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I was early for my sax lesson the other day and the kid before me came and pulled out his horn. I already knew he had a Series III that his grandparents bought for him used around $1900. I noticed right away it had some strange mechanism on the side of the neck. I asked my teacher what it was and se said it was for high G and there was a small key above the regular octave key for hitting it. I never heard of an alto having a high G, let alone a Selmer. Was that an option years back or something?
 

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Sounds more like the "3rd octave key" option to me. High G keys are usually in the same place as the High F#, just split. I think it was intended to make altissimo easier, but from all reports its just one more mechanism on the horn to go wrong and doesn't really help.
 

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The point of this key is that it makes the notoriously unstable altissimo G & G# much better notes; it also improves the intonation of middle G & G# considerably, which can be tricky on modern Selmer altos.

The confusion about this key came from it's being named the 'harmonic' key. In the UK particularly, as I was growing up, the 'altissimo' register was known as the 'harmonics'. Everyone thought it was there to make the extreme high register a breeze.............oops. Consequently it never really caught on here.

However, if you only expect it to do the couple of small but crucial jobs listed above, it works very well. If you play a lot of modern classical music it is well worth it, otherwise, probably not.
 

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I've found that it really doesn't do much for altissimo(that's mainly marketing speil), altho using it or the regular octave key, or both together, does give some more slight tuning options up high.

Best usage is for G, G#, A, Bb(side) above the staff. Lowers pitch just right.

Read some of my other posts on this subject.
Is really worth getting, if you're into tuning.
 

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Erthwerm said:
Shouldn't everybody be into intonation? At least in most settings?
Yes, but most folks will simply adjust how they blow rather than having to fidget with an extra key.
 

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Grumps said:
Yes, but most folks will simply adjust how they blow rather than having to fidget with an extra key.
Unfortunately, 'fidgeting', otherwise known as lipping, alters the tone along with the pitch.
The most consistent tone & tuning is accomplished by keeping the tone as similar as possible, while using fingerings to alter the pitch.
That's the BIG benefit to using the Harmonic key, for pitch on top of the staff.
 
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