{ subscribe_url:'/share/sites/library-of-congress-blogs/nls-music-notes.php' }

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/)

Large Print

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

Large Print

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!

It’s Summertime!

Now that the hockey season is officially over, there is only one major sport that is capturing the nation’s attention: baseball! I find that baseball is synonymous with summer, as it’s been played in the summer months for generations. I’m sure I’m not alone recalling warm summer evenings spent gathered around the radio listening to […]

Vacation Listening, and Much More

On May 13, I was baking cookies and listening to the Met Broadcast of Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. One of the announcers explained that this production would take place not in the 18th century, but in 1911, the year it was composed (also the year that Mahler died, I thought to myself). And that’s when it […]

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, […]

What A Great Service!

I heard these words a lot this past weekend. That’s because the NLS Music Section made its way to the NAfME (National Association for Music Education) conference in Grapevine, TX. While there, I was able to promote our service to music teachers from all over the country—and some future music teachers too! The refrain I kept […]

NLS Music Section at the 2016 Library of Congress National Book Festival

NLS music section was at the 16th Library of Congress National Book Festival at the Washington Convention Center on Saturday, September 24, 2016, to greet visitors and explain about our services. This event provided a wonderful opportunity for outreach, and we were able to talk to a wide variety of people who were not aware […]

Music Catalogs for 2016: New and Improved!

As we are exiting the period that can still be referred to as “the new year” and are approaching the season of renewal known as spring, we’d like to highlight some of our recent publications, namely our new catalogs. Although we’ve had blog posts about magazines produced by the Music Section (Musical Mainstream and Contemporary […]

Beethoven, Brahms, and Schumann — New Music Titles

Over the past month, the Music Section has added more than 45 new braille, audio, and large-print music titles by roughly twenty-five different composers to its collection. Together, just three composers, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, and Robert Schumann, wrote compositions that comprise nearly a quarter of the total amount of those additions. I thought it a good […]

George M!

“Over there! Over there!” “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy…” “You’re a grand old flag, you’re a high flying flag!” Do these songs seem familiar to you? Did you know that they were all written by the same composer, George M. Cohan? George M. Cohan (he’s usually referred to by his full name, middle initial and […]

Back to School

September signifies many things to us–cooler temperatures, leaves starting to turn, and…back to school! I would like to showcase some of the items requested with increasing frequency as the semester begins. We have some new titles and some that would be helpful if you’re looking for a guide. Most of these are intended for college […]