and other sax shaped or double-belled trumpetsDE NL
The Jazzophon is an almost forgotten instrument, a trumpet in the shape of a saxophone with two bells. One bell sounds like a normal trumpet, the other like a muted trumpet. In a July 3rd, 2011 recording Scott Robinson shows the possibilities of the instrument. The Jazzophon was invented in the nineteen twenties as a cheap alternative to the then very popular saxophone. The Jazzophon is played with a trumpet-mouthpiece and has the three regular trumpet valves plus one valve upside down. When pushed down that extra valve switches between the two bells, one of which has a built-in wah-wah mute. The Jazzophon was not a success, like many other newly invented saxophone-like instruments from that period. Did it disappear because Hitler's Germany wasn't very fond of jazz or because the crisis hit? Or was it a lack of suitable music or was it too difficult to play? It is not clear.
I stumbled across the Jazzophon early in 2010, when Gertjan Hos from
Assendelft offered one for sale. It was taken home to Holland shortly after
World War II by a friend's uncle who had worked in the German
Arbeitseinsatz. Hos stated there was only one other one around in
the world, in America. That
tickled my curiosity and I started researching. So, here you'll find everything you always wanted to know
about the Jazzophon, and much more.
Jazzophon D.G.R.M. 995.305 on the mute and C.A. Wunderlich Siebenbrunn Vogtl. on
the open bell. Stem and trigger replaced in 2002 by Helmuth Voigt in
Markneukirchen. Coll. Gerard Westerhof The Musikwinkel in
Marked Jazzophon D.G.R.M. 995.305 on the mute and C.A. Wunderlich Siebenbrunn Vogtl. on the open bell. Stem and trigger replaced in 2002 by Helmuth Voigt in Markneukirchen. Coll. Gerard Westerhof
The Musikwinkel in Vogtland
The roots of the Jazzophon lie in the area of Graslitz in Bohemia and Markneukirchen in the Saxonian Vogtland, an area that acted for years as the world's musicstore. This region was called the Musikwinkel. Bohemia an Saxonia were, apart from a short interval around World War II, part of different countries/empires. There were however close connections. Refugees from the Graslitz-region started producing musical instruments in the 17th century in Markneukirchen after they were forced to leave the recatholicising Bohemia. They started with violins, then gitars and cithers, woodwinds, harmonicas until almost every orchestral instrument was made in this region. At the start of the 20th century the instruments from the Musikwinkel-region had a 80 percent share of the worldwide market, with Graslitz being a leading wind instrument producer. Instruments and parts came from factories (mainly Graslitz), workshops or were home made and traded all over the world. From 1893 untill 1916 there even was a U.S. Consulate General in Markneukirchen. At that time Markneukirchen was about the wealthiest city of Germany, the wholesalers being the millionaires rather than the instrument makers.
The saxophone was invented by Adolphe Sax in 1841. He wanted to create an instrument that would both be the loudest of the woodwinds and the most versatile of the brass, and would fill the then vacant middle ground between the two sections. In the Roaring Twenties the saxophone became extremely popular as being the ultimate jazz-instrument. By the mid-twenties there was undoubtedly a saxophone boom, fuelled by a post-war demand for novelty. Production of saxophones in America reached a peak in 1924, when 100,000 instruments were produced. Five hundred thousand saxophones were sold in seven years, until the Wall Street crash signalled an end to this boost to the saxophone's popularity.
In the 1920s, jazz in Germany was a fad. Eager to look ahead after the crushing defeat of World War I, the part of Weimar Germany that embraced the modernism that swept through Europe was crazy about jazz. The "Salonorchester" turned to the new style, because dancers wanted it so. Radio also played a role in the popularization of jazz. In 1926, it began to regularly play jazz music, and by 1930 artists such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and others became popular to German audiences. People saw jazz as the "essence of the era's modernism," a strong surge toward greater equality and emancipation, posing as a perfect advocate for a democracy in Germany. Trumpets were played in German jazz bands as of 1924, mostly by players that also played violin or so. The trumpet was, like the trombone and the saxophone regarded as kind of a witty instrument, especially with the use of mutes. In the light music there was a shift from Tanz-Kapelle and Salonorchester to jazz-bands in different line-ups.
