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C Melody Saxophone

The C Melody Saxophone. One of the rarer instruments of the saxophone family around today. This is suprising considering it is an instrumnet that needs no transposing and also for the fact that it was in Adolphe Sax's original design concepts.


Further investigation reveals that when the sax originally took off it was with marching bands who preffered to play with a Bb Tenor or an Eb Alto. For concert music the sax was not really seen as a requirement until later on.

The C Melody came into it's own at the turn of the 20th century through to the late 20's. During this period thousands of them were made. I have read comments about intonation problems but a little more digging revealed that this could be due to a new manufacturer making the model. These early intonation issues now appear to have been resolved.

Later appeal seems to have been lost due to no one making them and a lack of mouthpieces and reeds. Buying a used one today you would probably have to use either a Tenor or Alto mouthpiece.

C Melody Sax

The C Meldoy sax falls between the Alto and Tenor Sax's in size as the picture shows. Judging by the picture it is about 6 inches smaller than a Tenor.

This sax has seen a resurgance recently with a New Zealand company Aquilasax re-starting manufacture of them. They are manufactured in China at the moment which means pricing is competetive, around $700. I can't comment on quality as I've never laid my hands on one. However as with most chinese sax's, even if there are initial problems they will be quick learn to and to resolve them, thus producing a sax of some quality for a good price.

Whether the C Melody Saxophone will take off or not is a different matter. However, a saxophone that removes the need to transpose (which I hate) may in fact do well. We'll wait to see what the future brings.


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