Adolphe Sax


Adolphe Sax Famous memorial

Dinant, Arrondissement de Dinant, Namur, Belgium
Death 7 Feb 1894 (aged 79)
Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Burial Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Plot Division 5
Memorial ID 6797 View Source

Musician. He received recognition as a 19th century Belgian musician and a musical instrument designer, best known for inventing the widely used saxophone in 1840; which was patented 1846. Born Antoine Joseph Sax in Dinant in Belgium on June 14, 1814, the son of Charles Joseph Sax, who himself was an instrument designer making several changes to the design of the French horn. At an early age, Sax's father sent him to the Brussels Conservatory, where he studied flute and clarinet. He began to make his own instruments at an early age, entering two of his flutes and a clarinet into a competition at the age of fifteen. Sax subsequently studied those two instruments at the Royal School of Singing in Brussels. After leaving school, Sax began to experiment with new instrument designs, while his father continued to produce conventional instruments to bring money into the household. Sax's most important invention was an improvement of the bass clarinet design which he patented at the age of 20. In 1841, he relocated permanently to Paris and began work on a new set of instruments which were exhibited there in 1844. They were keyed bugles, and although he had not invented the instrument itself, his examples were so superior to those of his rivals that they became known as saxhorns or the Tuba. They are today widely used in military bands and sometimes orchestras. Sax was also busy around this time inventing the instrument for which he is best known, the saxophone. The composer Hector Berlioz wrote approvingly of the instrument in 1842, but the instrument was not patented until 1846, after he has designed and exhibited a full range of saxophones, from soprano to bass. Those instruments made Sax's reputation, and secured him a job teaching at the Paris Conservatoire in 1857. Sax continued to make instruments later in life, as well as presiding over a new saxophone class at the school. Adolphe Sax died in Paris on July 2, 1894 and was interred in the Cimetie're de Montmartre.

Bio by: Curtis Jackson


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 30 Oct 1999
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6797
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Adolphe Sax (6 Nov 1814–7 Feb 1894), Find a Grave Memorial ID 6797, citing Cimetière de Montmartre, Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France ; Maintained by Find a Grave .