Reference : Adolphe Sax in Pedagogical Terms. Problems of Nomenclature. Aspects on (Larger) Saxho...
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Adolphe Sax in Pedagogical Terms. Problems of Nomenclature. Aspects on (Larger) Saxhorn Learning
Sagrillo, Damien mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
Alta Musica Band 33
Habla, Bernhard
[en] Music education ; Organology ; Musicology
[en] Adolphe Sax was elven years older than Jean-Baptiste Arban. At the time when Jean-Baptiste Arban edited his famous method Grande méthode complète de cornet à piston et de saxhorn for valved brass instruments in 1864, Adolphe Sax had invented his saxhorns already about twenty years ago. Arban's major work served as a model for subsequent brass instrument studies with valves. These studies came (and come) mostly from the francophone world and still are in use in conservatoires and music schools in France, Wallonie, Romandie and Luxembourg and also elsewhere, since they are not reserved only for these instruments, but can apply for any other brass instrument with valves.

In this article is presented a historic and critical overview of the literature for saxhorns, propose a categorization according largely to the structuration of Arban's method and adapted to the technique of playing a saxhorn. Due to the further development of saxhorns, the training requirements had to be adapted. An example is the enhancement of the bass saxhorn to the tuba français in C with six valves. Another aspect I will deal with is the pedagogically graded concert repertoire that was developed for saxhorn instruments.

Then the problem of designation of several instrument categories in relation to the saxhorn family and this in different languages is discussed, as for instance: French, Italian, German, English and others, if needed. I will enumerate examples with the help of treatises of instrumentation and of pedagogical literature in considering the problems caused by this babel, amongst others, a correct assignment. I would just like to give an example at this place. The saxhorn basse in B-flat (was) is called tuba in Dutch or in my country (Luxembourg). (Today, the euphonium, which has a slightly different form, has replaced the saxhorn basse in most wind bands. But the literature of the latter is still played on the former.) In German this instrument is called Bariton (with an "i", an instrument with rotary valves and a curved corpus). In contrast, the saxhorn baryton in B-flat (with a "y"), which has the same length than a saxhorn basse with a narrower bore, is called Tenorhorn in German, while a tenorhorn in a brass band is nothing else than a saxhorn alto in E-flat. Supplementary confusion is caused by the baryton saxophone in E-flat; this bass instrument of the saxophone family is equivalent to a saxhorn contrebasse in E-flat.
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