Alto Saxophones range

Discussion in 'Off Topic [DB]' started by Joe Taylor, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    I'm arranging some mucic and need to write a alto sax part I have not been able to find the range of the sax on the web. Any of you know off the top of your head?

    Also, since it is a transpoing instrument when middle C is notated what note is played?

  2. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I think Alto Sax's concert pitch is Eb. As far as range, I think it's about the same as the trumpet (if you're familiar with that instrument), but the average alto sax player can probably outlast the average trumpeter in his high C and higher range.

    I'd trade written lines with the alto sax in high school jazz band when we were goofing off, and we didn't have much trouble doing that for the most part...kinda fun hearing those lines that way, even though we had to transpose what we were reading.
  3. Josh McNutt

    Josh McNutt Guest

    Mar 10, 2003
    Denton, Texas (UNT)
    Ohhh, I get transfer sax knowledge to the bass forum. Alto, like all the other saxes, has a range from Bb below the staff to F above. In concert pitch, Db in bass clef to Ab above in treble, but that's not how we read. We read up an octave, e.g., middle C on piano is A in the staff for alto. I play tenor and alto transposition still confuses me a bit, but I took this out of Larry Teal's The Art of Saxophone Playing . Hope this helps.
  4. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    Thanks ever so much. All I could find was the sax has a 2 1/2 octive range but no info on where the range started.

    Next question any of you know anything about French Horn other than it plays p5 below where the notes are writen?

  5. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    My experience is that it also plays anywhere from 1/2 to 1 semitone above or below the note as written.
  6. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    FWIW The 1/2 to 1 semi-tone depends on how far up the bell the horn playrer sticks their hand.

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