Here at the Bate we have an exciting collection of Saxophones, with examples from throughout their history.
The Bate Collection’s Saxophones chart the life of the saxophone, from its original first incarnations (an original Adolphe Sax model), to its bizarre novelty forms (“The Grafton” and “The Swannee Sax”). Saxophones were developed in 1840 by Adolphe Sax, in an attempt to create an instrument for military bands that would have some of the tonal qualities and strengths of a brass instrument but also have the adaptability of wind instruments. Eventually, Sax arrived at the saxophone by means of using an ophicleide-like conical brass body, and a clarinet like mouthpiece and key work (Adolphe Sax was a repairer of both instruments). Since its invention the saxophone has developed into many types, ranging from Subcontrabass to Sopranissimo, and has undergone many developments, from experimentation with different materials, to alternative fingering systems and even slides!