The Range of the Saxophone Family

A standard jazz saxophone section is normally 5 pieces: two tenors, two altos, and a baritone sax.
Together these instruments span almost 4 octaves; rising from the baritone’s pedal C to the alto’s A above the treble clef.
How do they do it?
They get bigger. Baritone is double the size of Alto. Tenor is double the size of Soprano. Baritone and Alto are Eb transposing instruments. Tenor and Soprano are Bb transposing instruments.
Modern saxophones are built in Bb or Eb: from the very rare Bb Soprillo, Eb Sopranino (rare), Bb Soprano, Eb Alto, Bb Tenor, Eb Baritone and the (rare) Bb Bass.
Read more about the basic saxophone family of instruments at
Vintage instruments, in addition to the modern ones listed, include such oddities as the F mezzo sax, Conn-o-sax, C Melody (or C tenor) sax, C soprano sax, countra-bass sax, and more. Visit Jay Easton’s site to see some of these.

About Gandalfe

Just an itinerant saxophonist trying to find life between the changes. I have retired from the Corps of Engineers and Microsoft. I am an admin on the Woodwind Forum, run the Seattle Solid GOLD Big Band (formerly the Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra) a GOLD sax quartet, and enjoy time with family and friends.
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1 Response to The Range of the Saxophone Family

  1. Susan says:

    Do you have a F Mezzo sax yet?  ;o)

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