The various members of the Saxophone Family, were not ALL designed or built by their original inventor, Adolphe Sax. First off let’s look at a list of all the original standard Saxophones.
These are the instruments that were dreamt up by Adolphe Sax originally. Further down, you can read about the other instruments that have been designed in the decades following. The range of Saxophones first started out as two groups for different purposes. This was really because Adolphe had an idea to use one group for orchestral work and the other in military bands.
So the ‘original idea’ was for a family of B Flat and E Flat tuned instruments for Orchestras. The other group in C and F was to be used in Military Bands:
As it’s turned out, not all of those members of the designs have been engineered. So far as I understand the following Saxophones with examples in existence are:
- Soprillo Saxophone – A smaller invention since Adolphe Sax’ time
- Sopranino Saxophone
- Soprano Saxophone
- Mezzo-Soprano Saxophone – The F version Alto
- Alto Saxophone
- C Melody Saxophone – In between the Tenor and Alto
- Tenor Saxophone
- Baritone Saxophone
- Bass Saxophone
- Contrabass Saxophone
- Sub Contrabass Saxophone
- Contrabass Tubax
- Subcontrabass Tubax
With less than half of these Saxes actually in existence and very few manufacturers who build some of the extreme sizes, there are really only four in the Saxophone range that are bought, sold played and recorded on a daily basis. These are the Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Baritone Saxophones.