Saxophone Acoustics

A site dedicated to understanding the saxophone

Where to start

Introduction to saxophone acoustics is just that, and a good place to start. If you can't remember much about sound, try the introduction of How do woodwind instruments work? If you strike a term or idea you don't know, try the Basics list on the navigation bar.

Data for each note: Acoustic response, Spectra, Sound files and Fingering

We have measured these for standard fingerings on Bb tenor and soprano saxophones: just click on the image above (written pitch). The acoustic response tells us how easily the saxophone responds to every frequency. For explanations, see What is acoustic response and why is it important? See also What is a sound spectrum?


C4 & A#5 D#4 & C#6 F#4, G#5, D6 & G6
D4 & B5 E4 & C5 G#4, C5, A#5 & E6
D#4, D#5 & B5 F4 & G#5  
D#4, F5, C#6 & E#6 F4 & A5  

Explanatory notes

This site includes research by Chen Jer Ming, a student completing his PhD in Music Acoustics, with contributions from Stefanie Orlik and Joe Wolfe.

You can hear Sandy Evans play the soprano saxophone.

Research and scholarship possibilities in music acoustics at UNSW

Our research work on saxophones is supported by the Australian Research Council and Yamaha Music Australia.
This data base includes some of the PhD research of Jer Ming Chen.


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Joe Wolfe /
phone 61-2-9385 4954 (UT + 10, +11 Oct-Mar)
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