Saxophone Without Mouthpiece Practice

A rather new trend in modern saxophone performance is the expansion out of common-practice playing techniques. From this development, composers and performers alike have started to devise new ways of playing on the instrument. One such way is saxophone without mouthpiece practice.  

Through historical analysis developed from the repertoire, saxophone without mouthpiece practice, as it pertains to the classically trained musician, is traced back to the mid 1980’s. Advancements and collaborations by saxophonist Daniel Kientzy would pave the way for composers to start to use these techniques. Subsequently in 1987 the first work of the repertoire appears specifically and intentionally using saxophone without mouthpiece practice.

Four stand-alone techniques of saxophone playing without mouthpiece that are taken from the repertoire are detailed in this dissertation. These four techniques are air pitch, tongue rams, saxo-flute hybridity, and trumpet sounds. An individual note sonic analysis period was performed in order to quantify the specific hertz values of each note on each of the standard saxophones. 

Performer etudes were composed and recorded in order to develop both ease with and an understanding of the techniques. Inherent issues and problems associated with each were addressed or exploited in these etudes. 


Placing Saxophone Without Mouthpiece Practice in an Historical Context


Air Pitch

Short description of technique


Tongue Rams

Short description of technique


Trumpet Sounds

Short description of technique


Saxo-Flute Hybridity

Short description of technique