Arts & Entertainment

180 years since the world was introduced to the saxophone

By Diana Giambona

Brussels, Apr 14 (EFE).- In around 1841, Belgian musician and instrument maker Adolphe Sax presented a new invention of his to the public.

He did so from behind a curtain because the instrument, which he called a saxophone, was neither finished nor patented at the time.

Almost two centuries later, the oldest known saxophone, which dates to when Sax managed to get his patent in 1846, is stored at the Musical Instruments Museum (MIM) in the Belgian capital, Brussels

Head of the MIM wind instruments section Géry Dumoulin told Efe in an interview that it took Sax several years to create the instrument, but “when it reached the market, it was almost perfect.”

Dumoulin said Sax and other inventors later made some improvements to the instrument; however, the original form from nearly two centuries ago, remained basically the same.

The MIM added the 1846 saxophone to its collection after the King Baudouin Foundation loaned it.

The Belgium-based pluralistic foundation acquired the instrument in 2020.

No-one knows when the historic saxophone was last played, Dumoulin said, adding that, with these types of instruments, the date can be estimated based on the replaceable mouthpiece.

The saxophone is a brass-woodwind hybrid combining a brass body and a reed mouthpiece.

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