Evans, Eleri Ann (2016) Extending techniques: developing the saxophone’s capacity for lower-end dynamics and microtonal playing. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Adolphe Sax believed his invention, the saxophone, was the link between louder and quieter instruments. Changes to the instrument and to playing techniques have lessened the saxophone’s ability to play quietly, and subtone techniques are now utilized for playing at lower-end dynamics. This PhD proposes a new method for playing the saxophone at lower-end dynamic levels. This method uses breath control to allow lower-end dynamic playing on the saxophone. The new method has been tested through its use in different musical compositions and in combination with different extended techniques. The new method for playing the saxophone at lower-end dynamic levels has been found to have greater applicability than existing techniques and is demonstrated in numerous recordings that accompany this work. Prominent saxophonists have said that the saxophone is not able to play notes between the semitones. Modifications to the saxophone keywork mechanisms have made some microtones possible whilst prohibiting others. Existing saxophone literature has documented quarter-tone scales but has been slow to expand further microtonal possibilities. This research has developed and proposed new models and new techniques for microtonal saxophone playing. This has been demonstrated on different saxophones, including those with distinct keywork mechanisms. The numerous fingering patterns that have resulted from this work are documented in the appendices. The microtonality that results from using extended techniques, slap-tonguing and key percussion, has also been documented. Recordings of the new models for microtonal saxophone playing accompany this research. The use of microtonal saxophone playing has been discussed in relation to different compositions. The research documented here is of relevance to saxophonists and composers who wish to play or use such techniques.

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