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Music for Solo Festival

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As spring approaches (think positively) saxophone players from around the USA begin to prepare for their state or district solo and ensemble festivals.  These events give developing musicians a chance to perform for comments and ratings and test out their live performance skills.  Choosing an appropriate piece of music can sometimes be a challenge.  Here are some old and new collections from our online catalog that you are sure to enjoy!  Click on the picture to order.

This "new" collection is basically the "old" Larry Teal book entitled Program Solos, with a few additional titles.  Printed piano and solo parts are included PLUS a play-along CD with all the piano accompaniments that would be suitable for live performance.  Pieces are listed by level of difficulty from Easy to Intermediate.  The Easy solos are not easy enough for most first or second year players.  We have other books for that below.

Last Updated on Monday, 10 January 2011 14:41

Once More - The Saxophone

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from The Etude, February, 1942

A hundred years seems long in measuring a life span. But in thinking of musical history, a hundred years is not too long. The saxophone, much-maligned, unappreciated, has passed its hundredth year, and only now is beginning to be taken seriously as a musical instrument of artistic and aesthetic possibilities. Only now has the question of its acceptance into orchestral instrumentation come to the front. And even today the musical possibilities of this instrument have not been exploited fully.

In 1842, Berlioz described the saxophone as "... an instrument whose tone color is between that of the brass and the woodwinds. But it even reminds one, though more remotely, of the sound of the strings. I think its main advantage is the greatly varied beauty in its different possibilities of expression. At one time deeply quiet, at another full of emotion; dreamy, melancholic, sometimes with the hush of an echo....I do not know of any instrument having this specific tone-quality, bordering on the limits of the audible." Very few players of this instrument achieve this striking quality described by Berlioz. There are, to be sure, many good saxophonists - especially in this country - but the full capacities of the instrument have not been called upon.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 October 2011 14:47

A Musical Instrument of Modern Times

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There is one musical instrument of modern times which has given rise to more controversies than any other. This new arrival has aroused disputes, calumnies, hatred, admiration, praise, enthusiasm, profanation, vulgarization, and so forth. It is an instrument with a tone that penetrates into the hearer's heart in a more than any other, stimulating it - in accordance with its musical-ethical expression - to enthusiastic support or to scornful rejection. The listener's experience is in no way determined by musical traditions or by social ties of any kind. In regard to this instrument, player and listener alike must rely completely upon themselves. From a musical aspect we may say: The listener or player is the "only one" and the instrument "his property".

The "history" of the saxophone begins - unlike that of any other instrument - in the spirit of its inventor, around 1840. Adolphe Antoine Sax's desire for a wind-instrument with greater power of expression led to his decision to construct one. The details of his research and construction are only known to us in a fragmentary way. Sax tried all kinds of tubes and mouthpieces and wanted to build an instrument relatively easy to play, uniting within it the expressive power of string instruments, the impetus of brass wind-instruments and the many shadings of wooden wind-instruments. These requirements were met most closely by an instrument equipped with a metal conical tube and a mechanism of valves, rather like an oboe, and with a mouthpiece outwardly resembling that of a clarinet. But it presented different proportions, especially in regard to its inner structure.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 July 2011 19:41

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