Happy Birthday Adolphe Sax!


That's right, 6 November is the birthday of Adolphe Sax, the Belgian inventor of the modern saxophone and the man we have to thanks for such moments in life like the iconic solo in the Gerry Rafferty song, Baker Street! Or, the arguably the best of the best, John Coltrane's incredible career!

Saxes come in all shapes and sizes nowadays, from the shrilly little sopranino, to the deep reedy-rumble of the bass sax, and it is always closely associated with jazz music - although the saxophone was first conceived as an orchestral concert instrument - jazz not coming along until the mid-1800s. Each size of saxophone possesses its own unique character and voice; from the big tenor sound of NZ's very own Roger Manins, to the smooth and melodic baritone of Gerry Mulligan - they're all good and we, as music lovers, can't get enough.

So to celebrate, why not check one these legendary artists out, give their saxophone prowess a spin, and revel in the world of brass-meets-reed-meets-leather-meets-wind!

Or.... maybe you've always wanted to PLAY a saxophone...!?!?

Well, Christchurch City Libraries can certainly help you out there! We have loads of resources available in our catalogue;

There's this complete guide to the Saxophone

Or perhaps there's a youngster in your whānau who has an interest in music - you could steer them towards the wonders of the sax with the informative title, Is the Saxophone for You? and of course there are community music education groups that can get you started like Christchurch School of Music who have programmes for all ages.

If you already play, we have a manual on the mechanics of your sax, a great title although you should always consult an experienced and qualified woodwind repairer before undertaking any serious work yourself...

Saxophone Manual

For such an iconic instrument it's hard to believe that it's still so young in the scheme of music history. (violins go way back to the 1600s!) Saxes have been so present over the last century that they have left an indelible mark on the soundtrack of our times, so let's all celebrate and get SAXY!!


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