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Saxophone Quizzes, Trivia and Puzzles
Saxophone Quizzes, Trivia

Saxophone Trivia

Saxophone Trivia Quizzes

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8 Saxophone quizzes and 80 Saxophone trivia questions.
Lets Talk About Sax
  Let's Talk About Sax   popular trivia quiz  
Photo Quiz
 10 Qns
The saxophone family of instruments was first developed in the 1840s by Adolphe Sax. It took a while to catch on, but today saxophones are a common and popular instrument choice. What do you know about them?
Average, 10 Qns, reedy, Feb 19 22
reedy gold member
Feb 19 22
213 plays
  Saxophone Quiz    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
I play a tenor saxophone, so I thought I would make a quiz on it. Please stop to rate this quiz when finished.
Average, 10 Qns, Cardys, Oct 30 19
Oct 30 19
1808 plays
  Orchestral Saxophone editor best quiz    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Since its invention in the 1840s, the saxophone has made its way into numerous orchestral works. This quiz explores some of the orchestral pieces that feature the saxophone.
Average, 10 Qns, MarcelMule, Apr 13 12
1412 plays
  The Saxophone    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
If you play the saxophone, you will love this fun quiz! Try it now!
Average, 10 Qns, kendar, Jan 06 13
2033 plays
  You Saxy Thing!   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Saxophones are usually considered jazz instruments but they have been used in many forms of music. Can you identify the artists or the songs that featured a sax?
Average, 10 Qns, CmdrK, Nov 07 18
CmdrK gold member
Nov 07 18
189 plays
  Saxophonists   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Since its invention, the saxophone has found its way into almost every genre of music. This quiz is about some of the great exponents of the instrument.
Average, 10 Qns, MarcelMule, Feb 21 08
402 plays
  Classical Saxophone, Performers, and Literature    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
A quiz on the saxophone as it has been used in classical performance.
Difficult, 10 Qns, dailyware48, Nov 08 21
Nov 08 21
246 plays
  Tricky Tenor Sax    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
I noticed that there are no quizzes specifically on tenor sax, which is a shame cause it's so cool. I love it, but that's cause I play it. This is my first quiz, so please let me know if it's any good.
Average, 10 Qns, joziepie, Apr 02 11
488 plays
trivia question Quick Question
How old was Mr. Sax when he patented the saxophone?

From Quiz "Saxophone Quiz"

Saxophone Trivia Questions

1. With which section of the orchestra does a saxophone sit?

From Quiz
Orchestral Saxophone

Answer: Woodwind

As it is a woodwind instrument, the saxophone joins that section of the orchestra when required. It usually sits beside the bass clarinet, in front of the horns. Unfortunately, the saxophone has never managed to become a regular member of the orchestra but modern composers are using it with more and more frequency.

2. Who was the jazz great nicknamed "Bird" or "Yardbird" after he scurried to retrieve a chicken that had been run over by the car he was travelling in to cook it for dinner?

From Quiz Saxophonists

Answer: Charlie Parker

Charlie "Bird" Parker (1920-1955), is considered one of the very greatest jazz musicians. He was one of the leading pioneers of the 'Be-bop' style. Parker had constant problems with substance addiction and often pawned or sold his saxophone to buy drugs. Though his death at 34 was caused by pneumonia, it was precipitated by his lifestyle. The coroner examining his body estimated his age at between 50 and 60.

3. It's easy, but what was the name of the person who invented the saxophone?

From Quiz Saxophone Quiz

Answer: Adolphe Sax

This was a gimme. Sax first got the patent for his instrument in 1849. Be was born in Belgium and invented the saxophone at the age of 29.

4. Who invented the saxophone?

From Quiz The Saxophone

Answer: Adolph Sax

The saxophone is named after its inventor.

5. Sherlock Holmes lived on Baker Street in London. That may have, or may not have, influenced which artist who had a saxophone solo included in "Baker Street"?

From Quiz You Saxy Thing!

Answer: Gerry Rafferty

Rafferty, formerly of the band Stealers Wheel, included the song on his album "City to City" in 1978. The song was indeed named after the street in London's Marylebone district. It was a top ten hit in most of the English-speaking world and included a sax riff by Raphael Ravenscroft, who also played on the song "Get it Right Next Time" on Rafferty's "Night Owl" album in 1979.

6. One of the most famous saxophone parts in the orchestral repertoire is the solo in "The Old Castle" movement of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition". Whose orchestration of this work includes saxophone?

From Quiz Orchestral Saxophone

Answer: Maurice Ravel

One of his greatest works, Mussorgsky's suite of ten movements for piano has been orchestrated many times. The work was written as a memorial to his friend Viktor Hartmann and represents the composer wandering through an exhibition of Hartmann's paintings and designs. The first person to orchestrate it in its entirety was the Slovenian violinist and arranger, Leo Funtek (1885-1965) in 1922. That same year, Ravel made his famous orchestration. Ravel's version has proven to be by far the most popular. While he has been accused of taking certain liberties with Mussorgsky's original, Ravel's indisputable mastery of orchestration is everywhere evident in his orchestral version. The other options given above have each produced orchestrations of the piece also.

