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Alto, C-mel, Saxie
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've acquired yet another interesting saxophone-shaped object, this time in the form of a Songophone (an early-1900s kazoo-like instrument). It isn't playing at the moment -- the membrane is long gone and it desperately needs a good cleaning -- but I'm planning on fixing it up and making it work again. I have some other Songophones that might be fixed up at a later date, but this one gets priority status.

I won't lie, though; one of the things that drew me to it was how much it looks like a Couesnon Saxie. Here's a shot of the two side by side for comparison. The Saxie is a little longer (and is more clearly a woodwind), but they still look like they could be long-lost relatives.


The resemblance actually makes me wonder if this is entirely a coincidence, since the Saxie's original patent drawing had a different bell shape than the final design. The Songophone (and its predecessor/contemporary the Zobo) was a pretty popular commodity in its day, and if the Saxie was Couesnon's attempt to break into the American saxophone market via a novelty instrument, making it resemble a preexisting popular novelty instrument could have been part of that strategy. ...Of course, there aren't that many ways to make a toy saxophone, so I might be reading too much into this.
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