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Sopranino saxophone

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The sopranino saxophone is one of the smallest members of the saxophone family. A sopranino saxophone is tuned in the key of E-flat, and sounds an octave above the alto saxophone. This saxophone has a sweet sound and although the sopranino is one of the least common of the saxophones in regular use today it is still being produced by several of the major musical manufacturing companies. Due to their small size, sopraninos are not usually curved like other saxes. Orsi, however, does make curved sopranino saxophones.

The original patented saxophone family, as developed by Adolphe Sax, included sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass, contrabass, and subcontrabass instruments (although he never built the latter). Since the late 20th century, however, a B-flat piccolo, or sopranissimo saxophone (called soprillo, and tuned a fifth above the sopranino) and a B-flat subcontrabass instrument (called tubax, also made in C) have been developed by the German instrument maker Benedikt Eppelsheim, although they are, technically, not true saxophones. Thus, the E-flat sopranino, originally the smallest size of saxophone, can now be considered the second smallest.

The most notable use of the sopranino is in the orchestral work Boléro by Maurice Ravel. Although Ravel calls for a sopranino saxophone in F, it is unlikely that such an instrument ever existed. Outside of classical music, notable jazz and improvising musicians using this instrument include Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, Paul McCandless, Lol Coxhill, Wolfgang Fuchs, and Martin Archer. The sopranino saxophone is also used in the six-member Nuclear Whales Saxophone Orchestra, currently played by Kelley Hart Jenkins.

This article was started using a Wikipedia saxophone article
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