A shortage of cheap saxophones and good saxophone players triggered the design of the Jazzophon and the also sax-shaped Normaphon, invented by Richard Oskar Heber. Many non-standard instruments were introduced during this period. These included the Slide Saxophone, the Swanee-sax of 1922, the keyless Saxie of 1924, the Saxello of 1925 and the Conn-o-sax of 1928.
Normaphons, photo copyright by Ines Ann Heber
In an instrumentcatalog from around 1927, C.A. Wunderlich states about them:
"The high prices of saxophones are withdrawing a lot of orchestras from purchasing them. The public nevertheless wants to hear saxophone music. The Normaphons are a low-cost alternative to the saxophone. Besides, every trumpeter and horn player can play them without further study because they are just like trumpets, althorns, tenorhorns, Eb or BB basses, but in a different shape. The new design gives the instruments their own, pleasant sound. Modern orchestras shouldn't hesitate to buy these instruments."
The same story could apply for Jazzophons. The price of a sopran-Normaphon was 76 Reichsmark (with the U.S. dollar worth 4.2 RM), and tenor could be had for 96 RM. A Jazzophone took a 100 RM. An alto-saxophone would go for much more, 260 to 550 RM. The gross monthly wage for a worker in 1925 was139 Reichsmark on average, rising to 186 RM in 1928 (which by then was 8 percent above the pre-war level.)
Tanzkapelle F. Fischer coll. Trompetenmuseum Bad Säckingen
The only known picture showing an orchestra with a Jazzophon is this picture in the Trompetenmuseums in Bad Säckingen, with Tanz Kapelle F. Fischer.
The first advertisement for the Jazzophon appeared on September 15th, 1926 in the 'Zeitschrift für Instrumentenbau' from Leipzig, the trade magazine for makers of and dealers in musical instruments. It was an ad from Musikwarenfabrik Hans Rölz from the Czech Graslitz (now Kraslice). Rölz showed the Jazzophon as a novelty at the Leipzigautumn fair. The editorial columns in the Zeitschrift also paid attention to the instrument. The ad shows a sax shaped Jazzophon and also one in the form of a lyre. In March 1927, just before the Leipzig spring fair, Rölz advertised again, the lyre shaped Jazzophon had by then disappeared from the ad. The magazine had an extra jazz catalog from Rölz attached. In April 1927 he advertised once again, this time with a trumpet-shaped Jazzophon and that was it.
Rölz started in 1874 as as a manufacturer of music toys, trading all kinds of instruments, buying products from smaller companies and selling them worldwide. He was based in Graslitz and had a branch in the nearby German Klingenthal and shops in Leipzig and Berlin, and over 200 employees.
One month before the first advertisement of Rölz, on August 27th, 1926, Franz Xaver Hüller obtained aDeutsches Reich Gebrauchs Muster (D.R.G.M.)-registration for his Jazzophon. The D.R.G.M. was a design or use patent somewhat similar to a 'Registered' mark that provides an initial three years protection extendable with another three years to a maximum of six. The D.R.G.M. 'patents' were first issued in 1891 and were discontinued after the fall of the German Reich. Hüllers Jazzophon was registered with number 965.305, according to the 'Zeitschrift'. With a remarkable difference (995.305) the D.R.G.M.-registration is to be found on the front side of the mute of several Jazzophons. Unfortunately, the D.R.G.M.-registration documentation is all destroyed.
