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Forum Contributor 2012, SOTW Saxophone Whisperer,
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Discussion Starter #1
Siguard Rascher I heard once say…………. (and I know you think at this point – here goes another Rascher-ite – but I am really not going there – read on with an open mind please) ……………..there is a limited number of words in the English language that pertain solely to music – most of the words we use are borrowed from other subject matter. For Example – we use the term “high” to describe pitch when it was designed to describe height. Think about any ENGLISH music term you use – and ask your self if it pertains to music only. I remember coming up with less than 10.

Now that being said – I feel that we as saxophonists have a lack of unison terminology with how we describe tonal characters of the saxophone.

Example – Tone A and Tone B – We have the terms focused and unfocused – Dark and Bright – just to name a few. I have heard different people use opposite terms to describe the same sound. I think it stems from how we perceive these terms outside of their musical meanings.

Being one of the most recent instruments created in this world – the 1st generation of saxophone greats in the 1st half of the 1900’s might be at fault for not unifying their terminology. This carried through to their disciples – and on and on – until we have armies of different schools of thought battling out their paradigms.

I guess this is part of my quest to separate the opinions of “good” and “bad” from just being different.

I do not know if anything can solve this dilemma we as saxophonists seem to share, however I was wondering if anybody had a thought to add to my observation.

Thanks for Reading!!
-C
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
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"Sometimes bad is bad." ... Huey Lewis
 

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The most prolific Distinguished SOTW poster, Forum
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Not being obstinate, but I don't see such a big dilemma nor do I understand what you are offering as an alternative. Maybe it would help if you posed a concrete question as a jumping-off point for discussion.
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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Cor blimey! This is all a bit philosophical but hey.. When we speak about music we use metaphors. Yes. But when we speak about anything we use metaphors. I agree that in relation to music the metaphors get rather poetical! The surprising thing to me is that if I say "that's a dark tone" or "that's a complex tone" those statements do actually mean something. If I say "that's an orange tone" that means nothing, really. So talk about music does have content as far as meaning goes. It's not completely random. Terms like "dark" or "light" or "high" and "low" are a metaphorical shorthand for acoustic properties that we can hear but cannot describe in technical language (unless we know a lot about acoustics!). The problems arise because the terms are inexact and the meanings we assign to them are not clear and obvious. But language itself is not clear and obvious. There's tuppence!! :)
 

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Graysax, I think I understand what point you are trying to make and do agree with you about the lack of a well-accepted consensus about many terms we use to describe the sound of a saxophone. I have been a frequent visitor to this forum since I took up the sax in 2000 and have learned an immense amount of knowledge from this forum. I have noticed, however, the complete subjectivity of opinions when it comes to tone. Nearly every discussion of a given saxophone, mouthpiece, reed, lig, whatever will have some completely opposite opinions posted regarding "darkness", "brightness", "focused", "unfocused", "centered", "spread", etc. And while it can be confusing/annoying, I think it has to do with the inherent subjectivity of music and a given individuals perception. And there is also the human physiology factor involved, so that when person A plays the exact same horn/mouthpiece/etc as person B, the tone/sound produced is likely to be different, sometimes markedly so. Basically, guess I am reiterating the same old point that a person can play the exact same horn/mouthpiece/reed combo of a Stan Getz,John Coltrane or any other sax great yet will not have the same tone/sound. So given the inherent subjectivity of the issue, I am not sure that specific terms that relate to the tone/sound of a sax could be defined more clearly/objectively in a way that a substantial majority of sax players would accept...
 

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New words for tone?

Dexterous
Gonzalvanized
Desmondic
Getzonic
Zootific
Hamiltonian
Prezence
Cannonballistic
Breckerly
G-strong
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
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Al Stevens said:
New words for tone?

Dexterous
Gonzalvanized
Desmondic
Getzonic
Zootific
Hamiltonian
Prezence
Cannonballistic
Breckerly
G-strong
I like it. I want to have a Gonzalvanized Prezence when I'm not Rabbitized.
 

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Forum Contributor 2012, SOTW Saxophone Whisperer,
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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry - I didnt post this as a question as more for conversation.

MRC - I'm with you 110% - I just guess I wish when somebody said focused (for example) we all were refering to the same tonal quality.

I REALLY am smiling over creating a new "saxophone only" language - Sounds like a new thread should be started entilted - The New "Saxophonists Only" Language that requires no explaniation when said to a saxophonist.


Thanks
C
 

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Forum Contributor 2010, Distinguished SOTW Member
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Other suggestions:

Ammonsonian
Bostacious
Curtisian

(These are to give us vocabulary to describe the "broad" style.)
 

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GreySax..Good Post.

I've heard posters here descibe Sanborn's alto tone as "Smooth"...and I've thought... Smooth????
He a wonderful player but I think his tone is anything but smooth.

And this term "Focused" What the Heck is that??

Also...I've heard some say that "Desmond plays very bright"
Sorry Pal...Not to me....He plays Smooth or is it Dark or is it Focused or is... AAAAAGGGGG!!!!!
 

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Forum Contributor 2010, Distinguished SOTW Member
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BlueTone said:
Also...I've heard some say that "Desmond plays very bright"
Sorry Pal...Not to me....He plays Smooth or is it Dark or is it Focused or is... AAAAAGGGGG!!!!!
He play purty.
 

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BlueTone said:
Also...I've heard some say that "Desmond plays very bright" Sorry Pal...Not to me....He plays Smooth or is it Dark or is it Focused or is... AAAAAGGGGG!!!!!
...like a dry martini. :D
 

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Forum Contributor 2010, Distinguished SOTW Member
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Gandalfe said:
It's kind of like trying to describe a universe phenomenon from an earthly perspective. Hard to do. I describe Paul Desmond's sound as Desmond-esque. :cool:
Mondo Desmondo.:D
 

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Forum Contributor 2012, SOTW Saxophone Whisperer,
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Discussion Starter #17
Lol
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
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Wonder why there isn't a fixed way of describing sound? It's just a classic example of human society : In every field, people want just one, unique and clear system that's used worldwide. And then everybody starts to argue why their one, unique and clear system should be used :D
 

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Forum Contributor 2012, SOTW Saxophone Whisperer,
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Discussion Starter #19
Ya know - I think Jollie has this nailed - I like the way you put that!!!

C
 

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You can also be - Bootsified,

Go through - Bootsification,

and...

Indulge yourself in something - Bootsylicious!! :D

that's aBoot all I can think of at the moment! :cool:
 
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