Adolphe Sax

Adolphe Sax - Belgian Inventors, Family and Childhood

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Adolphe Sax Biography Stories 

Adolphe Sax's Personal Details

Adolphe Sax was the inventor of Saxophone

InformationDetail
BirthdayNovember 6, 1814
Died onFebruary 7, 1894
NationalityBelgian
FamousInventors & Discoverers, Belgian Inventors, Belgian Men, Discoverers, Inventor of Saxophone
Known asСакс, Адольф
Universities
  • Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel
Discoveries / Inventions
  • Saxophone
Birth PlaceDinant
GenderMale
Sun SignScorpio
Born inDinant
Famous asInventor of Saxophone
Died at Age79

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Adolphe Sax's photo

Who is Adolphe Sax?

Adolphe Sax, was a Belgian-French maker of musical instruments, who invented the saxophone. He was born in France ruled Belgium but lived in Paris throughout his professional life. Adolphe Sax’s parents were musical instrument designers and hence he became interested in the vocation from a very early age. In fact, he started making his own instruments at an early age and exhibited his flutes and a clarinet at a competition at the age of 15. However, it is also important to point out that other than his parents; he also got to learn a lot about musical instruments and the intricacies involved in them at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. Later on, he moved to Paris in order to pursue his objective of becoming a musical instruments designer. One of his most important inventions was the saxophone, an instrument that was patented and remains his greatest invention. However, many of his patents ran into trouble as his rivals questioned the legality of many of them and the legal costs involved in the process drove him to bankruptcy twice.

Childhood & Early Life

Antoine-Joseph Sax was born in Dinant, in modern day Belgium, on November 6, 1814. At the time of his birth the region was under French rule. His father, Charles-Joseph Sax, was a designer of musical instruments and his mother too was engaged in the same profession. He was called Adolphe by everyone and he became better known by that name.

Very little information is available in relation to Adolphe Sax’s early education but chroniclers have noted that the he showed an interest in music instrument design from an early age. In fact, he had designed a flute as well as a clarinet when he was only 15 and took part in a competition with those two designs as his entries. He studied those instruments at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

Throughout his childhood Adolphe Sax suffered a series of life threatening accidents including a fall from a tall tree, a fall into a pan that caused severe burns and a fall into a river that could have drowned him among others. Even his parents are known to have convinced themselves that Sax would not live for long.

Career

Following his stint at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, Adolphe Sax started designing music instruments as a professional and while his parents stuck to what they knew best, he decided to look for ways to design new instruments. When Sax was 24 years old, he designed an improved version of the bass clarinet.

Adolphe Sax moved to Paris in 1841 in order to pursue his profession as a music instrument designer and within three years he was able to lay out an exhibition of his creations in the city known for being a hot bed of creative individuals. One of the instruments he created was an improvement on the prevalent models of the valved bugles and Sax’s instrument came to be known as saxhorns.

In 1845, Adolphe Sax developed another set of valved instruments made of brass that came to be known as the saxotromba family; but, the instruments did not prove to be as popular as expected. However, the saxhorn became extremely popular due to its modern design and the saxhorn became popular outside France as well, as it became one of the instruments used by the British brass movement.

On June 28, 1846 Adolphe Sax’s most famous invention the saxophone was awarded a patent and the unique thing about the instrument was that it was versatile enough to be part of bands as well as orchestras. Well known composers like Hector Berlioz had also written about the saxophone in glowing terms.

Following his success with the saxophone, Adolphe Sax became a well known inventor and in 1857, the Paris Conservatory decided to hire him as a teacher. The previous year he had been bankrupted after he had to fight court cases against instrument manufacturers who cast doubts regarding the patents that he had been awarded and the cycle would repeat itself 17 years later. However, in spite of his poverty, Sax continued to work on new instruments throughout the rest of his life.

Major Works

Adolphe Sax’s most important work in a career in which he designed plenty of musical instruments was that of designing the saxophone that went on to become one of the most popular musical instruments in the world.

Awards & Achievements

Adolphe Sax was honoured with a Legion of Honour, in 1849.

Personal Life & Legacy

Adolphe Sax never got married but he did have a romantic relationship with Louise-Adele Maor. They had five children and one of them, Adolph-Edouard Sax, went into the same profession as his father.

Although Adolphe Sax suffered from lip cancer between 1853 and 1858, but he managed to recover from the illness completely.

He died on February 7, 1894, in Paris, at the age of 79.

Adolphe Sax biography timelines

  • // 6th Nov 1814
    Antoine-Joseph Sax was born in Dinant, in modern day Belgium, on November 6, 1814. At the time of his birth the region was under French rule. His father, Charles-Joseph Sax, was a designer of musical instruments and his mother too was engaged in the same profession. He was called Adolphe by everyone and he became better known by that name.
  • // 1841
    Adolphe Sax moved to Paris in 1841 in order to pursue his profession as a music instrument designer and within three years he was able to lay out an exhibition of his creations in the city known for being a hot bed of creative individuals. One of the instruments he created was an improvement on the prevalent models of the valved bugles and Sax’s instrument came to be known as saxhorns.
  • // 1845
    In 1845, Adolphe Sax developed another set of valved instruments made of brass that came to be known as the saxotromba family; but, the instruments did not prove to be as popular as expected. However, the saxhorn became extremely popular due to its modern design and the saxhorn became popular outside France as well, as it became one of the instruments used by the British brass movement.
  • // 28th Jun 1846
    On June 28, 1846 Adolphe Sax’s most famous invention the saxophone was awarded a patent and the unique thing about the instrument was that it was versatile enough to be part of bands as well as orchestras. Well known composers like Hector Berlioz had also written about the saxophone in glowing terms.
  • // 1849
    Adolphe Sax was honoured with a Legion of Honour, in 1849.
  • // 1853 To 1858
    Although Adolphe Sax suffered from lip cancer between 1853 and 1858, but he managed to recover from the illness completely.
  • // 1857
    Following his success with the saxophone, Adolphe Sax became a well known inventor and in 1857, the Paris Conservatory decided to hire him as a teacher. The previous year he had been bankrupted after he had to fight court cases against instrument manufacturers who cast doubts regarding the patents that he had been awarded and the cycle would repeat itself 17 years later. However, in spite of his poverty, Sax continued to work on new instruments throughout the rest of his life.
  • // 7th Feb 1894
    He died on February 7, 1894, in Paris, at the age of 79.

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Adolphe Sax's FAQ

  • What is Adolphe Sax birthday?

    Adolphe Sax was born at 1814-11-06

  • When was Adolphe Sax died?

    Adolphe Sax was died at 1894-02-07

  • Where was Adolphe Sax died?

    Adolphe Sax was died in Paris

  • Which age was Adolphe Sax died?

    Adolphe Sax was died at age 79

  • Where is Adolphe Sax's birth place?

    Adolphe Sax was born in Dinant

  • What is Adolphe Sax nationalities?

    Adolphe Sax's nationalities is Belgian

  • What was Adolphe Sax universities?

    Adolphe Sax studied at Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel

  • What is Adolphe Sax's inventions/discoveries?

    Saxophone was invented (or discovered) by Adolphe Sax

  • What is Adolphe Sax's sun sign?

    Adolphe Sax is Scorpio

  • How famous is Adolphe Sax?

    Adolphe Sax is famouse as Inventor of Saxophone