A Bright Sound or a Dark Sound

There seems to be a lot of confusion about how we describe sound. It seems many people these days want what they call a dark sound, but when I delve deeper into what they mean, I realise it may not be the same as what I call a dark sound. I write a lot about saxophone sound, but there seems to be some confusion over terminology, which got me thinking…Dark can be used to mean the same as warm, which some people think of as the opposite of bright. But when I say dark I mean the opposite of light rather than bright (but you might think the opposite of light is heavy). As far as I’m concerned the opposite of a bright sound is a warm sound, but you might well think of a warm sound as the opposite of a cold sound. But then I call a cold tone what some people call a clear tone . On the other hand some people might call that a focussed tone (or a tone that projects). But to some a focussed tone could be an edgy tone or maybe even a centred tone, (which are surely two different things) and then again to others it might be thin, the opposite of which you might say is fat, however it could be argued that this is unfocussed, which is the opposite of what some people call bright. Or you might like a big fat warm dark round sound, the opposite of which is…


Since writing this I have recently heard a few more descriptions of saxophone sounds, please everyone feel free to add to the list.


One Response to A Bright Sound or a Dark Sound

    jake- January 26, 2015 at 6:21 am #

    Hello, regarding the “buzzy” sound, how can this sound be achieved? I play a tenor sax (2 years) with metal Guardala King mp with Rigotti Gold 2.5 medium reeds. I can’t get this sound. Is there a hum or something that has to be done while blowing into the saxophone? Thanks so much!

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