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THE F?C FAMILY OF SAXOPHONES: ITS HISTORY, FUTURE, AND LITERATURE

by FREITAG-SWEELEY, SANDRA

Abstract (Summary)
The most significant invention of Adolphe Sax (1814—1894) was the saxophone. Originally, he created two families of saxophones: the Eb?Bb family for military bands and the F?C family for orchestras. However, the F/C family was ultimately not the popular choice. The stronger sound of the “outdoor” Eb?Bb family won out. Composers preferred the Eb?Bb to the F?C family primarily because they were more readily available. A few composers did use the F?C family, such as Richard Strauss in Symphonia Domestica, but that was exceptional.MIn America during the 1920s, a saxophone craze gripped the country. Between 1923—24 alone, over one hundred thousand saxophones were sold. The C Melody saxophone enjoyed popularity because of its convenience as a non-transposing instrument during this time and the Conn Company created a stir with its F mezzo-soprano saxophone in 1930. However, the F?C saxophones could not compete with the Eb?Bb ones and were all but obsolete by the 1940s. This study traces the history of the F?C family of saxophones from its conception through its fall into obscurity to some of the calls of revival in the late 1980s. Included are analyses of symphonic and operatic works that utilize members of the F?C family as well as popular method books from the 1920s. This historical survey not only attempts to explain why the F?C family fell out of favor, but also suggests at what the future for these instruments could hold. This thesis does not trace the use of the F?C family in jazz.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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