Franz Xaver Hüller, who claimed the invention of the Jazzophon, was an instrument maker, also from Graslitz in Czechoslovakia. Hüller was born on December 29th of 1856, in the nearby Pechbach. He founded his factory in 1882. He bought the ruïns of the 'Knappschaftsmühle', a burnt mill, and on that spot in 1898 he had a factory and a house built. The factory was known as the 'Schied-Fabrik'. By 1910 Hüller had 200-250 people at work. He built and traded wind instruments and stringed instruments. As of 1911 Hüller was permitted to use the imperial eagle in his logo. From 1923 onwards he also produced saxophones.
Left: pre-WW I logo, . Right: Jazzy F.X.Hüller & Co World trademark
Franz Xaver Hüller source: G.Dullat F.X.Hüller & Co ad
In 1920 his daughters and his sons in law Anton Riedl and Ernst Modl became business partners and the name was changed to F.X. Hüller & Co. Hüller was one of the first Bohemian factories to establish a branche in Markneukirchen, in 1921. In 1929 he is listed there at the address Roter Markt 13, and later on in Klingenthal, both only a few kilometres away but then part of the German Empire. The instrument makers in Bohemia exported a lot. Their branches in Saxonian Vogtland helped to get their products al over the world. Especially when they had to deal with the big market crisis and growing tariff barriers as a result of that in the early thirties.
The F.X. Hüller & Co factory around 1920, from an old catalog. Source G.Dullat
In 1930 the Jazzophone appears in an F.X Hüller (misspelled F.H.) ad in the 'Artist', nr.48. It's the only time it appeared in this weekly for artists and musicians. 'Nur aus der Spezialfabrik von F.H. Hüller', it says, indicating that he was the only maker. And 'ges. gesch.', gesetzlich geschützt, protected by a patent, which must be the 1926 D.R.G.M. registration. The only known Jazzophon (so far) that's engraved F.X. Hüller & Co popped up via Ebay in 2013 in Daugavpils, Latvia. It's missing a few parts...
Jazzophon D.R.G.M. 995.305 engraved F.X. Hüller & Co, Graslitz Czechoslovakia, valve casings numbered 1,2,3 coll. Gerard Westerhof
Hüller died on April 19th 1936. Modl continued the company after WWII in West Germany after the expulsion of Germans from Bohemia until his death in 1972.
Where Hüller was the maker, at least two known Jazzophons are labelled C.A. Wunderlich, Siebenbrunn Vogtl. That indicates that Hüller effectively used the channels of this German trader. In 1854, Carl August Wunderlich (1826-1911) started manufacturing wind instruments under the trade mark CEA. At the end of the 19th century the company in Siebenbrunn, next to Markneukirchen, transformed into a wholesale trader of different types of musical instruments. In the first half of the 20th century Wunderlich was seen as one of the most important wholesalers in Vogtland. The company existed until 1966.
Marked Jazzophon D.G.R.M. 995305 on the mute and C.A.Wunderlich Siebenbrunn Vogtland Germany on the open bell. Ca 1930. Coll. Scott Robinson, US
At the time,for wholesalers such as Wunderlich, it was common practice to engrave their own name on the instruments, instead of the name of the instrument's inventor and/or maker. In Markneukirchen and the surrounding areas there were a few hundred instrument builders of all kind, and approximately twenty wholesalers. The wholesalers were able to dictate prices and conditions; thus, most of the instruments are not labelled by the builders but by the wholesalers.
In a catalog from around 1928 Wunderlich offers besides the soprano Jazzophon (priced at 100 Reichsmark) an alto and a tenor Jazzophon. Wunderlich also offers the Jazzophon in the form of a lyre and a trumpet shaped one. The Jazzophon appeard in the catalogs of several other traders as well, both Czecha and German.
Josef Glassl was also a manufacturer from Graslitz with a branch in Klingenthal. In his catalog, with on the cover the "Schützen-Kapelle Vohwinkel" and the year 1926, he offered an identical Jazzophon in saxophone and trumpet form, and a trombone and lyra-form as well. The sax shaped one in nickel goes for 70 RM. Adolf Meinlschmidt, instrumentmaker and trader from Graslitz offers the same in a catalog without prices. Herold & Co, Musik-Spezial-Firma in Klingenthal in Sachsen offers the trumpet, saxophone (81.50 RM for the nickel edition) and trombone shaped instruments, not the lyra. The instruments are pitched in Bb but can also be made in C. Herold & Co is the first to refer to a patent protection, speaking of "unsere neuen gesetzlich geschützten Jazzophone."
