Alto saxophone – Definition & Meaning

The alto saxophone is a popular musical instrument that belongs to the family of woodwind instruments. It is widely used in jazz, classical, and other genres of music. The alto saxophone has a unique sound that is easily recognizable and has been featured in many famous compositions. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of the alto saxophone.


The alto saxophone is a musical instrument that is pitched in the key of E-flat. It has a curved body and a single reed mouthpiece. The alto saxophone is a transposing instrument, which means that the music written for the instrument is not in the same key as the actual sound produced. The alto saxophone is smaller than the tenor saxophone but larger than the soprano saxophone.


The alto saxophone was invented by Adolphe Sax in 1846. Adolphe Sax was a Belgian instrument maker who invented the saxophone family of instruments. The alto saxophone was one of the first saxophones that Sax invented. He wanted to create an instrument that had the projection of a brass instrument but the agility of a woodwind instrument.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the alto saxophone is “a saxophone pitched in E-flat and smaller than a tenor saxophone.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines the alto saxophone as “a musical instrument of the saxophone family, pitched in E-flat and having a curved body and a single reed mouthpiece.”


The alto saxophone is often associated with jazz music, but it is also used in classical music, marching bands, and other genres. The alto saxophone has been used by many famous musicians, including Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley, and Phil Woods.


The alto saxophone is sometimes referred to as the alto sax, or simply the saxophone.


There are no antonyms for the alto saxophone.

The same root words

The word “saxophone” comes from the name of its inventor, Adolphe Sax. The word “alto” comes from the Italian word “alto,” which means “high.”

Example Sentences

  1. The alto saxophone player played a beautiful solo during the jazz concert.
  2. The marching band featured several alto saxophones in their performance.
  3. The alto saxophone is a popular instrument for beginners to learn in school music programs.
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