History of the Saxophone
From Essential Elements 2000 Book 1 by Hal Leonard Corp.
In the 1840s, Adolphe Sax invented the saxophone family. In today's concert band, saxophones play harmonies and blend with other band instruments. Saxophones are also very popular jazz and solo instruments.
The saxophone family includes the Bb Soprano, Eb Alto (the most common), Bb Tenor, Eb Baritone and Bb Bass Saxophone. Fingerings are virtually the same on all saxophones, making it possible to play any saxophone.
John Philip Sousa wrote for saxophones in his band compositions. Bizet, Ravel, Debussy and Prokofiev included saxophones in their orchestral writing. Duke Ellington's jazz arrangements greatly defined the unique sound of the instruments, both in solo and ensemble playing.
Some famous saxophone performers are Eugene Rousseau, Sigurd Rascher, David Sanborn, Brandford Marsalis, and Gerry Mulligan.