Max Adler from Erlbach, also in Vogtland, offered the same instruments around 1930 in his catalog number 25. The price for the soprano Jazzophon had now risen to RM 140. The alto and tenor Jazzophons had disappeared. On the other hand, he offered a Jazzophone trombone with a double cup and a switch valve. Heinrich Moritz Schuster, Markneukirchen offered the same for RM 150 in a 1930 catalog.
A jazzophone with engraving Johann Michl & Sohn, Graslitz, was offered in 2006 at an auction in Vichy, France. Johann Michl & Sohn was known as a stringed and woodwind maker as well as a brass instrument maker in Graslitz from 1870 to c.1937.
And in a display in the exhibition Musical Innovations of the Industrial Revolution in the Cutler Gallery of the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota, as of 1995 there is a Jazzophon on view, dated 'ca. 1925' and attributed to Pfretzschner & Martin from Markneukirchen by collector Arne B Larson who donated the instrument in 1979 to the museum. The Deutsche Signal-Instrumenten-Fabrik Pfretzschner & Martin was renamed Signalinstrumenten Fabrik Max B. Martin on 5-1-1925.
Most of the now known Jazzophons are engraved with "Jazzophon / D.R.G.M. 995.305" on the mute. The National Music Museum owns an example engraved 'Jazzophon Ges.Gesch.'. The instruments in the ads and catalogs from Rölz, Wunderlich, Glassl, Herold & Co, Adler and Hüller himself don't appear to be engraved like that, although Hüller refers to the patent protection in the 'Artist' ad. The picture/drawing in these ads (pictures that are all identical) have a slightly different shape than the instruments with the D.R.G.M.-engraving; their mute is higher and more rounded, the braces that support the bells are curved instead of straight. The NMM instrument is similar to the design that's showed in the catalogs and ads
Jazzophon Ges.Gesch, Valve cases and upper valve caps stamped 67, 68, 69 and 30 (fourth valve). coll. National Music Museum
There is one Jazzophon marked Miraphone on the mute. This mute is a higher one and also the bracings are different. After World War II the region of Graslitz, also known as Sudetenland, became once again part of Czechslovakia and most of the German population in Sudetenland was expelled. Thirteen instrumentmakers from Graslitz moved to Waldkraiburg in the southern part of West-Germany and started repairing musical instruments under the name 'Produktivgenossenschaft der Graslitzer Musikinstrumentenerzeuger eGmbH'. As of 1947 they built new instruments as well, branded Miraphone. The new Miraphone-logo was used from 1948 onwards. PR-manager Kari Theinert said: "Our company has actually built a whole series of Jazzophones. Unfortunately, there is no archived documentation or old catalog material anymore. The engraving of this instrument shows that it's manufactured around the late 60's at our facility in Waldkraiburg. Most of these instruments were exported to the United States."
Jazzophone marked Miraphone, 1960's, coll. Erik Totham, California US
Trumpet shaped Jazzophon
No lyra or trombone shaped Jazzophons are known but there are at least two trumpet shaped Jazzophons around. One is in the collection of the Trompetenmuseum in Bad Säckingen. It's engraved 'Jazzophon-Trompete' along with the D.R.G.M registration number and attributed by the museum to F.X.Hüller.
Jazzophon, engraved Jazzophon Trompete D.G.R.M. No 995.305, in 1989 acquired from William Scarlett, Chicago by Trompetenmuseum Bad Säckingen
The other trumpet-shaped Jazzophon resides in the National Music Museum in Vermillion, US. This one is practically identical with the above, only its engraved 'Stradivarius Model 7 Faciebat Anno 1931 Vincent Bach Corporation New York USA'. The valves are numbered 91,92,93.
