Favorite Instrument Essay
The Saxophone is my favorite instrument. Despite being made entirely of brass, the saxophone is considered a woodwind because it utilizes a reed to create its sound. It looks smooth and sexy, yet the sound is rich and strong. Although it is more commonly found in jazz, military and marching bands than in orchestras, it is occasionally found in some classical music.
1. History and Manufacturers: A. http://library. thinkquest. org. This website was wonderfully rich in information. On this website, it is revealed that the original saxophone was invented by a man named Adolphe Sax.He began construction in 1840 on an instrument that he wanted to carry a sound range fitting between the clarinet and the trumpet.
The saxophone was completed in 1845 and was quickly put to use by French composers. Adolphe Sax invented a total of 14 different types of saxophones! They range in size from 16” long, which is the smallest (called the soprano), all the way to the largest, which is 6-1/2 feet tall (called the contrabass). B.
www. the-saxophone. com.
This website discusses the different brands and manufacturers of saxophones and how each brand varies in quality and in price.There are descriptions about each brand, such as which are most useful for the student, beginner or professional. They also describe price ranges. 2. Famous Performers: A. www. biography. com.
This website has a great biography on David Bowie (born David Robert Jones), who is a popular rock singer/musician/actor from England. He has been playing the saxophone since he was 13 years old! He developed his passion for music from his older brother, Terry. His brother also influenced David’s music, especially when he committed suicide in 1985.For a prime example of his brother’s influence, listen to the song “Jump They Say.
” His brother’s suicide influenced the writing of this song. His work has evolved through the years revealing just how talented of a performer David Bowie really is. His true talent was revealed in 1996 when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2006, when he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
B. www. vervemusicgroup. com. This website contains the biography of John Coltrane. His full birth name was John William Coltrane, Jr.It is estimated that he started musical training at the age of 13 years old.
He first started with the alto horn, then moved on to the clarinet and finally the alto saxophone for both community and high school bands. After Coltrane served in the Navy from 1945 to 1946, he played with several bands, such as Jimmy Heath’s big band. In 1948, he started playing professionally with Eddie Vinson, then on to Dizzy Gillespie from ’49 to ’51 and with Earl Bostic in ’52.
Finally in ’54, he got the chance to play with his favorite musician Johnny Hodges.In 1955, Miles Davis heard his music and got him onto the “fast track” to fame. After a few years battling a heroin addiction and then quitting cold turkey, Coltrane excelled in his musical career. He incited a lot of controversy for his somewhat eccentric styles of musical tastes through the years.
His final performance was May 7, 1967, in Baltimore. John Coltrane died on July 17, 1967 from liver cancer. The jazz world still mourns his passing today. 3.
Famous Composers: A. www. bmi. com.
This website covers the life and works of rock musician and orchestral composer, Danny Elfman.Danny Elfman got his start as a musician for Oingo Boingo. In fact, he was discovered by Paul Reubens and Tim Burton because of his music with the band. His first musical score was the theme music for Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, which was a foot in the door for bigger and better professional achievements. Through the years, he has accumulated quite a collection of musical scores.
Included are Beetlejuice, The Dark Knight, Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Mars Attacks! , the 2001 version of the Planet of the Apes, Alice in Wonderland and many many more.He is known for his use of beautifully haunting voices within the musical scores. Elfman is a self-taught musician, and uses a variety of instruments that he, himself plays within the scores. Did he write any parts for the saxophone? Why yes he did! He wrote the musical theme for The Simpsons, which is primarily saxophone. A second example is some of the music from Nightmare before Christmas. B. www. kennedy-center.
org. This website talks about Andrew Lloyd Webber. Some say he is arguably the most successful composer of our time. He is known for the oddness of his sources of inspiration.
He has gotten ideas from the Bible, from the texts of the catholic mass, from British and French gothic stories, from old Hollywood and even from football! His works include Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Evita, The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies and many more. Considered to be a musical genius, Webber’s achievements include entry into the American Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, three Grammy Awards, seven Tony Awards, the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theater, an Oscar, a Golden Globe and several other lesser known awards.Did Webber write for any saxophone parts in his music? He did, in fact, use saxophone. Evita used saxophone parts. So did the Phantom of the Opera. Also, the Starlight Express had saxophone in it.
4. Repertoire: There are so very many famous pieces of music written with the saxophone in mind. The 80’s were a time when the saxophone was almost a fad in music. I love the saxophone so much that to limit the list to just 5 pieces was far too difficult. So, I included a few extras.
A. Songs: 1. The Pink Panther Theme Song by Henry Mancini 2.Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty 3. Who Can It Be Now by Men at Work 4. Turn the Page by Bob Seger 5. If You Leave by Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark 6.
Careless Whisper by Wham! 7. The Heart of Rock and Roll by Huey Lewis & the News 8. It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me by Billy Joel B. www. diggz.
org This was labeled as the Top 10 80’s sax songs. C. http://80music. about. com This site was titled as the Top 5 Songs that best bear the presence of the saxophone. D.
www. youtube. com I used this site to play each song to verify its “saxophone-ness. ” . Famous Orchestras: A.
www. philorch. org.
This is the website for the Philadelphia Orchestra. This orchestra is rich in history and culture. They are known for being one of the preeminent orchestras in the world. The orchestra originated in the Academy of Music, which, although they have since moved to the Kimmel Center, remains in operation.
In fact, it is the oldest operating opera house in the nation. This orchestra has implemented the Billy Joel School Concert Program, which helps underserved school children gain better access to school concerts.They offer many other educational opportunities to the people of the Philadelphia area, including Sound all Around (for children ages 3-5), Family Concerts (6-12) and eZseatU (college students). The music of the Philadelphia Orchestra is even available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon, so as to make their music easily accessible to everyone, including those that are not near enough to enjoy a live performance. B. www. bso.
org. This is the website for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops.This orchestra was established in 1885, and was designed as a summer job for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, so as to provide year-round employment for the musicians, who would otherwise be searching for work during the summer months.
It was also created as a new series of summer venues. It was designed to resemble summer evening Viennese concerts. They were originally named “Promenade Concerts. ” Later, people started calling them “popular concerts. ” That name was shortened to “pops,” and that name stuck and was officially adopted in 1900. In 1901, a new hall was created for the Pops.
Symphony Hall has amazing acoustics and is designed in a way that the rows may be removed to make way for tables and chairs to be brought in for the summer venues. There have been a total of 17 Pops conductors, most notably, John Williams, yes that John Williams! The American composer of movie scores such as Star Wars, Jaws, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List and so many more. He conducted from 1980 – 1993. He also led the orchestra on their first tour to Japan. They have a rich and interesting history.
And, to think, they were originally meant to be “summer filler! ”