- Stephen Cottrell
Term denoting several different single-reed aerophones. The most common type comprises a simple keyless reedpipe, in which one end is cut away at an angle to accommodate a large single reed. The reed is attached over the cut portion by a ligature and rests on the lower lip in performance. Six to eight fingerholes and a left-hand thumbhole are burned or drilled into the bamboo to provide a simple diatonic fingering pattern. Chromatic notes are achieved through cross fingerings or occasional half-holing. Notwithstanding the descriptor ‘saxophone’, almost certainly used for marketing purposes, the coupling of a large single reed with a cylindrical pipe means that such instruments are technically clarinets. Their sound lies somewhere between the clarinet’s and the Armenian ...