7. Which saxophonist is considered the 'father' of the French school of Classical playing?

From Quiz Saxophonists

Answer: Marcel Mule

Marcel Mule's (1901-2001) elegant, refined playing can be heard in a handful of available recordings. He was also an important teacher and he became saxophone teacher at the Paris Conservatoire in 1944, re-opening the saxophone class that hadn't existed there since Adolphe Sax's tenure ended in 1870.

8. How many reeds does a normal (alto, tenor etc.) saxophone use?

From Quiz Saxophone Quiz

Answer: 1

All normal saxophones use one reed held onto the mouthpiece by a metal ring called a ligature. Some of the newer prototypes of saxophones are starting to use two reeds. Some of these newer prototypes are adding double reeds to soprano saxophones. They are also starting to pull the bell out at 90 degree angles on tenor and alto saxes.

9. What key is the Alto Saxophone in?

From Quiz The Saxophone

Answer: E flat

Not all saxophones are in the same key.

10. He was a big man. He was a former high school music teacher. He recorded with Miles Davis, Bill Evans, his brother, Nat and many others. Who is he?

From Quiz Saxophonists

Answer: Julian "Cannonball" Adderley

"Cannonball" (1928-1975) was almost as beloved for his gentle manner, articulate words and giving nature as he was for his beautiful alto playing. Unfortunately, because he was early on branded as a Charlie Parker imitator, he often doesn't quite get the credit he deserves. Albums such as "Somethin' Else" (with Miles Davis), "The Cannonball Adderley Quintet in San Francisco" and "Know What I Mean?" (with Bill Evans) demonstrate his wonderful playing.

11. What type of mouthpiece would one normally find on a tenor sax in a bigband?

From Quiz Tricky Tenor Sax

Answer: metal or plastic

A metal mouthpiece creates a louder sound in order to be heard over the drums.

12. This very eclectic saxophonist/composer's music combines elements of jazz, punk, avant-garde and klezmer (among other things). He developed the musical 'game', "Cobra" and released the 1988 album, "Naked City". Who is he?

From Quiz Saxophonists

Answer: John Zorn

John Zorn (b. 1953) is a New York-based saxophonist and composer whose music is very difficult to simply categorize. He draws from various styles and genres according to the project at hand. Possibly his most famous release was an album of music by Ennio Morricone, "The Big Gundown" (1985).

13. What is the only type of saxophone which has a spit valve?

From Quiz Saxophone Quiz

Answer: Baritone

The baritone sax has a spit valve on the bottom part of the neckpiece to let out any spit which gets into the horn. Contrabass saxes also have spit valves.

14. Which saxophone manufacturer produces the 'Super Action 80' series?

From Quiz The Saxophone

Answer: Selmer

Selmer has produced the Super Action 80 Series 1, 2, and 3.

15. The saxophone isn't usually thought of as a concert music instrument but one composer included a sax in his "Symphonic Dances" orchestral suite. Who was he?

From Quiz You Saxy Thing!

Answer: Rachmaninov

Not only did Sergei Rachmaninoff use the saxophone as an orchestral instrument he used it as a solo instrument. Finished in 1940, "Symphonic Dances" was his last composition.

16. This great jazz saxophonist--one of the VERY greatest--has an African Orthodox Church in San Francisco named after him. Who is he?

From Quiz Saxophonists

Answer: John Coltrane

The Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church in San Francisco regards Coltrane (1926-1967) as a saint. Their services incorporate his music and lyrics. Coltrane albums such as "My Favorite Things", "Giant Steps", "A Love Supreme", "Crescent" and "Blue Train" are considered jazz classics.

17. What other instrument is played with a tenor sax reed?

From Quiz Tricky Tenor Sax

Answer: xaphoon

The xaphoon is an instrument that resembles a clarinet and is generally made of bamboo. It was invented in the 70's and uses a tenor sax reed to produce its sound.

18. What musician is famous for playing his soprano saxophone, and is probably the most well known saxophonist in pop music?

From Quiz Saxophone Quiz

Answer: Kenny G

Kenny G has made many albums. He is most famous for playing his soprano saxophone. If you have heard the song "What a Wonderful World" you have heard one of the works of Kenny G.

19. Why are saxophones lacquered?

From Quiz The Saxophone

Answer: To protect the instrument from corrosion

There is much debate over what effects different types of lacquers have on the sound.

20. Which musical group did Clarence Clemons notably play with?

From Quiz You Saxy Thing!

Answer: The E Street Band

Clemons was a member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band from 1972 until his death in 2011, as well as performing with other artists and recording some solo albums. He was known as "The Big Man" because he was 6 feet, 5 inches (195.5 cm) tall. His most noticeable collaboration with Springsteen was probably "Born to Run". He also worked with Lady Gaga on "The Edge of Glory" shortly before suffering a stroke in 2011.

