These companies have special helplines to allay all fears, and you can call them with whatever doubts you may have, whether it is about buying the right instruments or finding a specific brand. Beside, if you are finding the prices steep, the company may work something out which is specific to your financial position.

A lot of these companies are not just online dealers, they also have outlets where they sell instruments, hold music classes and allow musicians to practice in. It is only a question of finding the right place.

Source by Prem M Narayan

Playing the Bones of the Xylophone

The xylophone was first created in Indonesia and is a member of the percussion family. The instrument has a set of different sized bars that are made out of wood and are each made to make a particular note when struck. The different bars are struck with wooden, rubber or plastic mallets to make different sounds. This particular percussion instrument has been around for thousands of years. This has been proven by artifacts found from as far back as 2000 BC. Throughout history, there have also been other variations of xylophones made, including ones that were made and used by ancient temples in China.

It must also be noted that xylophones are not always created in a single row of low notes to high notes. There have been xylophones found that have the bars hanging, where the musician will strike the vertical bars with the mallet. Michael Gusikov played the xylophone that had three rows of the bars situated in the shape of a triangle. It would appear that like many other instruments, the xylophone went through a number of changes and modifications over time.

While it is uncertain when exactly the xylophone made it to Europe, it is suggested that it could have arrived there sometime during the 1500s. Though, it wasn’t until the early 1800s that people in the west were becoming familiar with the xylophone. Michael Josef Gusikov can be credited with making the instrument known. He had an interest in the instrument and performed with the xylophone around Europe on tours. It was not long before this musician became known for his music and gained some decent recognition for it. In fact, there were other well-known musicians who spoke well of the Michael Gusikov’s performances, including Frederic Chopin, who was a fairly well-known pianist.

When most people think about playing an instrument, few will immediately think of the xylophone; instead, many will think about taking up the guitar, piano, or saxophone before thinking of playing something like the xylophone. Xylophones are not an overly common instrument in the western world and are forgotten as a result, though this is not to say that no one plays it. Many people play the xylophone because they enjoy the sound and they are aware of the unique and natural sound it has. The xylophone is perhaps best known by the sharp and bright tone the bars have when struck with the mallet, especially the modern xylophones that have been created with resonating tubes placed under the wooden bars to enhance the sound of each note. The frames of the xylophone are made of wood or steel tubing and the more expensive, higher end models have the ability to have their height adjusted to fit the musician.

The higher quality xylophones also have more stability, while the cheaper ones don’t have as much stability. Musicians who are serious about playing the xylophone in concerts and other performances will most likely spend more money on the higher quality instruments, while younger students who are simply looking to try it out will go for the cheaper, used xylophones.

Source by Victor Epand

How to Buy a Saxophone

When getting a saxophone, first you should decide the type you want. You should pick between Alto and Tenor. The soprano and baritone saxophone isn’t as common or necessary for most settings. In a school band, there will most likely be a Baritone saxophone that you can borrow or rent from the school. The good news is that ALL saxophones play the same! If you learn one, you can play them all. Each saxophone requires some small adjustments in the way you blow and how much air you put in, but they are basically the same.

If you are just starting out, I’d probably rent an instrument from a music store. Renting ensures that the instrument is in good mechanical shape and will actually work for you. You can also return the instrument if you decide that you don’t like it. Another option is to borrow one from a neighbor, or friend. You’d be surprised at how many instruments are taking up space in someone’s basement!

If you do borrow one, you’ll definitely want to take it to a repair shop and get it fixed up. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to play a broken, leaky saxophone. Another option is to find a used one in the newspaper or a pawn shop. Be careful when getting a used one from these people; there is a good chance it is not in good mechanical shape.

First check to see if there are any dents in the body or the neck. Dents in the neck are the most serious dents than affect the playing. Second, check the condition of the leather pads on the instrument. The best way to check the pads is to take it to a shop and have the repair tech. check for leaks. Pads can be replaced, and dents removed. Major dents in the neck can also be fixed but the instrument might not play as well.

A the repair shop can also give you the value of the instrument you are looking at, to see if the asking price is too high. Another option is eBay. I tend to steer clear of eBay instruments unless there is some sort of return policy on it. If you do buy an eBay sax, have it checked out as soon as you get it!

There are many brands of saxophones available and many different price ranges. To start, you’ll want to get a beginning sax. Some good brands that have stood the test of time are Yamaha, Selmer, Bundy, Artley, Jupiter, Yanagisawa, Keilwerth, Vito, and Leblanc. There are many others out there but these are the main players. I really like the Yamaha saxophones. They are reasonably priced and play really well. You can expect to pay around $500.00 for a really good used sax. But good deals are always out there! Try to steer away from brands that are not really well known. They may break easily, may not play well in tune and a variety of other problems. If you have one and think it’s a good deal, go to the repair shop and ask the technician if they can repair that particular brand. Sometimes a repair shop will not fix certain brands because they can’t get the parts or they break easily! Buyer Beware!

