I was listening to some musicians discuss “real music” the other day. They were talking about the differnce between “real” instruments and electronic instruments.

They began to talk about the saxophone as being one of the “real” instruments, and sax players as being “real” musicians.

What makes an instrument “real”?

Take that Saxophone:


First, let’s look at the name itself – Saxophone.

It was named after it’s inventor – Adolphe Sax around 1840. And taking the name apart we get sax (the inventor’s last name) – o – phone ( voiced, or sounding). Which more or less translates – A sound of Adolphe Sax

It kind of made me smile to think how little we know of the history of things. The first sax built in America came in 1885. The first well know composer to use this instrument was Bela Bartok in his work ‘The Wooden Prince’ in 1917.

For most of this instrument’s early life it was relagated to use in the circus. It took years for it to be considered a “real” instrument – it was considered a novelty instrument, kind of like the kazoo of today.  Only when it found it’s way into the hands of musicians and composers who lovingly brought forth it’s true worth was it finally taken seriously.

The point is – the only true natural instrument is your voice. Everything else is synthetic. It’s the skill of the musician that transforms any sound into “real” music.

Let the music play!

See ya!