Brazilian Rhythms for Solo Guitar by Mr. Flavio Medeiros, Carlos Almada

By Mr. Flavio Medeiros, Carlos Almada

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This Second Empire lasted until 1870. As will become apparent, the ebb and flow of these political tides were to impact on Sax’s own fortunes to a considerable degree. There were two other discrete yet related parts of Paris’s social landscape that would influence Sax’s fortunes over the coming decades. The first comprised those significant musical figures who formed part of the musical oligarchy in the French capital, but who were favourably disposed towards the ideas of the Belgian inventor. Foremost among these was Hector Berlioz, now remembered as one of the most important French composers of the nineteenth century but also a highly influential writer and music critic.

This increases the effective volume of the cone and again affects the tuning of particular notes, either up or down according to the relationship between that tonehole and the sound waves inside the instrument. Adolphe Sax was clearly aware of this problem, since a prototype bass saxophone survives from around 1850 that does away with these chimneys, having instead curved pads that follow the shape of the body of the instrument. 12 5. A curved keypad from a c. 1850 saxophone by Adolphe Sax. The key was designed to sit flush to the body, rather than resting on a soldered chimney.

Of particular interest is the affidavit from Cokken, the Professor of Saxophone at the Gymnase de Musique Militaire. He was, unsurprisingly, effusive in his praise for the instrument: Having learned that some have denied the existence of the saxophone, I come to attest to you that this instrument really does exist, that I play it myself, and that I teach it at the Gymnase de Musique Militaire. I take advantage of this opportunity to add that the saxophone is an instrument as beautiful as it is good, of great power, of magnificent timbre, and finally the easiest to learn.

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