Re: [Harp-L] Sax and Harmonica

When Adolph Sax created the sax back in the 1840s he had in mind two
families: Bb-Eb for band use and C-F for orchestral use. The sax was
adopted quickly by bands across Europe but was never fully accepted by
orchestras. The result is the Bb-Eb family became the standard and the C-F
never really materialized. However, in the early part of the 20th century
the C-melody was widely marketed for home use. It's selling points were
that saxophones were relatively easy to learn (certainly when compared to
the clarinet - I play both) and any family with a piano already had lots of
sheet music that could be played on the C-melody since no transposition was
required. The movement was killed off by the Great Depression. You can
still get vintage C-melody saxes on eBay. There is a company from New
Zealand (Acquilasax) that now makes C-melody saxes based on the old
patterns. In general - I have a vintage C-mel - they are quieter than
standard saxes because they were designed for home use. They do have a
sweeter tone.

-- Al

Alfred Barten
Retired ... *and all that jazz!*

On Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 1:24 PM, Joseph Leone <3n037@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> On Mar 9, 2012, at 11:20 AM, Greg Heumann wrote:
> > The C Melody sax is not the mother - it was developed later in the game
> and there is almost no music written for them. This "system" however works
> across ALL woodwind instruments. I do't know who decided it should be so,
> but I am sure glad it is. When I see a "G" on the staff, I put the 3
> fingers of my left hand down. This is true for any sax, flue, oboe, english
> horn, clarinet, recorder, bassoon.... That allows players to switch
> instruments easily. If the instrument is in C, then the note "sounds" a
> concert C. If it is not, it sounds something different. But because written
> music is transposed, all I have to know to produce the note the composer
> wanted, is that  if I see a "G" all I have to do is put those 3 fingers
> down. With that said, every instrument has some fingerings that aren't the
> same as other instruments. C's, F's and Bb's in particular - but B, A, G,
> E, Eb and D are more or less universal.
> >
> > As a blues or improv player not reading from a score, one only needs to
> know what key to play in to be in the same key as everyone else. When a
> tune is called in G, I have to play my tenor sax (Bb instrument) in A. But
> I have to play my Baritone (an Eb instrument) in E.
> >
> >
> > /Greg
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> About 35 years ago, I came up with a chart for chromatic harmonicas. Now
> you could go to a music store and get a simple chart for diatonics that
> showed second positions for all the diatonics and what 'terminal' key you
> would be in when using such and such harp for such and such keyed tune. But
> nothing existed for chromatics.
> So my chart was like a mileage chart. It had ALL the currently available
> keyed chromatics down the left side (starting with C at the top). Then
> across the top of the chart were ALL 12 keys (starting with C again), and
> that represented what keyed music you were following. Then in the 'field'
> were the actual terminal key that YOUR sound would BE.
> So all one would have to do is look at a chromatic (or ANY instrument)
> down the left column, go across the top to the key you were following.
> Cross the columns and the block at the junction was the actual key sounded.
> The chart has been in AHN, and I can't remember how many other
> publications, plus the harp-l archives, and slidemeister archives.
> Since I once played trumpet (Bb) before my fatal accident, and once played
> sax (Bb Tenor) before I sold it because I needed the money, and currently
> have 2 clarinets (Bb), almost ALL of my music is written in Bb. I usually
> learn a tune in it's original key and then play it from there by rote
> (memory-visualizing). Unfortunately I am an active gigging musician and
> singers WILL change keys on you. Sometimes even other players. Example, a
> sax player wanted Boogie on Ragae Woman in Gm. I play it in Abm. So instead
> of having to re-learn the entire tune ON the spot AND with no charts to
> refer to, I am not possibly going to fight that. I merely switch harps.
> I do NOT play chromatics IN their tuned key. I play them cross keyed. D,
> F, Eb, G.  For minors I use the equivalent signatures from the circle of
> fifths. Eb=3 flats=Fm/Fm = 3 flats=Eb.
> Greg is correct about saxes. The first model was the Bb Tenor. I have no
> idea why. Maybe because clarinets (at the time) were Bb, cornets (preceeded
> the trumpet) were Bb.  I don't know. When trombone came along..guess
> what?...Bb.
> smokey joe (the last of the cafes)
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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> >
> >
> >

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