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date: 19 August 2019

Sax familylocked

  • Philip Bate
  • , revised by Wally Horwood


Belgian family of wind instrument makers, of whom the second in line was probably the most remarkable innovator ever to enter the trade.

(b Dinant [now in Belgium], Feb 1, 1790; d Paris, April 26, 1865). A skilled workman, he seems to have taught himself the craft of wind instrument making. In 1815 he established a factory for brass and woodwind instruments in Brussels. His products soon attracted notice; in the same year he received a court appointment and was entrusted with supplying instruments for certain Dutch Army regiments then in the course of formation. Instruments bearing his mark figured at the Paris Exposition of 1867. In addition to producing the standard instruments of the period, and a clarinet with the ‘spectacle’ b/f♯″ key designed by (2) Adolphe Sax, Charles-Joseph Sax devised a valveless ‘cor omnitonique’ in 1824 and patented an improved version in 1846. He also obtained Belgian protection for an improved system of ‘cylinders’ applied to the ophicleide. According to Pontécoulant (...

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W. Waterhouse: The New Langwill Index: a Dictionary of Musical Wind-Instrument Makers and Inventors
Journal of the Royal Musical Association