Adolphe Sax, inventor of the Saxophone

The Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax especially became famous for his invention of the saxophone, an instrument which is also named after him.

Adolphe Sax

Adolphe Sax was born on November 6, 1814, in Dinant in Wallonia. His father, Charles-Joseph Sax, an instrument maker is also known for some of the major changes he made to musical instruments. Learning from his father who was the boss of a musical instruments factory in Brussels, Adolphe Sax starts at a young age building new instruments.

At the age of 15, he participates in a contest in which he builds a flute and a clarinet. Sax follows among others an education at the Royal singing academy in Brussels. After school Sax began to experiment with building new designs for instruments. His first major invention is an improvement of the design of the bass clarinet. At the age of twenty Adolphe Sax patented this invention.

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Sax moved to Paris in 1841 where he designed a series of new instruments, including the bugle based on a Saxhorn. The most important invention he did in 1842: the saxophone. The famous composer Hector Berlioz is amazed by this invention, but  Adolphe Sax waits till 1846 to patent the instrument.

He was born in Dinant and the city is very proud of that, Adolphe Sax dies on February 4, 1894, in Paris and is buried in that city in the cemetery of Montmartre.