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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In all these years I have often seen and commented on these short range (they exist from Soprano to Baritone) saxophone and by this I mena saxophones which keywork extends to low B (instead of the more extended Bb) and or to high Eb .

One way or other these were very much more common in Italy, France and Belgium ( perhaps also the Netherlands). They served the limitd needs of marching band playing simple music and needing cheaper instruments. In Italy they were often called “ Strumento Ministeriale” probably referring to some culture ministry definition of sort which defined the characteristics of such intrument. At the very least I have heard this definition from Italian shops when I , as a teenager, wanted to buy my first musical instruments and didn’t want to spend too much of my limited budget.

In the US Buescher made a distinct line of reduced keys instruments called Academy from low C to “ High” C. I think other brands may also have had similar instruments but the only ones which I’ve ever really seen were the Bueschers.

I occasionally come across these and I would like to create a reference for members who also come across this type of saxophone and don’t know what they are.

Bear in mind that some of these instruments may have a double octave key and some may even be pitched in HP (High Pitch) generally A=457Hz.

Arnaldo Borgani Short Range Alto

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
well, I think it was a combination of things, for example some companies acquired the old patents from A.Sax when new mechanics were already produced by Selmer (which had bought the Sax patents) , but saving on small details was done up until the ’80 when Yanagisawa produced, contemporarily to the series 800 the series 500 , the difference was allowing to fight Yamaha on price for student level horns , the only difference was ribless construction, stainless steel springs and the Low Bb spatula (and not even always) made of a metal painted plastic rather than metal.
 

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Interesting design of the spatula keys - I think it’s certainly mechanically simpler. I’d like to try it - maybe I’d like that keytouch design (also adding Bb) better than the modern design, which I think is ergonomically awful.
 

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In all these years I have often seen and commented on these short range (they exist from Soprano to Baritone) saxophone and by this I mena saxophones which keywork extends to low B (instead of the more extended Bb) and or to high Eb .

One way or other these were very much more common in Italy, France and Belgium ( perhaps also the Netherlands). They served the limitd needs of marching band playing simple music and needing cheaper instruments. In Italy they were often called “ Strumento Ministeriale” probably referring to some culture ministry definition of sort which defined the characteristics of such intrument. At the very least I have heard this definition from Italian shops when I , as a teenager, wanted to buy my first musical instruments and didn’t want to spend too much of my limited budget.
As an italian I have to say it's probably simpler of what you have written. I do believe marching band of i.e. Carabineri (police force of the italian Army) stated a minimum range that a saxophone have to fit to be bought, then they bought the cheapest. No culture ministry involved :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Well, I am absolutely sure that the shops in Naples ( as you may know we have many and mostly concentrated in Via San Sebastiano around the conservatorio San Pietro a Majella) , where I was born, referred to “ Modello Ministeriale” when speaking of instruments which would have been equipping a marching band ( for the most parts non military bands from a council , civil or religious association) . In fact I don’t think that the Army ( as you know Carabinieri are part of the army) they would by the way depend from a completely different ministry.

Typically these intruments were used in bands like this, which may or may not have been regulated ( remember that during the Fascism there was a very pervasive “ Ministero della Cultura Popolare") , I have to say that aside from the people calling them like this ( of which I am absolutely certain) in these shops (in Particular the 2 Miletti shops and Cerruti ) I have not found written records but I will look for them.

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Anyway, civilian bands, such as this one above, were in every corner in Italy, France and Belgium, but also in Germany and the Netherlands. In the NL for sure (because we discussed this ) often, and as late as the ’60 , they used older and out of fashion instruments, which is the reason we still find relatively many HP or high pitch instruments .
 

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What is the time frame you want to discuss? Because I guess the situation would be a little bit different around 1907
(Thibouville-Lamy and Evette-Schaeffer above (by the way, the "student line" of Buffet-Crampon was Evette, not Evette-Schaeffer, and started in 1933), the Borgani (unknown, 1920-30?), the Buescher academy (1950-60?).
The Cauwelaert are also probably quite old (1910?) and the Mahillon alto and baritone may not belong to the same period.
There were certainly saxophones extended to low Bb in 1907. But I'm not sure that at the time, those that weren't were cheap models.
Moreover, Selmer only begins to produce saxophones in 1922 and they purchase the Sax company in 1928.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Since these horns are commonly offered and discussed in the past (we have seen them often before ) the time frame is anything beteewen the early years of the 20th century virtrually until the ’50-’60 where for example there were still horns made limited to high Eb , I have personally owned a Grassi Soprano concertino made in the ‘60

That Borgani was certainly made before the in the ’30 as late and the ’40, remember that the war put a stop to newer productions
 
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