21. Not surprisingly, the saxophone has been included in many orchestral works precisely due to its association with jazz. One seminal jazz-influenced work by Darius Milhaud features the saxophone very prominently. What is the name of this piece?

From Quiz Orchestral Saxophone

Answer: The Creation of the World

Milhaud's "La Creation du monde" of 1923 is one of the very first major works by a classical composer to be directly inspired by jazz. Milhaud features the saxophone in an almost concertante role throughout the work. In its original instrumentation, the saxophone replaces the viola as part of a 'string quartet'. The piece is sometimes performed with augmented strings, but still without violas. "Krazy Kat" is an early jazz-inspired piece by John Alden Carpenter. "Uirapuru" is an early ballet by Heitor Villa-Lobos that includes a soprano saxophone. "Machines agricoles" is another work by Milhaud.

22. Saxophonists Julius Hemphill, Oliver Lake, David Murray and Hamiet Bluiett are the original members of which great sax quartet?

From Quiz Saxophonists

Answer: World Saxophone Quartet

The saxophone quartet as a standard classical ensemble has existed since Adolphe Sax's time. Classical players such as Marcel Mule, Daniel Deffayet, Claude Delangle, Sigurd Rascher, Arno Bornkamp and others front(ed) their own quartets. In the jazz world, groups of saxophones playing together unaccompanied are a little less common and often reflect big band sax sections, ie. are quintets. The World Saxophone Quartet is one of a very few well-known jazz sax quartets. Their 1987 album, "Dances and Ballads" is a great example of their talents.

23. The tenor sax sounds ...

From Quiz Tricky Tenor Sax

Answer: an octave lower than written

This is so it can be played in treble cleff, when a tenor sax plays a C, it sounds like a B flat (a major 9th lower)

24. Who began teaching saxophone at Northwestern University in 1963?

From Quiz Classical Saxophone, Performers, and Literature

Answer: Frederick Hemke

Harvey Pittel spent most of his career teaching at the University of Texas. Larry Teal taught at the University of Michigan, establishing America's first doctoral saxophone program. Lawrence Gwozd taught most of his career at the University of Southern Mississippi.

25. How many different types of saxophones are there?

From Quiz Saxophone Quiz

Answer: 15

The types are, Bb Sopranissimo (Soprillo), Eb Soprano, Bb Soprano, Eb Alto, Bb Tenor, Eb Baritone, Bb Bass, Eb Contrabass in the key of Eb and Bb. In the key of F and C there are the F sopranino, C Soprano, F Alto (mezzosoprano), C Tenor (C-melody), F Baritone, C Bass, and the F Contrabass. All of these but the Bb Sopranissimo were invented by Adolphe Sax. There is also a sax which is said to be a subcontrabass. If you would like to see the site where I found this information and a picture of the subcontrabass go to

26. Originally a clarinettist, this legendary jazzman took up the soprano sax and was one of the pioneering jazz artists. Who is he?

From Quiz Saxophonists

Answer: Sidney Bechet

Sidney Bechet (1897-1959) is regarded as one of the true pioneers of jazz. Although his bright soprano sax tone and wide vibrato wouldn't be considered appropriate today, they reflect his times and the fact that he was primarily a clarinettist. He recorded and performed with other pioneering greats such as Louis Armstrong.

27. There is a saxophone that looks exactly like a tenor, only lighter and pitched in the key of "C", this saxophone is called a...

From Quiz Tricky Tenor Sax

Answer: C melody saxophone

C melody saxophones became common around the year 1918, they have not been mass produced since 1929. A mellophone (for those who don't know) is actually a brass instrument that is used in marching bands in place of the french horn.

28. In what country are Keilwerth saxophones made?

From Quiz The Saxophone

Answer: Germany

Keilwerth saxophones are handmade in Germany.

29. British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams included saxophone(s) in two of his symphonies. Which ones?

From Quiz Orchestral Saxophone

Answer: nos. 6 & 9

Ralph Vaughan Williams is probably best known for works such as his "Fantasia on Greensleeves", "The Lark Ascending", and "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis". He was also a wonderful symphonist. Of his nine symphonies, numbers 6 and 9 include saxophone(s). Symphony no.6 includes a demanding part for tenor saxophone and Symphony no.9 includes three saxophones (two altos and a tenor). He also included an alto saxophone in his "Job: A Masque for Dancing".

30. Which saxophonist--former member of the band, 'Tower of Power' and famous for his high note playing--became musical director of the 'Saturday Night Live' band in 1995?

From Quiz Saxophonists

Answer: Lenny Pickett

During his time with 'Tower of Power', Lenny Pickett became famous for his high, altissimo playing. Albums such as "Live and in Living Color" and "In the Slot" showcase his abilities. His own album, "Lenny Pickett With the Borneo Horns" features 'LP' playing clarinets as well as saxophones.

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