My chosen genre is Jazz Saxophone.

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Sarah Gupta                 10.B.1 FMT

Performance Appraisal


What is your chosen genre?

        My chosen genre is Jazz Saxophone.

List the titles and composers of your 3 chosen pieces

        Take Five by Dave Brubeck/Paul Desmond

        Sophisticated Lady by Duke Ellington

Lotus Blossom by Dave Sanborn

What are the characteristic features of your instrument and what is special about the music it can play?

The music the saxophone can play is very varied. It can play classical, jazz, blues, big band, March e.t.c. There are lots of different styles but the most common is probably jazz. The saxophone is used as it has a number of sounds and techniques which are associated and used for jazz, such as bending notes.

What is the range of your instrument?

My instrument has a range of three octaves, from Bb to Bb:

Performance Piece

Which piece did you perform?

I performed Take Five by Dave Brubeck.

Historical Context: Why and how was the piece written?

The piece was written in the 1960’s as a joint effort between Paul Desmond and Dave Brubeck. However, most of it was by Dave Brubeck. The piece was primarily written for the Dave Brubeck Quartet which consisted of: Dave Brubeck himself

                                                      Joe Morello

Eugene Wright

Paul Desmond

The piece was written on a stave using traditional notation.

What is the style of the piece?

The style of the piece is bluesy/jazzy and swung. 

What are the main features of the style?

The main features of the style are a swung rhythm, a laid back approach and an atmosphere which gives a feeling of ease and relaxation. It is composed in such away that there is a relatively easy to listen section and then a more exciting middle section. Finally it returns to the original easy to listen to section.

Are there any special performing techniques?

Yes. In bar 3 the Glissando is used. The articulation is generally separated and in the B section there are a few instances where staccato is used (bars 10 to 16). The piece is meant to be swung throughout but less so in the second section.

Is the range fully explored? Why?

The range of my instrument isn’t fully explored in this piece as it wouldn’t have been appropriate and would have changed the whole atmosphere and sound to the piece. In my opinion it would have spoiled the piece and feel of it.

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Is the instrument’s tone used to good effect?

There are uses of long notes in the low register to show off the beautiful, mellow tone of the saxophone. There is an example of this in the second time bar.

How does the composer use the capabilities of the instrument in it?

The composer uses the fact that the saxophone is fairly easy to glissando on and also uses the fact that the saxophone sounds good in the lower register and the higher but not the middle. Therefore the composer has used mainly the lower and higher, and occasionally the middle.


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