A saxophone is a type of musical instrument in the woodwind family. The saxophone uses a piece of wood, called a reed, to make sound. The player blows air into the mouthpiece, which vibrates the reed. The saxophone also uses keys to change pitch, and the player closes or opens holes to choose the note. Commonly, saxophones have about 22 keys.
The saxophone is most commonly found in four voices: soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones. However, uncommon saxophones include the bass and contrabass saxophones (lower than a baritone saxophone), the C-melody saxophone (between the tenor and alto saxophones), and the sopranino saxophone (higher than a soprano saxophone).
It was invented in 1840 by Adolphe Sax and is used in classical, jazz, and occasionally in rock, pop, and other styles. The saxophone was originally created for military bands, but was commonly used in jazz big bands in the 1940s and 1950s. Famous saxophone players include Marcel Mule (classical music), John Coltrane (jazz music), and Charlie Parker (jazz music).