3

The C melody was part of the series of saxophones pitched in C and F intended by the instrument's inventor, Adolphe Sax, for orchestral use. Since 1930, only saxophones in the key of B♭ and E♭ (originally intended by Sax for use in military bands and wind ensembles) have been produced on a large scale.

Further down is says this:

However, it is important to note that production ended for purely financial reasons, and not because of any inherent flaw in the design or poor manufacturing standards

-Wikipedia article on the C Melody sax

Why was the C melody never produced after this and E♭ and B♭ produced?

  • Hi Jacob, This question seems to be more about transposing instruments than it is about the C melody sax specifically. Have you seen this question? music.stackexchange.com/questions/7225/… It goes into this topic in detail. Let me know if that's what you were looking for, and I'll close this as a duplicate. – NReilingh Jul 28 '15 at 0:36
  • @NReilingh Not completely, I'd like to see if I get different answers before closing. – Jacob Swanson Jul 28 '15 at 1:13
5

The C and F saxophones were designed for inclusion in symphonic orchestras (where most instruments are in C), while the B♭ and E♭ saxophones were aimed at military bands and wind bands (where most instruments are in B♭).

While the saxophone was quickly adopted by military and wind bands, it didn’t really found its place in orchestras. By consequence, more B♭/E♭ saxophones were produced, which in turn likely brought their price down and increased their sales. C/F saxophones, on the other hand, had less demand and consequently were more costly to produce. It came to a point where producing C/F saxophones at a large scale was not profitable,

  • How do you make those nice flat signs, @Édouard? – aparente001 Jul 28 '15 at 2:45
  • 1
    @aparente001 I use the UTF-8 character for flat sign, which I access through tools provided by OS X. – Édouard Jul 28 '15 at 2:49
  • On the bright side (maybe :-) ) C-melody saxes command a decent price now. The rest of us consider the ability to transpose from C to Bb to be a requirement anyway. For one thing, now and then clarinetists get parts written in C and have to transpose them. Then their "side job" as a saxophonist (yes, I'm needling my counterparts here) is made easier as well. – Carl Witthoft Jul 28 '15 at 15:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.