Source by Pete Swiderski

Music Then and Now – A Brief History of Music and Woodwind Instruments


Music is all around us. It is a mainstay of our society and is inherent in the souls of our beings. Even in utero, it is said that the fetus is able to respond to music that the mother plays or sings. Music can be found in just about every environment around us: calming or happy music in restaurants, grocery stores, doctor/dentist offices, department stores, elevators, schools, or weddings; majestic music at firework displays or parades; or even serene music at a funeral. It can be heard on almost every television commercial and in the theme of every television show. Some people crave music like a drug and just cannot live without it playing in the car and even singing in the shower.

Every person has the ability to produce music whether vocally or with a music instrument. We may not all have accurate intonation or pitch vocally or may not produce a great sound due to a difference in how we process auditory information, as Simon Cowell so blatantly points out on “American Idol”, but we have the capability of producing music. With some coaching or instruction, like many of the cast members of the television show “Glee” as reported by Emile Menasche’, we can deliver a powerful vocal performance.

Over time, music has developed into an extensively large variety of categories and subclasses. These can include classical, jazz, blues, swing, symphony, opera, rock, rap/hip-hop, country, folk, pop, R n B, theatre, heavy metal, Latin, techno, tango, children’s, electronic, Native American, inspirational, marching band, gospel, romantic, melancholy, or spiritual. Most of these types of music have come about as a part of the changes in the structure and function of our cultures.

Music also serves to be very therapeutic. From my own experience as an occupational therapist, music helps persons with a range of different disabilities to improve function whether it may be for communication or movement purposes. For example, in working with persons who have sustained a stroke and have expressive aphasia (able to understand language, but unable to formulate the words to verbally express it), singing allows them to say what they want since this involves a different part of the brain. In working with children with autism spectrum disorders, I have found music helps develop more coordinated movement and motor planning as it provides the timing and rhythm that these children are not able to access in their brains. Any music instrument can also be therapeutic, whether it is woodwind instruments, brass instruments, or string instruments, or even just dancing to music.

But where and when did woodwind instruments originate? If we look back in history we could find out what the first woodwind instruments were. However, as the late Curt Sachs so intelligently points out, music originates back to pre-instrumental music and primitive man. He states that “all higher creatures express emotion by motion” eg. stamping his foot on the ground, slapping his body, or clapping his hands. These audible actions were the precursors to our first woodwind instruments and the most likely man was not even consciously aware of sound as a separate idea.

Through archeological findings, the first true music instrument noted in history was the strung rattle which consisted of nutshells, seeds, teeth, or bones strung in cords or tied in bunches and suspended from a part of the body (ankle, knee, wrist, or neck) as a means of adding sound to body movements or dancing. However, this was a delayed sound after the body movement. Later, the sound became more direct, but not exact, as gourd rattles filled with pebbles or small hard objects were shaken in tribal dances. From there, other more direct sounding instruments were developed which used the feet or hands to produce sounds eg. stampers (used stamping sticks or devices to make sound onboard or bark covering hole in-ground), slit-drums (stamping on hollowed-out tree trunk over a pit), drums (used hands or later sticks to hit membrane stretched over opening of hollow body of any shape), friction instruments (using a tortoiseshell or rounded piece of hardwood with four notches cut into it and rubbing it on palms to make a humming or squeaking noise), bullroarers (quickly whirling a thin board attached to a cord overhead making a roaring sound), and scrapers (scraping a notched stick, shell, bone, or gourd with a hard object).

The ribbon reed was the first simple music instrument to be played with the mouth like the woodwind instruments. This was just a blade of grass taken from a reed stretched between the two thumbs held side by side and by blowing into the crack the blade would vibrate with a high pitched screeching noise (what young child hasn’t done this even today?). More developed civilizations rolled up a wide blade of grass spirally to form a funnel tube with the thin end of the blade crossing the upper opening. Eventually, the flute was developed which was played like most other woodwind instruments: by blowing into the air column of the tube a vibration was created and produced a specific tone. Flutes and other reed woodwind instruments have been played since the Middle Ages (476-1400) and Renaissance period (1400-1600) as they have undergone various changes in design, however, orchestral woodwind instruments are of more recent origin.

The Baroque period (1600-1750) is noted for its radical revolution in music with the need for novelty in the style of composition. There was an emphasis on strong emotion (“What passion cannot music raise and quell” sung by Dryden) requiring a wide range of sound to express passion and the sudden changes from joy to grief. Just like the Middle Ages, the monodic style of singular parts being emphasized returned to music versus the polyphonic style of the Renaissance period in which equal weight was given to all the string, brass, or woodwind instruments played in concert. To achieve this sound, woodwind instruments underwent a variety of improvements and alterations. Instead of being made from one piece of wood or other material, they were now made of two or more pieces fitting tightly together in order to be able to regulate pitch by adjusting the length. Reed woodwind instruments changed the cut of reed and the bore was changed for a smoother tone. Oboe-like instruments were dismissed and only bassoons, smaller oboes, and flutes made up the woodwind instruments of an orchestra.