Jazzophon, engraved Jazzophon Trompete D.G.R.M. No 995.305, from the Arne B. Larson Collection, since 1979 in National Music Museum Vermillion South Dakota
Vincent Bach, born in 1890 as Vincent Schrotenbach in Baden bei Wien in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1914 changed his name to Bach and fled to the United States where he worked as musician. He started producing mouthpieces and in 1924 expanded to the production of trumpets and cornets under the 'Stradivarius' name (to project an image of quality). By 1928, he relocated to a Bronx factory adding trombones to his product line. According to Bach researcher Roy Hempley, Bach began stamping model names on his instruments after approximately 85 instruments were made. It appears that the Faciebat Anno marking arrangement also started at the same time. Hempley thinks that Bach introduced model names in relation to his application for trademarks. This occurred in August 1925. (They were officially registered in March 1926.) Faciebat anno is Latin for 'manufactured in the year'. It is stamped with a year designator following it, 1931 in this case. The year usually reflects when the instrument was sold, and this can be a different from the year the instrument was actually completed. Hempley told the museum that as there is no serial number on the instrument, he believes it's not made by Bach. I believe it's made by Hüller.
Jazzophon of the late Frank Tomes, Londen, here played in 2009 by David Staff. No maker or dealer's name, only D.R.G.M. No. 995 305. Tomes bought it from John R.T.Davies, who bought it from a music shop in Rome while on tour with the 'Temperance Seven' a British 20s style jazz/dance band.
1 a-b Jazz-o-phone. c. 1926, brass, understood to be German. One thumb lever directs the sound through the muted bell, while the other thumb lever controls the wah-wah. Sold by Sid Glickman, New York US in 2010
2 Jazzophon GES.GESCH. ca 1927-1929 Coll. National Music Museum Vermillion, South Dakota US
3. Jazzophon D.R.G.M. 995.305. Coll. Attilio Berni, Fiumicino, Italy,
4. Professional Jazzophon D.R.G.M. 995.305 brass, auctioned at Sotheby's in 1983
5. Jazzophon D.R.G.M 995.305. Coll. Robert Ullery, Virgina, US,
6. Jazzophon D.R.G.M 995.30 Coll. Trompetenmuseum Bad Säckingen, Germany
7 a-b. Jazzophon, D.R.G.M. 995.305 attrib. Pfretzschner & Martin valve casings stamped and numbered 19, 20 and 21, and 9 (fourth valve) Coll. National Music Museum Vermillion, South Dakota VS
8 a-b-c Jazzophon D.R.G.M. 995.305 1920's. Hartenberger World Music Collection, Missouri, US
Jazzophon D.R.G.M. 995.305 C.A. Wunderlich Siebenbrunn Vglt. coll. Gerard Westerhof Netherlands
Jazzophon F.X. Huller Graslitz Czechoslovakia coll. Gerard Westerhof Netherlands
Jazzophon D.R.G.M. 995.305 C.A.Wunderlich Siebenbrunn Vgtl. coll. Scott Robinson US
Jazzophon, 'probably Hüller', 1920's, formerly coll. Erik Totham, California, US
Jazzophon Trompete D.R.G.M. 995.305 coll. Trompetenmuseum Bad Säckingen Germany
Jazzophon Trompete D.R.G.M. 995.305 Stradivarius Model 7 Faciebat Anno 1931 Vincent Bach Corporation New York USA coll. NMM Vermillion, South Dakota US
Jazzophon marked Miraphone, 1960's, coll. Erik Totham, California US
Jazzophon coll. Frank Tomez London Great-Britain
The Normaphon was a saxophone shaped trumpet with only one bell, invented by Richard Oskar Heber (1872-1938) from Markneukirchen. Between 1900 and 1935 he produced brass instruments under the Norma-brand at the Schützenstrasse 36 in Markneukirchen.
