Saxophone Forum


by JeremyA
(28 posts)
9 years ago

Saxophone Quartet

I have recently started up a quartet at our high school. So far we've got a bari, a tenor, and two altos. The group is not up and running yet, but I would like some suggestions on what music to play. I would also like to get some suggestions on alternative instrumentations for the group, I wanted to play around with this setup anyway. Any comments, suggestions, or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. by rednecksax
    (24 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Saxophone Quartet

    I agree that sailor's hornpipe is a great sax quartet song. The melody jumps from sax to sax throughout the song and it is hard to really PLAY it ( blending, dynamics, phrasing, tempo....etc.), but when you can, it is a great song. Kendor Music Publications puts put a few good songs that you might want to check out. Oh, I dont want to forget my favorite song...Alexander's Ragtime Band. no thats a great song to play in a quartet.

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  2. by Elke
    (10 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Saxophone Quartet

    Hi. I'm one of the moderators of this forum. I have played quite a bit of saxophone quartet literature. The standard instrumentation for the group is soprano, alto, tenor, bari. There is also some literature written for AATB. Most of the standard repertoire is for SATB. Most of the easier stuff is for AATB, which I would suggest as good starter literature. There are many fine subtleties when it comes to playing in a chamber ensemble... it takes a much better ear and far greater sensitivity than playing by yourself or in a larger ensemble... there is much more interaction between the players - responding to one another. This also happens in larger groups, but everything is so much more exposed in chamber music. Everything must be much more drammatic to really get the expression of the music across to the audience as well. IT IS DEFINITELY ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO GROW AS A MUSICIAN - CHAMBER MUSIC. I love it.
    Elke Overton

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  3. by saxjunkie89
    (393 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Saxophone Quartet

    well first of all, you should get dedicated people, of whom are very interested in the sax. I also was about to post this same q to a forum, but I decided to go thru first. Our quartet is pretty much the same except we're SATB, me on bari, someone else playing MY, yes MY, soprano, because I'm the only one who can actually play bari in our school, and two other saxes in our marching squad on alto and tenor. You should try the following sites for music: www.saxtetpublications.com although their music in not cheap in american $, they are very long, hard, and good songs www.windmusicplus.com has a wide selection, but most is very easy in my opinion hope this helps!

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    1. by Sax Mom
      (964 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Saxophone Quartet

      AATB seems pretty standard. You should be able to find all kinds of music at your local music store. If they don't keep that kind of thing in stock, ask if they can order some samples for you to page through.

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  4. by Leigh812
    (4 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Saxophone Quartet

    I don't know much about quartets, but I played some cool pieces when I had the chance to be in a sax quartet at camp. My favorite by far was Scherzo, by Warren Barker because each voice had a great part to play. If you want to look into some jazz stuff, music arranged by Lennie Niehaus was fun and challenging. If none of this helped, just look at scores to see if the melodic line is passed around the whole group. It really bites to play whole notes while the melodic line is given to only 1st alto or soprano. Hope this helps!

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    1. by stillplayin_sax
      (4 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Saxophone Quartet

      Scherzo is a great sax quartet piece. LOTS of NOTES. When we rehearsed, other kids in the band would stop by to listen... Played tenor one year and bari the next.. both great parts..

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      1. by saxjunkie89
        (393 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Saxophone Quartet

        another good place to look is at www.globalviewmusic.com they have some great stuff...

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        1. by JeremyA
          (28 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Saxophone Quartet

          Thank you for everyone's input so far. I been rehearsing with the group for about two months now. It has been interesting. You would think that it would be easy enough to get only four people to be able to practice twice a week, but that has not been the case. I have visited www.saxtetpublications.com many times and they do have so top notch stuff. I have ordered about three pieces from them and they are fun to play. It has been and adventure so far because none of us have any experience playing in a chamber ensemble and the little things like figuring out how to start without a conductor or a drummer giving clicks has been something. The other three guys are pretty good. We've got a freshman who is one of the top altos in symphonic band. The other alto is also a junior and plays in the other jazz band. He is very good. The bari player is also from the second jazz band and he is pretty good as well. I wanted for us to play an equal amount of jazz charts and classical pieces, but it seems the other three would rather play jazz. oh well. Our band director has assigned our AP Music Theory class a real world application of what we have learned so far. He wants us to teach a chamber group a piece and have us perform it with the chamber ensemble at a concert. The funny thing is that I think he got the idea from my friend and I. He started a double woodwind quintet (2 oboes, 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, 2 french horns, and 2 bassoons) about the same time as I started up the sax quartet. Our band director decided then he would make the rest of the class organize other chamber ensembles. The pieces from saxtet publications are either too easy for us or a little beyond the overall playing ability of the group as a whole. I think I been to global view music before and they have good stuff. Any suggestions?

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        2. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Saxophone Quartet

          My daughter just played Soprano in "The Hallelujah Chorus." It was great. I'm sorry I don't know who arranged it.

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        3. by tenor562
          (297 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Saxophone Quartet

          Sailor's Hornpipe by Henry Cowell is pretty good. When played great, it sounds amazing. You should definitely look into it.

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