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Bain’s Blog - Snakes In The Brass

Serpent “Adolphe Sax, a second generation instrument maker in Brussels with a penchant for design, after developing his Saxhorn family of brass valved horns of various size and pitch, and having developed the first really workable bass clarinet, installed a bass clarinet mouthpiece on one of his firm’s ophicleides. He was aware of the tonal disparity among strings, winds, and brass, families; in which the strings and winds were generally overpowered by the brass. What he produced was, in essence, a brass clarinet, and while he thought in terms of a family of such, and would soon expand the line accordingly; the first of what he would call Saxophone, deriving from the ophicleide, was a bass instrument. This he patented in Paris in 1846…”


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