Essay about How a Saxaphone Makes Sound

Essay about How a Saxaphone Makes Sound

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The saxophone was developed in 1846 by Adolphe Sax. The purpose of the saxophone’s development was to have an instrument with the projection of a brass and agility of a woodwind instrument. It is a closed ended instrument, with a reed which allows air to vibrate as it passes through the mouthpiece. It is very popular with military bands and is most well known for jazz and classical music, because of it’s unique sound and smooth solos. This report will explore the saxophone’s sound production including; frequency, resonance, notes, antinodes and harmonics explaining in depth how it occurs and their effect on the sound produced.

Sound is created by the air particles vibrating against each other. Sound can travel through all types of mediums, such as solids, liquids and gases. When going through these mediums, the sound travels in waves known as longitudinal(figure 3) and transverse(figure 2) mechanical waves. The variations in sound are caused by the different frequencies of vibrations. The difference in the two types of sound waves is; a transverse wave travels just like when you make a rope go up and down, the waves move along in a vertical direction, whereas a longitudinal wave moves in a horizontal direction pushing the waves along.

Sound is produced in a saxophone by the player providing a constant flow of air at a pressure above the atmosphere. The constant flow of air from the player is the source of energy, causing the air to oscillate creating vibrations in the air. The vibrating is created by the reed, which controls air flow through the mouthpiece. Also the vibrating is controlled by the resonance in the saxophone. The vibrating then radiates energy out of the open holes of the saxophone. The ...

... middle of paper ... before playing especially in bands so they play with the same timbre. the different types of reeds used also changes a saxophones timbre. Reeds are made out of cane and synthetic materials such as plastic. Reeds size vary in thickness, and stiffness. These differences affect the timbre and playability. A stiffer reed will allow less vibrations, therefore having a lower frequency and pitch. A more flexible reed will create more vibration, thus having a higher frequency and pitch.
Harmonics is the frequency that the saxophone plays at when playing different notes. When a player changes notes while playing, the frequency instantly changes to the natural frequency of that note. The change in frequency is what allows the saxophone to play different tunes.

In conclusion, this report explores how sound production occurs in the saxophone.

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