Romanticism (1750-1900) created additional transformations for woodwind instruments, although the musical style was reminiscent of the 16th century. The expressive emotional music brought about a significant increase in the number of timbres and woodwind instruments were changed to be able to modulate from timbre to timbre with greater ease through a variety of technical enhancements. Woodwind instruments were required to have a stronger, more powerful sound in concurrence to society’s change from an aristocratic to democratic culture. Overall, the arts evolved from aristocratic reserve to unrestrained passion. To advance the woodwind instruments to meet the changing musical style, technical changes were made for improved musical flexibility, fluency of tonalities, the accuracy of pitch, and freer modulation. The addition of keys, the position of holes, key placement, key mechanisms, key padding, and sizes of bores was altered. This created more efficient woodwind instruments that were easier to play and maneuver through the ranges. The woodwind instruments section of an orchestra now included not just the oboe, flute, and bassoon, but also the saxophone and clarinet. Families of woodwind instruments were also created eg. soprano, alto, tenor, baritone to enhance the melodies and harmonies and create a fuller sound.

The twentieth century brought about many radical changes in musical styles such as jazz, swing, pop, and rock. However, aside from the introduction of electric instruments (eg. piano, organ, stringed instruments), the number of changes to woodwind instruments were not as great. Woodwind instruments in the twenty-first century today still retain their prototype of the nineteenth century, but can be made from different metals, their mouthpieces are made of differing lengths/widths and reed sizes, and some persons prefer varying colors for their woodwind instruments.

Woodwind instruments have certainly made great strides in their evolution as cultures and societal demands have dictated. Luckily, the preference for certain sounds evolved as well. The music emanating from these woodwind instruments has become pleasurable with the ability to affect our well being deep into our hearts and souls versus the screeching and roaring sounds of some primitive instruments. Let us all enjoy the music deep within us by freely singing a song, dancing to music, or playing woodwind instruments! If you would like to pursue your musical passion or aspiration, you will find highly crafted woodwind instruments at very reasonable prices at http://www.djmusicstore.co.

Source by Dianna Joseph

Care of Sterling Silver Jewelry

The use of silver dates back to as long ago as 3000 B.C. The ductile and malleable metal is a metallic luster that is shiny white when it is in its pure state. Pure silver is very good electricity and heat conductor.

While it is more affordable, compared to platinum and gold, it is also comparably costly in its pure state to the other types of silver. Other types of silver include German, oxidized and sterling silver.

It is reputable for its sound and special resonance. As a result of this, a lot of producers of brasswind instruments often produce instruments of music from sterling silver. Major saxophone producers such as Yanagisawa, P.Mauriat, and Selmer used sterling silver to produce a significant number of saxophones. These producers are of the opinion that saxophones, made from sterling silver produce more sound and better resonance compared to saxophones made from other metals.

Due to the fact that it contains 92.5 silver, jewelry and other products made from sterling silver are marked ‘925’ to recognize them. A lot of jewelry manufacturers enjoy working with sterling silver to produce jewelry ranging from pendants and necklaces to rings and bracelets. This is due to the fact that it is as attractive as any other silver or more expensive jewelry, while its price range remains affordable.

The the appearance of sterling silver is flawlessly white and shiny in its new phase. As time goes on, it might get darker and dirtier, leading to the loss of some of the sparkle. Pure silver does not get tarnished easily due to the fact that moisture or air does not affect it. It might, however, be affected by sulfur or hydrogen sulfide.

To reduce how fast your silver gets affected from scratches or other forms of damage, it is advisable to keep your jewelry, made from sterling silver, in bags or cloths that have the ability to prevent tarnish. This type of bags or cloths prevents the jewelry, made from sterling silver, from rubbing with other jewelry that is harder which might scratch it. This slows down the rate of damage. It is also important that you keep your jewelry, made from sterling silver in places that are dry and cool.

Do not allow chemical substances such as ammonia or bleaching agents to touch your jewelry. You should also remove them if you want to use the swimming pool, as the chlorine in the swimming pool water can damage the silver.

You should also endeavor to regularly clean the jewelry with a clean soft cloth after each use. This will remove the sweat, dirt, and dust from every part of the jewelry. Polishing cloths are most advisable for this purpose.

Do not use toothpaste for jewelry cleaning as it is abrasive. This can result in scratches.

You should avoid an accumulation of tarnish on your silver sterling jewelry by frequently cleaning and wearing them. Cleaning them as soon as you notice any tarnish, helps to prevent an accumulation of tarnish, this would be more difficult to clean.

When you continuously use your jewelry for a long time, a form of patina that is beautiful and glows in areas that are dark begins to appear. You can leave it that way if you love the look. Otherwise, you can restore the real look by polishing it.

With regular and good care, you can use your sterling silver jewelry for a very long time.

Source by Kimberly T. Michelle