Richard Oskar Heber at work Schützenstrasse 36 Markneukirchen photo's copyright Ines Ann Heber
Heber advertised the Normaphon as very appropriate for 'Jazz-Band und sonstige Effekt-Kapellen'. Roughly 100 Normaphons were built from approximately 1924/25 until 1930, and were distributed through wholesalers such as C.A. Wunderlich in Siebenbrunn, R.O. Adler and C.G Glier in Markneukirchen, Ammon Gläser in Erlbach and M. J. Kalashen in New York. The Gebrüder Schuster in Markneukirchen, 'Fabrik und Export von Musikinstrumenten und Saiten', from 1854, had the Normaphon in their Katalog Nr. 70, (ca. 1929). Normaphons were sent out to musical directors all over the world to promote the new instrument.
The Normaphon also had a D.R.G.M-registration from 26.02.1926, number 51c. 945 751, under the name 'Metallblasinstrument'. The C.G.Glier catalog from October 1926 states that patents are claimed both at home and abroad. There were four sizes of the instrument (specials possible), but most of them were build in tenor. According to Albert Rice they were build not only with piston but also with rotary valves. The soprano also had a version with an echo effect-valve, similar to the Jazzophon. Initially, there also was a choice between high and low pitch. Max Adler from Erlbach offered in his catalogue number 25 also the English high pitch and the Normaphon in C and in F for the same price. Adler advertises the Normaphon as a solo instrument. Remarkable: C.A. Wunderlich offered around 1928 also a soprano version of the Normaphon with an echo effect valve, a kind of Jazzophon in fact. The New Langwill Index states that C.A. Wunderlich held the Normaphon patent but to me that seems to be a misinterpretation. In or after 1931 Robert Oswald Adler still (and only) offered the sopran, alto and tenor Normaphon.
Normaphon with rotary valves, serial number 0200, coll. NMM
The National Music Museum of the University of South Dakota has a soprano and two tenor Normaphons, one of them having rotary valves. This last one (serial number 0200), the only example with rotary valves known so far, has no distributor name engraved, only the usual Normaphon D.R.G.M. Germany engraving.
Pieter Aafjes, musical director of Crescendo, a concert band from Culemborg in the Netherlands, obtained an alto Normaphon from C.A. Wunderlich with serial number 0104, to give it a try. Through Riet van Dillen, the daughter of his successor Jac van Dillen, it came in my possession.
Alto Normaphon in Eb, originally nickel plated, serial number 0104. On the bell: C.A. Wunderlich Siebenbrunn Vogtl. coll. Gerard Westerhof
Normaphones can be found amongst others at the Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments, the MIM in Phoenix, the Museum of Musical Instruments of the Leipzig University, the HJM Brass Collection in Turku, Finland and the Trompetenmuseum in Bad Säckingen (that has a tenor from Schuster & Co.).
In 1957 Nat King Cole performed 'Rosetta' in one of his shows together with Billy Eckstine (8 July 1914 – 8 March 1993), Eckstine playing a tenor Normaphone (from 2.12").
William 'Hicky' Kelley MJD, left: William Kelley
William 'Hicky' Kelley played a Normaphone (probably an alto) in 1959 and 1960 with the Modern Jazz Disciples on two records, 'The modern jazz disciples' and 'right down front'. Kelley (March 12, 1929 Cincinnati - May 9, 1998 Cincinnati) started his musical career on the trumpet and later picked up the Normaphone. The notes to the original first album of the Modern Jazz Disciples state that Kelley would like it made clear that that his use of the Normaphon (and the euphonium on one track) is "not one of novelty. He is dedicated to their use as jazz pieces. He has no desire to become an 'avant-courier' for them in the field of jazz."
Multi instrumentalist Scott Robinson from Teaneck, New Jersey, played a tenor Normaphon on his first LP Multiple Instruments from 1984 and in later years with Hazmat Modine on their CD Bahamut.
