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The Soul of the Saxophone

In the space of just two weeks, musicians and music-lovers remember the life and death of two of the most famous saxophonists known to the world: Eric Dolphy, who passed away on June 29th, 1964 and Albert Ayler, who was born on July 13th, 1936. Each of them left an indelible mark on the world, and both pushed the boundaries of jazz: Ayler in the heyday of the avant-garde scene in the late sixties, and Dolphy earlier in the decade through his use of extended techniques and the bass clarinet. The Library of Congress was fortunate enough to receive the Eric Dolphy papers in 2014.

To pay tribute to these two saxophone greats, we are highlighting the saxophone music we have in the collection. You may be surprised to learn that the NLS Music Section has a wide assortment of saxophone music for jazz and classical musicians alike.

General Courses

For those who are just learning the saxophone, we have a wide variety of course material for you to get more familiar with the instrument.


Standard of Excellence: E-flat Alto Saxophone (BRM32993) by Bruce Pearson

Breeze-easy Method: Saxophone (BRM35537)

Yamaha Band Student: Tenor Saxophone (BRM35222 ) by Sandy Feldstein

Belwin Band Builder: Alto Saxophone in E-flat (BRM05308 [part 1], BRM08443 [part 2], BRM08504 [part 3]) by Wayne Douglas

Belwin Band Builder: Tenor Saxophone (BRM08484 [part 1], BRM08436 [part 2], BRM08511 [part 3]) by Wayne Douglas

Belwin Band Builder: Baritone Saxophone (BRM08482 [part 1], BRM08437 [part 2], BRM08501 [part 3]) by Wayne Douglas

Intro to the Alto Sax for the Visually Impaired (DBM02491) by Bill Brown

Intro to the Tenor Sax for the Visually Impaired (DBM02635) by Bill Brown

Intro to the Soprano Sax for the Visually Impaired (DBM02633) by Bill Brown

Photo of the Count Basie Orchesra a the Savoy Ballroom, Chicago, Illinois

The band at the Savoy Ballroom. Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Russell Lee, Apr. 1941. //loc.gov/pictures/resource/fsa.8c00885/ (see: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/fsa2000020170/PP/)

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Standard of Excellence: E-flat Alto Saxophone (LPM00681) by Bruce Pearson

Standard of Excellence: B-flat Tenor Saxophone (LPM00671) by Bruce Pearson

Jazz and Pop Music


Without a Song (BRM20313) by Vincent Youmans; transcription by Coleman Hawkins

Feelin’ Zero (BRM20314) by Coleman Hawkins

Carry Me Back to Old Virginny (BRM09403) by James A. Bland

Disorder at the Border (BRM20312) by Coleman Hawkins

Georgie Porgie (BRM20311) by George Auld and Al Killian

Mood to be Wooed, Three O’Clock Jump (BRM13419) by Duke Ellington

Theme from Shaft (BRM23096) by Isaac Hayes

Audio (these are all for the alto saxophone)

All My Loving (DBM02803) by Bill Brown

All Out of Love (DBM02805) by Bill Brown

Baby I’m a Want You (DBM02807) by Bill Brown

Best of My Love (DBM02707) by Bill Brown

Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain (DBM02709) by Bill Brown

Close to You (DBM02711) by Bill Brown

Dock of the Bay (DBM02713) by Bill Brown

Georgia on My Mind (DBM02715) by Bill Brown

The Greatest Love of All (DBM02717) by Bill Brown

Ice Castles (Theme) (DBM02719) by Bill Brown

In the Mood (DBM02723) by Bill Brown

Just the Way You Are (DBM02721) by Bill Brown

Love Story (Theme) (DBM02725) by Bill Brown

Moon River (DBM02727) by Bill Brown

Over the Rainbow (DBM02728) by Bill Brown

The Rose (DBM02729) by Bill Brown

Summertime (DBM02731) by Bill Brown

Tijuana Taxi (DBM02733) by Bill Brown

A Time for Us (DBM02801)

Top of the World (DBM02735)

What a Wonderful World (DBM02737) by Bill Brown

You’re the Inspiration (DBM02739) by Bill Brown

We also have a fair number of audio courses of hymns and Christmas tunes for the alto saxophone, if you are interested.

Classical Solos


Douze études-Caprices pour Saxophone (BRM28496) by Eugène Bozza

Pièce brève (BRM29100) by Eugène Bozza

Sonate for Tenor Saxophone and Piano (BRM25716) by James DiPasquale

Quatrième Sonate (BRM22090) by George Frideric Handel

Concertino de Camera, pour Saxophone-Alto et Onze Instruments (BRM28497) by Jacques Ibert

Concerto in E-flat for Alto Saxophone and Piano (BRM27603) by Aleksandr Glazunov

Two Bourrèes (BRM23159) by Henry Purcell

Pièce en Forme d’Habanera (BRM32049) by Maurice Ravel

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Minuet from Haffner, K. 250 (LPM00285) by W.A. Mozart

There are many more than what has been listed here, so if you do not come across something in particular you are looking for, please get in contact with us and we’ll be happy to help!

An American Classic: Irving Berlin

We’ve discussed show-tunes, Broadway, and the Great American Songbook on the blog before, but we have yet to talk about perhaps one of the most influential composers of American standards: Irving Berlin, who happens to celebrate his 129th birthday today. Along with penning a few Broadway scores, including the score for Annie Get Your Gun, […]

Over the Rainbow, and More: Part 1

Every year, 25 recordings are added to the LOC’s National Recording registry, recordings that are considered “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” The purpose of this blog is not to list all 25 of them, but to highlight those where the song is part of the NLS Music collection. Most of these items may be downloaded […]

Ganne, Alford, Holst, and Others: Music of World War I

This April marks the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I. The Library of Congress is commemorating that significant anniversary with exhibits, publications, and other various activities. As part of this commemoration, the NLS Music Section was asked to provide braille music for blind visitors. While going through the collection, we […]

Le Jazz Hot!

It’s always interesting to check the date for famous birthdays or events and see where reflections will lead.  Today, January 26, is the birthday of Stèphane Grappelli, French jazz violinist. That’s right, violinists can be jazz musicians, and once you hear a sample, you’ll start appreciating, and I hope, admiring the style.  In fact, stringed […]

Our Newest Books on (and off) BARD

Since it’s back-to-school time, many folks find themselves looking for new projects, new topics of interest, and new hobbies. I sincerely hope that many of you reading this are hoping to learn how to play music or your favorite song, improving your already extant musical skill, or maybe teaching yourself about some topic in music […]

Made in America

“Children must receive musical instruction naturally as food, and with as much pleasure as they derive from a ball game.” -Leonard Bernstein Today, we celebrate the birthday of Leonard Bernstein, one of the greatest American musicians of the twentieth century. Many of us know him as the celebrated conductor of the New York Philharmonic, the […]

More Than Bossa Nova (But We Have That Too)!

Tomorrow’s opening ceremony kicks off the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A tradition for 120 years, this is the first time that the event will be held in a South American country. In celebration of this historic event, and as a representation of just how international the NLS Music Section is, this blog […]

Finding Jimi and Django

In a recent NLS Music Notes blog post, “The Festival That Changed American Music,” I read about rock stars such as Jimi Hendrix who performed at the first Monterey festival in 1967.  Because of the recordings listed there, and my own experience of the NLS collections, I assumed that anything we have on Hendrix would be in audio format. So […]