SaxophoneThe saxophone is a relatively new instrument that was invented during the 1840s and patented in 1846 by Adolphe Sax, a Belgian musician and instrument maker. A member of the woodwind family, saxophones are usually made of brass, and are played with a single reed mouthpiece, similar to that of the clarinet. The sax is used in many genres of music including classical, military and marching bands, jazz, and contemporary music, including rock and roll.

Sax's concept of the saxophone family was quite a bit wider than just one instrument. His 1846 patent described 14 different versions of the saxophone in two groups, ranging from F contrabass all the way up to Eb sopranino. The series pitched in Bb and Eb soon became dominant and most of today’s saxophones are from this series.

The saxophone is only a few instruments in wide use today known to be invented by a single individual. His name is Adolphe Sax: that is why it is called the saxophone. History tells us that Adolphe Sax (1814 - 1894) was a musical instrument designer born in Belgium who could play many wind instruments. His idea was to create an instrument that combined the best qualities of a woodwind instrument with the best qualities of a brass instrument, and in the 1840s he conceived the saxophone. This invention was patented in Paris in 1846.