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C-Melody Saxophone Information

The C melody saxophone is pitched in the key of C, one whole step above the tenor saxophone. In the UK it is sometimes referred to as a "C tenor", and in France as a "tenor en ut". The C melody was part of the series of saxophones pitched in C and F, intended for orchestral use. Since 1930, only saxophones in the key of Bb and Eb (originally intended by Sax for use in military bands and wind ensembles) have been produced on a large scale.

A C melody saxophone is larger than an alto and smaller than a tenor. When seen in profile, its shape bears some resemblance to a tenor saxophone, though it is smaller and the bell appears longer. Most C melody saxophones have curved necks (with a similar shape to that of the tenor saxophone) though C.G.Conn did make straight-necked C melody instruments. C melody saxophones are usually marked with a letter "C" above or below the serial number.

A major selling point for the C melody saxophone was the fact that in contrast to other saxophones, it was not a transposing instrument. As a result, the player could read regular printed music (e.g. for flute, oboe, violin, piano, or voice) without having to transpose or read music parts that have been transposed into B? or E?, which most other saxophones would require. This enabled amateur musicians to play along with a friend or family member by reading from the same sheet of music—so long as the music fell within the pitch range of the C melody saxophone itself i.e. was not too high or low. Another selling point was that the C melody produces a more muted tone than the E? alto or B? tenor, which was useful when playing at home. Many novelty tunes, most influenced by 1920s dance music, were written specifically for the instrument.

We have pads availble to make a pad set for any C-Melody sax.

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