Double Reed Pipe Playing

Image of a pipe organ
Credit: Nicolás Pérez Gómez. Agosto de 2005.

Historically, double reed pipe playing is not new. During ancient times, double reed pipe players performed in religious ceremonies. In those days, one pipe had one hole as the drone and the other had enough holes to play a scale. Bagpipes currently use this same method. Pan, himself, in Greek mythology, played a double horn. The Braithophone is a unique instrument which has been created to enhance creativity in the improvisational process.

Image of The Sopralto Braithophone
The Sopralto Braithophone

The Sopralto Braithophone, designed for contemporary jazz saxophonists, is an instrument that consists of a soprano and an alto saxophone cone joined together so that the overtones are mixed and delivered by a unique bell system. Each cone has its own mouthpiece and the instrument is structured that fingering for simultaneous playing is not difficult. The Braithophone is an instrument that allows the musician to play any desired interval - unison, octaves, fourths, sixths, etc.

Image of George Braith
George Braith

In George Braith's words... "Now, you can experience the big band sound with your small quartet or trio. For the experienced saxophonist who has been improvising for years, the Braithophone is the next natural (non-electronic) step for further harmonic development. The ability to play two notes simultaneously on on e horn will expand your musical concept and bring about a welcome addition to already formulated ideas. Backing away from simultaneous horn playing curtails further development of improvisation especially in the jazz genre. For example, how would you harmonize a simple melody like the song "Mary Had a Little Lamb"? As the melody is the top notes, what interval would you use to harmonize with these notes? Would you chose a third? A fourth? Or a different interval for each note? See how you can, for the first time, create along the melody line... Wow!! What a development! Songs that you have worn out over the years all of the sudden can become new. With the Braithophone the word "harmolodics" becomes real."