Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Adolph Sax

Adolph Sax: "sent a long memoir to the
War Minister, Marshal Soult, a survivor of the Napoleonic regime. In it he
analyzed and criticized the composition of military bands. Some of their
instruments he wrote, especially the horns and the bassoons, were not
fitted for open-air performances. The sounds of the musical units were
lacking in homogeneity; the high pitched piccolo and the clarinets gave
out squeaky sounds, while the ophicleides snorted and shouted. And most of
the intermediary instruments were squeezed between these two extremes and
their sound could hardly be perceived. Sax proposed to make large use of
his bugles with valves, or saxhorns. And he insisted upon the advantage of
employing a group of instruments of the same family, which would permit
the melodic line to pass smoothly from one instrument to another as it
does in the string quartet, or as it passes from one voice to another as
it does in a well trained choir."


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