|Acoustics of the saxophone
Bb tenor saxophone
Notes are the written pitch.
This is the third note in the second register. It differs from E4 (the corresponding note in the first register) in that it uses a register hole. This causes a leak in the bore that weakens the first impedance peak, but has little affect on higher peaks – see register hole for an explanation, and compare with E4, whose impedance spectrum is almost identical except for the first peak. Above about 1 kHz, the curve is irregular: see the discussion in cut-off frequency.
This note is, acoustically at least, a cross fingering: there is a key closed below the first open key, as the schematic inset shows. Because of the large size of the tone holes, cross fingerings have little effect at low frequency.
Compare with the impedance spectrum for a soprano sax on written E5: same fingering but sounding one octave higher.
This sound spectrum includes transient excitation from the beginning of the note, and so has traces of a subharmonic being excited, seen in the range above 5 kHz (compare E4).
Sound spectrum of a Bb tenor saxophone played using fingering for E5.
For more explanation, see Introduction to saxophone acoustics.
You can hear E5 played.