A saxophone is a musical instrument that belongs to the woodwind category. It is one of the youngest musical instruments. The saxophone was invented by Adolphe Sax, a Belgian, in the 1840s. Later, many people made their own alterations to the instrument. Saxophones were generally used in the military and in big orchestras, but are now found in smaller bands as well. They are especially popular in big band, pop music and jazz music. There are many kinds of saxophones but the four most common ones are: Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone saxophones.
The baritone saxophone is larger in size than the alto and tenor models. It contains an extra loop near the mouthpiece that is responsible for producing a unique sound. Many latest baritone saxophones have an extra key for playing a low A (concert C).
The baritone saxophone, like all other saxophones, is a transposing instrument. It is in the key of E-Flat. It is slightly longer than the soprano saxophone, and also lower-sounding. Hence, it is a preferred solo jazz instrument. The most popular baritone saxophonists were Pepper Adams, Harry Carney, Gary Smulyan, Cecil Payne and Gerry Mulligan.
There are many aspects taken into consideration while designing a baritone saxophone, especially a professional one: the tube is carefully tested with various alloys as the weight of the metal and its thickness can effect the performance of the instrument; the holes and the posts should also be placed very carefully, and soldering is also given much importance; professional horns also contain adjustable felt bumpers and screws, as well as hand-engravings and hand-hammered keys. The finish is also an important aspect. Gold and silver plating is generally preferred over colored lacquer. There are also used and vintage baritone saxophones available.
The local music store, mail-order service, a private party or the Internet are good sources for buying alto saxophones. The main aspects to be considered are the quality, service, price and the model. The Internet is a good source to find information about tenor saxophones, but it is a good idea to test a few of them before buying.