Acoustics of the saxophone

Bb saxophone

multiphonic 7

Music Acoustics UNSW

Multiphonic 1 Multiphonic 2 Multiphonic 3
Multiphonic 4 Multiphonic 5 Multiphonic 6
Multiphonic 7 Multiphonic 8  


a key depressed
a key not depressed
a hole covered
a hole uncovered
a part of the mechanism that is not normally touched
Details in fingering legend.

Acoustic schematic
a closed tone hole
an open tone hole

Non-specialist introduction to acoustic impedance
Non-specialist introduction to saxophone acoustics

Notes are the written pitch.
Frequencies are the sounding frequency, for Bb saxophone.
Unless otherwise stated, the impedance spectrum is for a Bb saxophone.

Impedance spectrum of a Bb saxophone measured using fingering for the multiphonic Bb3, Bb4, F5, Bb5, D6 .The fingering shown here for playing it is the same as that for A#3 with the octave key. Used for bugling up the harmonic series of A#3, experienced players select subsequent peaks by adjusting a strong impedance peak of the vocal tract (see this page for an explanation and some interesting results)

For more explanation, see Introduction to saxophone acoustics

Fingering legend
How were these results obtained?

Contact: Joe Wolfe /
phone 61-2-9385-4954 (UT +10, +11 Oct-Mar)
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