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C melody Sax.

What

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Well I might have a chance at a 1910s era C Melody sax. From what I understand these saxes were meant to be played without the need to transpose from music written for other instruments. I am having trouble hunting down sources for learning to play the instrument itself, or does it follow the same fingering chart of other saxes?

I have time to hunt since I will have a good deal of work to do if I win the sax, but I figured like usual I would ask you all for some tips.
 

Colin the Bear

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13,095
Not knowing the make model of the instrument it's hard to be specific, but generalising it should play basicaly the same as a modern sax. Some of the keys on a modern sax may not be present as they hadn't been invented at the time. Some early models only go down to B for instance and it certainly won't have a high F#. Probably no front F key and some of the trill keys may be absent.

A melody C is in concert pitch. What you play is what you hear. It's fine for playing with strings or a piano, but that's all. You'll be back to transposing if you want to play with brass or other saxes. Mouthpiece might be a problem as might be spares. With something more modern that's just a little tired, a repad and a tweak may be all that's needed. With an antique rarity you may need advanced engineering skills and tools.
 

What

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314
I had not thought about the limits with other saxes. I was a bit more interested in the restoration work and another sax to play. I know a few places that still make mouth pieces and reeds for the C, but they might be more the newer runs of them rather then the vintage bore. You've given me a few things to consider thought about how much use I might get out of it after the restore work is done.
 

What

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Well, I won the sax for 128 US. The seller looks reputable, the condition looks like a recorking and pad replacement. But looks like I have my second sax, a little fixer upper from 1916. Best of all I used my smoking money that I no longer plan to use.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Did you check the pitch?

Some of the C Mels had reduced fingering, others were as fully keyed as all the other saxes at the time. You may even find some 'extra' keys..
 

thomsax

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3,807
Did you check the pitch?

Some of the C Mels had reduced fingering, others were as fully keyed as all the other saxes at the time. You may even find some 'extra' keys..
Yes, you can find a so called "home model" from low C to high C# or a fullrange (Bb to high F with some extra keys) Holton with extra keys.

The c-saxes are good to learn songs and playing from a lead sheet (melody, chords and lyrics) if you are , like me, just playing the saxophone. But I can't stand the sound of a C-melody. Sounds strange to me. The C-soprano sounds better.
 

What

Member
Messages
314
Yes, you can find a so called "home model" from low C to high C# or a fullrange (Bb to high F with some extra keys) Holton with extra keys.

The c-saxes are good to learn songs and playing from a lead sheet (melody, chords and lyrics) if you are , like me, just playing the saxophone. But I can't stand the sound of a C-melody. Sounds strange to me. The C-soprano sounds better.
I listened to a few recordings. I personally like um. I still like my tenor more, but not too bad for a secondary sax. Then again I feel the same way about the soprano recorder.

Did you check the pitch?

Some of the C Mels had reduced fingering, others were as fully keyed as all the other saxes at the time. You may even find some 'extra' keys..
It looks to be a low tone from what I can tell and the stamped "L" in the corner. I am not familiar enough with saxes of the day to be sure if it has extras or is fully keyed, I know the high F is fairly new by comparison, but outside of that this is a total learning experience for me.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,095
In almost a 100 years I bet it's seen some action. Ask the seller for some history if it's available. Always nice to where your horn has been. Take lots of pictures before you strip it. Good job on the smoking.
 
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