Biography

Meet and know the inventor of the saxophone-Adolphe Sax! His Work, Inventions, Career, Patents, and Personal Life!


Meet and know the inventor of the saxophone-Adolphe Sax! His Work, Inventions, Career, Patents, and Personal Life!

Facts of Adolphe Sax

Full Name:Adolphe Sax
Age:207 years 2 months
Birth Date:November 06, 1814
Horoscope:Scorpio
Lucky Number:2
Lucky Stone:Garnet
Lucky Color:Purple
Best Match for Marriage:Capricorn, Cancer, Pisces
Death Date:February 07, 1894
Birth Place:Dinant
Father's Name:Charles-Joseph Sax
Marital Status:Married
Gender:male
Profession:musician
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We are so used to seeing musical instruments in our everyday life-be it in real life or on TV, films or shows. But one thing we never think about is the origin of these instruments. Do you know who invented the woodwind instrument, Saxophone? Well, it was Adolphe Sax to whom the credit of this invention goes. He also went on to invent the saxotromba, saxhorn, and saxtuba.  Let us find out about this great inventors life and work!

Who was Adolphe Sax?

Adolphe Sax was a Belgian musician. He was born on 6 November 1814 in Dinant, which was part of France at that time. Later this became a part of the Netherlands and established itself as an independent country of Belgium in 1830. His father was called Charles-Joseph Sax. Adolphe’s given name at birth was Antoine but everyone used to call him Adolphe and this name stayed.

Source: What I see (Adolphe Sax and his patents)

His parents themselves were instrument designers. Having such a musical and inventive background, Adolphe too started designing and making some instruments in his early life.

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Adolphe was the eldest of 11 children of his parents. He had survived many near-death situations in his life. He used to play flute and clarinet and also manufactured his version of these two instruments. He also entered into competitions in childhood. He later started with studies on performance and voice at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

Source: YouTube (Adolphe Sax’s company)

His career

After graduation, Adolphe Sax put in efforts to experiment with some new instrument designs. He improved on the brass clarinet and patented this new invention at his age of 24. In the year 1841, Adolphe migrated for good to Paris. He began his experiments with a new set of instruments in music and made a demo of these in Paris in the year 1844. These were in the form of valved bugles and were named as saxhorns.

He also invented the Saxotromba family which had narrower bores. These instruments seemed to be liked by musicians but the liking was short-lived. However, the saxhorns gained in popularity and were soon adopted by the musical bands worldwide. Around 1840, Adolphe worked on the saxophone and patented it in 1846. This was a success and is to date utilized globally. Though they were not routinely included in the orchestral bands, they did find a place in the military bands due to their loudness.

Source: Flickr (Recognizing Adolphe Sax’s work)

The success of his invention landed him a job at the Paris Conservatory in 1857. He also had some problems with patent infringement and had sued the people involved in it. He also went bankrupt twice in 1856 and 1873.

His efforts were rewarded in terms of awards, prizes, and recognition. The music critic, Hector Berlioz had said:

Mr. Adolphe Sax of Brussels, whose work we have just examined, has without doubt made a powerful contribution to the revolution which is about to take place.  He is a clever, far-sighted man, of penetrating and clear intelligence, self-willed with a persevering spirit able to withstand all trials, enormously skilled, always ready to replace even specialist workmen incapable of understanding and realizing his plans.  At the same time, he is a shrewd man, an acoustician, and when necessary, a smelter, a turner and chiseler.

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Adolphe’s personal life

Adolphe Sax never married but he was having an affair with a poor Spanish girl called Louise-Adèle Maor. They had five children together. His son Adolphe-Edouard oversaw the working of the Sax workshop which later merged with Selmer Company.

Adolphe’s death

Adolphe had lip cancer in 1853 and recovered completely from it. By 1858, he was cleared of this cancer. Adolphe continued to work on various musical instruments. He died on 7 February 1894 but unfortunately, his death was in poverty. He was buried in Cimetière de Montmartre in Paris.

Source: Tumblr (In recognition of Adolphe Sax’s work)

At the time of his death, Adolphe Sax was not aware that his instrument would reach the USA and become an icon in the 20th-century music, He never lived to witness the success of his invention.

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