And yet another multi instrumentalist, Eric Budd from Melbourne, Australia showing his tenor Normaphon (serial number 0164).
Tom Guralnick has a tenor Normaphon (serial number 0238) that he got from Bob Klein in New York around 2001. Bob's father played in the NY Philharmonic and taught in a community music school where he discovered it some 50 years ago when he closed down the music school, and Bob gave it to Tom some 15 years ago. Tom is the director at Outpost, Albuquerque, and occasionally shows the instrument to guest musicians. 'Rosewell Rudd dug it". Here's jazz trumpeter Bobby Bradford (1934) trying, with Tom looking.
Bobby Bradford and Tom Guralnick 12 april 2004, photo Mark Weber
nr 0104 alto Normaphon D.R.G.M. C.A.Wunderlich Siebenbrunn Vgtl. coll. Gerard Westerhof, Netherlands
nr 0117 soprano Normaphon D.R.G.M. Germany Valve cases and caps stamped 10, 11 and 12. coll. NMM 7350 Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection, 1999 Vermillion South Dakota US US
nr 150 alto Normaphon, coll. Scott Robinson, Teaneck New Jersey, US
nr 0196 tenor Normaphon D.R.G.M. C.A.Wunderlich Siebenbrunn Vgtl. coll. Museum für Musikinstrumente der Universität Leipzig
nr 0200 tenor Normaphon D.R.G.M. Germany rotary valves coll. NMM 1526, Vermillion South Dakota US
nr 0238 tenor Normaphon coll. Tom Guralnick Albuquerque US
nr 0260 tenor Normaphon D.R.G.M. Germany 8188/M. J. KALASHEN/NEW YORK, valves and valve caps stamped: 16, 17, 18, coll. NMM 1525, Vermillion South Dakota US, acquired in 1977, on display at Meredith Willson Museum, Mason City, Iowa US
nr 0315 tenor Normaphon D.R.G.M. coll. Edinburgh University, UK
nr 0344 alto Normaphon, D.R.G.M. acquired in 2010, coll. Han Savelkoel, Netherlands
nr 350 tenor Normaphon, coll. Scott Robinson, Teaneck New Jersey, US
nr 0441 alto Normaphon coll. Heikki Moisio Turku, Finland
1. tenor Normaphon D.R.G.M. coll. MIM, Phoenix US, (until 2011 Fiske Museum, Claremont, US) (Albert Rice speaks of an alto, D.R.G.M./GERMANY"—sold by C.A. Wunderlich)
2. tenor Normaphon, D.R.G.M. Germany, restauration with new mouthpipe in 2012 by Robb Stewart, coll. Rick Schwartz, Virginia US
3. soprano Normaphon D.R.G.M. Germany sold in 1998 through Butterfield & Butterfield (maybe same as 0117)
Normaphone in Bb, coll. Musikinstrumenten Museum Markneukirchen
Leopold Renz, Instrumentenmacher, Berlin, N58 Gaudystr.14, made this tenor instrument, with a total length of 277 cm. Günter Dullat, who used it for the cover of his book Blasinstrumente names it also a Normaphone and states that the Normaphone (this Normaphon?) in the nineteen twenties was developed by Robert Schopper (1859-1938) in Leipzig. Renz worked as an instrumentmaker from 19196 onwards, and from 1927 under his own name.Jazzophon Background of the Jazzophon Other sax shaped trumpets Other double-bell trumpets Other sax shaped instruments Sources, links and contact
The end of the Jazzophone
In the 1930s jazz in Germany began to see its downturn. Despite the liberal attitudes of the Weimar democracy, the public and private sentiment toward blacks, including African Americans, was an ambivalent. In 1932, all the conservative musicians and critics were denigrating jazz as a product of 'nigger' culture, which provided the government the fodder to forbid hiring of colored musicians. One critic even went so far as to call jazz a mere 'nigger noise', having only one purpose: "to introduce obscenities into society."
