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One of the most radical, however temporary, revisions of saxophone keywork was made in the 1950s by M.

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It is suspected that Sax himself may have attempted this modification.

An instrument that overblows at the octave has identical fingering for both registers.

Sax created an instrument with a single-reed mouthpiece like a clarinet, conical brass body like an ophicleide, and some acoustic properties of both the horn and the clarinet.

A substantial advancement in saxophone keywork was the development of a method by which the left thumb operates both tone holes with a single octave key, which is now universal on modern saxophones.

Further developments were made by Selmer in the 1930s and '40s, including offsetting tone holes and a revamping of the octave key mechanism, beginning with balanced action instruments and continuing through their celebrated Mark VI line.

These holes are covered by keys (also known as pad cups), containing soft leather pads, which are closed to produce an airtight seal.

At rest some of the holes stand open and others are closed.All the instruments were given an initial written range from the B below the treble staff to the F, one space above the three ledger lines above staff, giving each saxophone a range of two and a half octaves.Sax's patent expired in 1866; thereafter, numerous saxophonists and instrument manufacturers implemented their own improvements to the design and keywork.As only three percent of Sax's surviving production were pitched in F and C, and as contemporary composers used the E rather than those pitched in F or C, for reasons of tone and economy (the saxophones were the most expensive wind instruments of their day).The C soprano saxophone was the only instrument to sound at concert pitch.Sax's original keywork, which was based on the Triebert system 3 oboe for the left hand and the Boehm clarinet for the right, was simplistic and made playing some legato passages and wide intervals extremely difficult to finger, so numerous developers added extra keys and alternate fingerings to make chromatic playing less difficult.