Adolphe Sax Biography, Wiki, Parents, Invention, Death


Adolphe Sax Biography, Wiki, Parents, Invention, Death

Born on November 6, 1815, in Dinant, Southern Netherlands (now known as Belgium), Antoine-Joseph Sax, simply known as Adolphe Sax, was a Belgian musician and inventor. He is known for inventing musical instruments like saxtuba, saxhorn and saxotromba.

Adolphe Sax is also known for playing the clarinet and flute. He died of pneumonia on February 7, 1894, in Paris, France. 

Early life

Adolphe Sax was born on November 6, 1815, in Dinant, Southern Netherlands (now known as Belgium), to Marie-Joseph and Charles-Joseph Sax. While he was given the name "Antoine-Joseph" at birth, he was referred to as "Adolphe" as a child, and the name stuck even until his death.


Adolphe Sax's parents were instrument designers, and their craft motivated him to start making instruments of his own. While Adolph Sax's parents went about their daily business of making instruments, he continued experimenting with new instrument designs. 

At the age of 15, he entered a clarinet and two flutes he had designed himself into a competition, and at the age of 24, he improved a bass clarinet design, which was his first important invention.

In 1842, after relocating permanently to Paris, Adolphe Sax made examples of valved bulges, which later became known as saxhorns. In 1845, he made examples of valved brass with narrower bore. They became known as saxotromba and only survived for a brief period. Meanwhile, the use of saxhorns spread widely in that time, and today, it is exclusively adopted by the British brass band movement as an instrument. 

By 1846, Adolphe Sax had already designed saxophones that ranged from subcontrabass to sopranino, and by June of that year, he had patented the saxophone with the intention that it be used in military bands and orchestras. He continued to make instruments after the saxophone and oversaw the Paris Conservatory's new saxophone course. 


In 1894, Adolphe Sax died of pneumonia in Paris after previously suffering from lip cancer between 1853 and 1858 and surviving it. 

Honours and awards

In 1849, after his death, Adolphe Sax was honoured with the Chivalier rank of the Legion of honour. 

In 1995, a likeness of Adolphe Sax was featured on the front of the 200 Belgian franc banknote.

In 2015, Adolphe Sax, on his 201st birthday, was commemorated by Google Doodle. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How did Adolphe Sax almost die?

Adolphe Sax almost died after hitting his head on a stone after falling from a height of three floors. He almost died years later after getting hit on the head with a cobblestone. 

What is Adolphe Sax known for?

Adolphe Sax is known for inventing the saxophone.

What are Adolphe Sax inventions?

The instruments Adolphe Sax invented include the saxtuba, saxhorns, and saxotromba.

When was the saxophone invented, and by who?

The saxophone was invented and patented in 1846 by Adolphe Sax.

Was Adolphe Sax married?

Adolphe Sax was never married. However, he had a lover, Louise-Adèle Maor, whom he had five children with.



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