Sax Appeal -- Most people would name New Orleans as the spiritual home of jazz. But Dinant can lay claim to a part of that heritage. In 1814, Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone, was born here. Sax was a prolific instrument maker and designer. In 1838, he developed the bass clarinet, based on some of the same principles he later used for the saxophone. The first saxophone was made in 1841 or 1842. Sax patented his new instrument in 1846.
The saxophone was controversial from the start, never gaining wide acceptance in the orchestra, despite the support of composers Berlioz, Saint-Saens, and Massenet. Sax's saxophone class at the Paris Conservatory closed in the 1870s. Sax himself went bankrupt, and in 1894 he died a saddened man. Yet the inventor, looking down from the great sax jam in the sky, was vindicated from the 1920s and 1930s onward, as his brainchild became ever more popular in jazz, big band, and military music.
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