|Acoustics of the saxophone|
Bb tenor saxophone
Notes are the written pitch.
At frequencies below about 1 kHz, this curve looks rather like that for A#3, B3 or C4, but raised in frequency because the tube is effectively shorter because of the three open tone holes (see tone holes). At higher frequencies, however, the waves propagate past the open tone holes with greater ease, and the situation is more complicated. See the discussion in cut-off frequency. For general comments about the first register, see A#3.
Compare with the impedance spectrum for a soprano sax on written C#4: same fingering but sounding one octave higher.
In the sound spectra for the low notes, we can notice a sudden increase in the negative slope of the spectral envelope that occurs close to the cut-off frequency of about 800 Hz. For general comments about the sound spectra of the first register, see A#3, which is the first note of that register.
Sound spectrum of a Bb tenor saxophone played using fingering for C#4.
For more explanation, see Introduction to saxophone acoustics.
You can hear C#4 played.