This beautifully printed and bound volume is the most comprehensive book written to date on the entire saxophone family. The 275 page volume contains a wealth of information on saxophone technique, performance, pedagogy, and history. The accompanying CD provides a welcome and much needed reference on the timbral differences between the different sizes of saxophones. This book is an excellent resource, a wonderful reference, and an enjoyable read!
More information, chapter excerpts and audio examples may be found below
Writing for Saxophones: A Guide to the Tonal Palette of the Saxophone Family for Composers, Arrangers and Performers provides a practical guide to understanding and effectively utilizing the sounds of this thriving instrumental group as it advances into the twenty-first century. Over ninety printed solo and ensemble examples in the book have been recorded on the enclosed audio CD, which allows the reader to explore the distinct personalities of the various saxophones and integrate their individual musical characteristics into his or her tonal imagination. Saxophone performers and enthusiasts will find enjoyment and edification within these pages, and composers and arrangers who wish to explore the many possibilities offered by the saxophone family will find this book to be an especially valuable resource.
Between these covers lies a wealth of information, including:
- An overview of the history of the saxophone, including the current resurgence of interest in the full range of the saxophone family from B-flat piccolo through B-flat subcontrabass.
- Detailed information on writing for all twelve sizes of saxophone in use today, including multiple printed musical examples and audio recordings of each one.
- Recordings of small and large saxophone ensembles demonstrating a wide variety of combinations of both common and specialty saxophones. Each example has a corresponding printed score.
- An extensive introduction to extended techniques for saxophone, including notation and performance information about the altissimo register, microtones, multiphonics, reed-pizzicato, portamento and more.
Saxophones have been used solo and in groups in nearly every genre of music since their invention in the mid-nineteenth century. However, the full potential of this family’s great versatility and kaleidoscopic tonal resources remains unrealized in many respects. In Writing for Saxophones, Dr. Easton provides performers, composers and arrangers with an unprecedented variety of detailed printed and recorded examples of the sounds available to the saxophone, fulfilling the need for a comprehensive guide to the tonal palette of the entire saxophone family.
“What a marvelous compendium of saxophone knowledge!” -Dr. Walter S. Hartley, composer and Professor Emeritus of Music, SUNY Fredonia
“This is truly a comprehensive book on the saxophone that is informative yet fun to read. I feel very fortunate and honored to have this terrific information... I am currently involved in commissioning a couple of composers to write for me. This will no doubt be a handy book to pass along.” -Chien-Kwan Lin, Assistant Professor of Saxophone, Eastman School of Music
“I was delighted to read such a useful and comprehensive history of the saxophone. It will be required reading for my students. Of equal importance is your intelligent, objective analysis of saxophone equipment, style, tone, and more that answers so much of the mythology that pervades our field." - Dr. Paul Cohen, saxophone faculty at Manhattan School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, New York University and William Paterson University; arranger, musicologist, historian and author
Links correspond to excerpts from the chapter in PDF format. following excerpts are in PDF format. Corresponding audio files from the audio CD are included below in MP3 format.
- Table of Contents (102 KB)
- Historical Overview of the Spread of the Saxophone Family (91.9 KB)
(Excerpt from Part I: the Saxophone Family - Past and Present)
- B-flat bass saxophone (153.8 KB)
(Excerpt from Part II: Writing for the Saxophone as a Solo Voice)
- Full saxophone ensemble from piccolo through subcontrabass (139.9 KB)
(Excerpt from Part III: Writing for the Saxophone in Ensemble)
- Slap-tonguing (85.1 KB)
(Excerpt from Part IV: Extended Techniques for Saxophone)
Sample audio tracks:
- CD Track 25, Musical example 2.21 (1.3 MB)
F Mezzo-Soprano Saxophone demo
- CD Track 56, Musical example 3.9 (443.2 KB)
Southwell scored for S-S-S-S Saxophone Quartet
- CD Track 57, Musical example 3.10 (425.3 KB)
Southwell scored for A-A-A-A Saxophone Quartet
- CD Track 65, Musical example 3.18 (1.7 MB)
Bach Chorale 91 scored for full saxophone ensemble (piccolo through subcontrabass) with shifting instrumentation to create contrasting textures
- CD Track 66, Musical example 3.19 (1.3 MB)
A Year After My Wedding scored for S-A-T-B-Cb Saxophone Quintet
- CD Track 85, Musical Example 4.10 (1.1 MB)
Four types of slap tongue demo