About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, January 29, 2018

#MusicMonday: The perfect saxophone sound.

Monday Music – The first time, ever I heard that sound.

The first time I ever really heard a saxophone played as a solo instrument I was impressed and intrigued. It had a smooth lyrical sound, something I had never heard before. Something I wanted to imitate myself. I was probably about 13 years old in junior high school. When most people think of the saxophone they probably have ideas of it being used in jazz or in pop/rock music. Before I “heard” it for the first time, I too had probably heard it played in one of those venues. But this time I heard it playing something that had a classical flavor. Through the years I have tried to find more of that sound. I’ve tried to learn to play it on my own instrument. I have not yet been quite able to replicate the sound but I am getting closer. Now in the age of computers and YouTube, I have been able to find more example of the sound that I would like to achieve myself on the saxophone. It is usually produced by musicians that have been playing for quite some time, but not always. I have run across videos of young kids or even an occasional adult that have the hint of that sound I want. It gives me inspiration that it is possible but I just have to work for it. Playing in the MSU New Horizons band is helping me achieve that goal because it gives me a chance to play and encourages me to set aside time to make practicing a priority in my schedule. I also get to play with other musicians and listen and learn from their sound.

One of the fun things about playing saxophone is that it is a very versatile instrument. This week I have been listening to lots of different saxophone ensembles on YouTube. I am trying to find a piece of music that I may be able to play with my fellow musicians in the band. Most recently, I’ve discovered Marici Saxes. You can hear an excellent example of them playing here. Another piece they play, Libertango, I first heard on string instruments when my daughter played it with the East Lansing High School Orchestra last year. I’ve heard other sax ensembles that sound like a full orchestra. If you closed your eyes and listened you would believe there were string instruments playing. Other pieces have a distinctive sax sound. The style of music has ranged from classical to rock to jazz to folk. It seems to work well in any type and style of music. The unfortunate part of playing sax for me, because I love to play classical style music, is that it is a relatively young instrument so there isn’t really a place for a saxophone in most symphonic orchestras. But that is OK because I am also learning to play the violin and I am hoping that by next fall there will be a New Horizons Orchestra starting to play at the community music school. If you have interest in playing in the NH Band or Orchestra at MSU’s community music school, send me an email at zarkadan@gmail.com because I would like to hear from you.

Marici Saxes: The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba - Handel, saxophone quartet video from YouTube: https://youtu.be/ZzFvWb5gJuU

Related Articles:
Music Monday http:/music-monday.html
MSU Community Music School http:/msu-community-music-school.html
At one time, everyone was a beginner http://lansingwbu.blogspot.com/2018/01/music-monday-at-one-time-everyone-was.html
Am I too old to join a band? http://lansingwbu.blogspot.com/2018/01/am-i-too-old-to-join-band.html 

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