UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Saxophone education and performance in British Columbia : early history and current practices Abbink, Erik


There is very little literature available on the overall history of the saxophone in British Columbia. Up to the present time only a few general works have been available, notably the works of Robert Dale McIntosh (History of music in British Columbia 1850-1950) and Paul Green/Nancy Vogan (Music education in Canada: A historical account), but they deal with the saxophone rather marginally. This thesis explores and attempts to synthesize several issues pertaining to the history of the saxophone in British Columbia: how and where it was first introduced, how the public’s reaction to the saxophone seems to have evolved over the years, and which important musical groups from outside British Columbia introduced the saxophone to British Columbia. As the story unfolds the author comments on larger educational issues such as the growth of the wind band movement and its principal proponents, the struggle to get bands accepted as part of the school curriculum, and the evolution of the programs which were developed in universities, colleges and conservatories. The latter part of the thesis reflects on the current state of affairs and explores current issues involving the saxophone in British Columbia: What are the problems faced by saxophone professionals? What are current attitudes of the public towards the saxophone? In order to answer such questions the author devised a questionnaire which was filled out by a significant number of professional saxophone players.

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