“Don’t use your fingers,” Adam’s saxophon tutor said. “Stick it a little deeper into your mouth, close your teeth with your lips, and blow hard! Yes, really! Yes! ”Then, a discordant note melted from the tip of the saxophone that Adam was holding. The tone that he described as a high-pitched wailing destroyed the peace of the morning.
Aside from jogging and motorbike running, Adam does have a new hobby: he likes to play saxophones, and has decided to seriously study the musical instrument that creates the sensual tone.
His three hobbies bring different kinds of relaxation to Adam. Running makes the body and soul lighter, bringing more time to think. While motorbike really absorbs attention, which ultimately creates distraction from excessive thinking and worry all the time.
A saxophone is a stress reliever. Playing it made Adam calm and happy.
Speaking of which, Adam is not me. He was a widower who had just died by his wife, and wrote life experiences after the incident in The Guardian. In the fixed column of Widower of the Parish, he shared about how the pleasure of playing the saxophone helped him to be distracted from sadness and anxiety.
Playing music is scientifically proven to reduce human stress. Senior health writer Fred Cicetti once wrote that on the Health Science website. “Playing an instrument seems to improve our health in various ways. I myself play the sax almost every day, and can ensure that playing music definitely reduces stress, “wrote Cicetti.
The story of Adam and Cicetti will actually sound ironic if you know the life story of Adolphe Sax, the creator of the saxophone.
“He is a child who is cursed with bad luck.” The word was famous because it came out of his own mother. “He will not live long,” said the mother anyway. His neighbors even nicknamed “Little Sax, The Ghost”.
Before creating the saxophone, Sax’s life was unique, if not tragic.
Barely Dead Many Times
He, who was born as the first child of eleven siblings, had almost died seven times as a child. His younger siblings didn’t even have a long life to old age. Seven of them died before they were 25. The mother’s depression finally proved wrong: Sax became one of their four long-lived children.
However, the mother is not entirely wrong either. Because Sax is not exactly have a lucky life.
He had fallen from the third floor when he was little, and banged his head against a rock. People were convinced that he was dead. At the age of three, Sax had taken down dilute sulfuric acid, which he thought was a bowl of milk. At the same age, he also had choked on a metal pin. Next, he almost died scorched by gunpowder explosion.
He also once fell into a pan filled with hot red cast iron, which made half of his face have a burn. On three separate occasions, he slept in a room with newly varnished furniture. Red smoke made the Sax breathless and barely woke up the next morning.
Another time, a rock fell from the roof and landed on his head. As if he were Ezekiel’s favorite human, little Sax also almost drowned in the river.
The stories of the near death experience of the boy from Dinant, Belgium are recorded on the website of his hometown. The clarinet builder’s son was born in 1814. So just imagine how magical the stories are, with the context of the medical world that is not as sophisticated as today.
Maybe, if the near death experience only happened once or twice, Sax would be called “lucky boy”. But, stepping death to seven times finally just made the label “bad boy” stick on Sax’s forehead.
In fact, Sax is a talented teenager. He has started designing musical instruments since childhood. Get the talent from his parents who are musical instrument designers. Charles Joseph Sax and Marie Joseph-Mason are indeed known as one of the designers who developed French trumpets, in addition to their musical instrument shop.
Sax, who was born with the original name Antoine-Joseph Sax, has often participated in music playing competitions with flutes and clarinet since the age of 15. He even studied musical instruments and vocals at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. At the age of 24, he even patented the first musical instrument he designed, the bass clarinet.
In the article “Meet the” Dangerous Belgian “Who Invented the Sax”, Clark Boyd noted new instruments designed by Sax are quite well-known from his other rivals. One of them is Saxhorn, which at this time is often used by orchestras and concert bands. Saxhorn also later became a prototype in the development of euphonium, a brass wind instrument that had three to five valves.
However, of all the wind instruments developed by Sax, his most popular finding was the saxophone. He has developed a musical instrument that is famous for creating that sensual tone since 1840, until finally patenting it on June 28, 1846, right today 172 years ago.
Initially Not Popular
This wind instrument is special because of the sound and tone it can reach. A saxophone has a metal cone tube – which in its initial design was made of brass too – with around 24 openings controlled by the keys; while the inflatable funnel is similar to the clarinet funnel design. However, unlike a straight clarinet, the lower end of the saxophone is curved upside down and can be removed.
Fred L. Hemke in his dissertation, The Early History of Saxophone (1975), wrote that in 1846 Sax at least on paper had designed various types of saxophones, ranging from sopranino to subcontrabass. The goal, so that the instrument can make sophisticated harmony in an orchestra.
Musician Hector Berlioz liked the Sax instruments, and supported his use as a standard musical instrument in orchestral performances. Unfortunately, that dream did not come true when Sax was still alive.
The instrument was not very popular and was not liked in the early days he existed. In fact, eventually more often used military bands. But later, during World War II, the saxophone was popular as a single musical instrument.
The saxophone finally became Sax’s highest achievement. The reputation of the instrument is more popular than other Sax designs. Although only used in the military, the saxophone finally helped Sax get a job as a teacher at the Paris Conservatory in 1857.
However, the saxophone also made Sax bankrupt. Rival other instrument makers had attacked the legitimacy of the saxophone patent, making Sax had to deal with the law back and forth for about 20 years. His life was even more unfortunate when his lips were stricken with cancer in 1853 to 1858. He managed to recover, but legal affairs continued to make Sax’s financial sag, especially in 1873 and 1877.
He did finally prove he could live a long life, even though he was exhausted removing the pesky label from his forehead. Sax died in poverty and only lived on a small pension from the French government, until he died at the age of 80.
However, long after his death, the saxophone has now become one of the most popular musical instruments. It is even used by people like Adam and Cicetti as a tool to keep them away from depression. Although bad luck is far from Sax’s life, at least now the name of the unlucky boy was made eternal by the saxophone, his creation.