Is alto saxophone music written for ordinary treble and bass clefs?
Most saxophones, and all the “usual” saxophones, are transposing instruments. This means that when they read and play a C on their sheets, the sound that comes out is not a piano C.
Saxophone music is thus always written in treble clef, but they don’t sound like a piano treble clef when played.
Sopraninos, altos, baritones and contrebass saxophones are in E♭, meaning that their C is a piano E♭.
Soprillos, sopranos, tenors and bass saxophones are in B♭.
There are also a few rare saxophones in C (i.e., non-transposing or, possibly, transposing by octaves) and in F1, but you probably can’t find music written from them readily in the commerce.
- Adolphe Sax designed a range of saxophones for the symphonic orchestra, in which instruments are mainly in C, and another one for wind bands and military orchestra, in which instruments are usually in B♭ and E♭. Wind bands readily adopted the instruments while symphonic orchestra did not, which lead to the disappearance of C and F instruments.
Saxophone is written in treble clef, transposed alternately in Bb and Eb (soprano is Bb, alto is Eb, tenor is Bb, etc.).