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Friday, November 6, 2015

Google Doodle for Adolphe Sax’s 201st Birthday

Nov 6, 2015

Adolphe Sax’s 201st Birthday

If you were alive in the mid-nineteenth century and had a particularly keen ear for music, you might have noticed a void somewhere between the brass and woodwind sections. Adolphe Sax certainly did, and being both a talented musician and the enterprising man that he was, he started tinkering and endeavored to fill it. The result was the iconic, honey-toned instrument still bearing his name: the saxophone.

The son of an instrument-maker, Sax was highly creative and had a deep understanding of brass and woodwinds. He started tinkering with instruments of his own, and upon bringing together the body of a brass and the mechanics of a woodwind created a hybrid that would revolutionize music. His eponymous saxophone had a sound all its own, a wonderfully smoky middle ground between the two.

The Saxophones that were popularized by the likes of John Coltrane, Lisa Simpson, and Kenny G constitute only a fraction of his impressive body of work. From the whimsical looking 7-bell trombone to the large and swooping saxtuba, Sax never tired of exploring, experimenting, and creating new—and sometimes unusual—instruments. 

To properly highlight his inventiveness we couldn’t possibly make just one Doodle. Which is why you can find five unique Doodles today, each celebrating a different instrument created at the hands of Mr. Sax. 

There is one notable exception—what we affectionately call The Googlehorn. Inspired by the intricate tubing Sax employed to alter and manipulate sound, this is Doodler Lydia Nichols' attempt to fashion an instrument as unique and quirky as both Adolphe Sax and Google.

Learn more about the family of musical inventors behind today's Doodle on Google Cultural Institute.
Early sketches
Initial sketches with some errors in hand-placement. From left to right: Saxtuba, Alto Sax, 7-Bell Trombone, Soprano Sax, 'Googlehorn.' The background treatment was changed in the final to mimic the plates and engraving typically found on instruments of that era.

Alto Sax
7-Bell Trombone
Soprano Sax
All five Adolphe Sax inspired Doodles!


All images are taken from Google Doodles. 

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