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It seems to me that if the baritone or alto is to remain an Eb instrument (whereby fingering C produces concert Eb), then the length of the cone has to remain the same - regardless of whether the lowest fingered note is Bb or A.

If the instrument is made longer, to add that extra A tonehole, then wouldn't the instrument transform from an Eb into a D instrument (just as an A clarinet is longer than a Bb)?

But if the instrument is not made longer to accommodate the A tonehole, then how does fingering an A and closing that tonehole differ from just not having any tonehole at all - how does it differ from the standard instrument?

I suppose if I had two baritones side by side with me, one Bb and one A, the answer might be obvious.

Clearly, I'm overlooking or mistaken about something.
 

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no, the tube of the low A instruments is just made longer but all the rest stays the same compared to a low Bb instrument , if you add notes to a scale doesn't change the key the scale it is? It just makes it longer.

Some Altos (and sopranos and of course things like the Conn-O-Sax) have an high G, the high G is cut out above the F# ( the same way the F# is added to horns of the same design that normally only get to high F) but the scale of the horn stays the same.

So a low A Baritone remains a Eb instrument because of the scale it produces, regardless of the added notes which are achieved adding length to achieve lower notes or adding holes to get higher notes.

These are pictures of a Low A ( and high G) couesnon alto, compare them to a ordinary Low Bb high F alto of the same design, you can clearly see a longer tube under ( see the lip of the bell being one under the other above the left hand plateau?) and extra toneholes above ( the neck of the high G low A couesnon has even a cut out to allow the positioning of the high G tonehole )?



 

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Adding to Milandro, if you compare an A to a Bb clarinet, the positioning of the holes will be different, it's not just a bigger instrument.

Despite this, you're thinking correctly. Making the tube longer does change the fundamental note of the entirety of the tube, so a low Bb bari will have a Db "tuning" when fully closed and a low A will have a C "tuning". But, as you open the keys, you are changing its length and note, and these notes "only" depend on the position of the holes in the body of the instrument.
 

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Saxes are keyed by the concert pitch of their 'C' note. This doesn't change no matter how many notes you add to the low end. Its done this way so a player can play different saxes and all the notes are fingered the same - a 'C' is played the same on every sax so you don't have to change fingerings when switching from alto to tenor, for example (reading the appropriate parts for each one) - the difference is the same notes are different concert pitches. Ear players sometimes learn to think in concert pitches on the different saxes.
 

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They just make the bell longer and add one tone hole plus the related keywork.

Originally saxophones only went down to low B. Then manufacturers made the bell longer and added one tone hole plus related keywork, and they went to low Bb. Do the operation again (Selmer, mid 50s) and you get the low A. Do it again and you would have a low Ab, once more and you've got a low G (Conn-o-sax?)
 

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perhaps you have never seen one, but in Brazil there are Bass saxophones keyed to low G

of course it is not only a cylindrical extension.

Anyway, this is a Low A Buescher " beer mug" , you can clearly see that this is the same body of a Low BB but that it was extended (putting an extra tonehole) with this " Beer mug" extension (this was their solution other brands did this differently)
 

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Again adding notes to an instrument doesn't change the key the instrument is in, no matter how many extra notes you add to a flute it is still keyed in C .

This flute has a G footjoint! ( still a C instrument!)

 

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It seems to me that if the baritone or alto is to remain an Eb instrument (whereby fingering C produces concert Eb), then the length of the cone has to remain the same - regardless of whether the lowest fingered note is Bb or A.

If the instrument is made longer, to add that extra A tonehole, then wouldn't the instrument transform from an Eb into a D instrument (just as an A clarinet is longer than a Bb)?
The natural partials on brass instruments determine their key. So, yes, the length of the open tube is the determining factor.

But, as 1saxman said, woodwinds don't work that way. On sax, it's simply whatever note comes out when you finger a C. Adding low A, G, whatever, won't change that C. What will change that C is the length of the tube up to that point, not the length after. Add some sort of neck extension, and yes, you'd change the key of the instrument. Keeping C where it is and adding more tube after that doesn't change the key.
 

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Again adding notes to an instrument doesn't change the key the instrument is in, no matter how many extra notes you add to a flute it is still keyed in C .

This flute has a G footjoint! ( still a C instrument!)

That is ridiculous, i would worry about the tenon getting loose because of the weight and leverage stress.
Low B is enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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But, as 1saxman said, woodwinds don't work that way. On sax, it's simply whatever note comes out when you finger a C. Adding low A, G, whatever, won't change that C. What will change that C is the length of the tube up to that point, not the length after. Add some sort of neck extension, and yes, you'd change the key of the instrument. Keeping C where it is and adding more tube after that doesn't change the key.
Aha! That's the concept was missing. Thank you all.
 
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