Saxophone with two octave keys

Last year I wrote a post about saxophone octave keys. I was surprised to discover, after playing saxophone for most of my life, that a saxophone has not one but two octave holes. Modern saxophones have one octave key, but two octave holes. Originally saxophones had a separate octave key for each octave hole; you had to use different octave keys for different notes.

I had not seen one of these old saxophones until Carlo Burkhardt sent me photos today of a Pierret Modele 5 Tenor Sax from around 1912.

Here’s a closeup of the octave keys.

two octave keys on 1912 tenor saxophone

And here’s a closeup of the bell where you can see the branding.

Pierret Modele 5 Tenor Sax circa 1912

Update (2019-01-22): A reader, Paul A., sent me photos of a silver alto sax with two octave keys. More on this saxophone here.

Silver alto sax with two octave keys

2 thoughts on “Saxophone with two octave keys

  1. I have a two octave key saxophone with a short bell. I’d be interested in exchanging some information.

  2. I own an evette Schaeffer, probably 1921 or so, with two octave keys. Not a problem got the lines of me… amateur player/writer

Comments are closed.