For the Nazis, jazz was a threatening form of expression and the saxophone was jazz. The Nazi regime pursued and banned the broadcasting of jazz on German radio, partly because of its African roots and because many of the active jazz musicians were of Jewish origin; and partly due to the music's certain themes of individuality and freedom. The jazz studies in Frankfurt were closed by the Nazis in 1933. Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, had hoped to convince and persuade the public via anti-jazz propaganda before 1935, rather than prohibit jazz. However, jazz was officially banned in 1935. In 1935, the Nazi government did not allow German musicians of Jewish origin to perform any longer. Listening to foreign stations, which regularly played jazz, was penalized from 1939 on.
Poster for an Exhibition in Dusseldorf, 1938
The saxophone - so strongly associated with jazz - was seen in Germany as the anti-German instrument, proposes Günther Dullat in his book on nearly forgotten wind instruments. That didn't mean the end of the saxophone production in Germany. In 1938/1939 C.A. Wunderlich still sold saxophones, engraved with with a swastika and an eagle, used by the German Luftwaffe. And in 1939 Ernst Hess Nachf. from Klingenthal offers on the last page of hiscatalog offers a Saxie, a little saxophone-like instrument, because "how often do small village bands not like having a saxophone". In the same catalog Hess proudly announces their making the new Herms-Niels fanfares with which the glory of Hitler was praised at the Reichsparteitag in 1938.
Eventually though, not many Jazzophons and Normaphons were built. Despite the beautiful names they were a failure, and soon they disappeared from the market, to become a collector's item, stated collector Ernst W. Buser. Some 16 Jazzophons are known to be extant.
It's not sure however, whether the declining appreciation of jazz in Germany was the reason, or the only reason, for Jazzophons not becoming a big hit. It seems likely that the failure of the Jazzophon has more to do with a mismatch between supply and demand, even before the Nazis came to power. "It May Look Like a Musical Instrument, but It's Really an Edsel," wrote the New York Times in 2005, in an article in which the Jazzophon figured among other musical instruments that were unsuccessful. The Edsel is the Ford Edsel, in the late fifties the example of a commercial failure. And then there was the global crisis of the late twenties, which gave saxophone sales worldwide a major blow. From 1929 to 1932 exportsales of the German musical instrument business decreased from 100,52 to 22,66 millions of Reichsmarks, less than a quarter of the Golden Twenties. And in the end, they were a little difficult to play as well. The form is unfavorable for the trumpet embouchure, and, as Heribert Schröder states, simply using a mute might be cheaper and more appealing to the audience then buying a newly designed trumpet.
Stated to be made around 1955 in Klingenthal, about 5km from Graslitz on the German side of the border, this instrument was offered on Ebay in 2005.
Sax shaped trumpet, maker unknown
Rotary valved trumpet, coll. Diether Grosche, Düsseldorf, Germany ditto, coll. Trompetenmuseum Bad Säckingen
Left a sax shaped trumpet with rotary valves. Probably German. The Trompetenmuseum in Bad Säckingen has another sax-shaped trumpet with rotary valves. Their catalog says: "Anonymous. Germany, late 20's or 30's. Related to, but not identical to the Normaphon.'
The Trompetenmuseum also has a sax-shaped trumpet in low-F, from Germany or Austria, around 1925:
Keilwerth Toneking 3000 serialnumber 27963, collection Jim Glass.
Between 1982 and 1986 instrumentmaker Julius Keilwerth in Nauheim (Germany) build a sax shaped trumpet with one bell, named Toneking 3000. Keilwerth originally worked in Graslitz but moved after the war to Germany. This trumpet was devised by Gerhard Julius Keilwerth, grandson of Julius. He states that there were build no more than 100. Jim Glass bought one from Matt Stoecker.It pops up on Ebay every now and then. There's one in the collection of the Trompetenmuseum in Bad Säckingen, serialnumber 312600.
Gary Anderson performed in February 2010 on the Keilwerth Toneking 3000 (from 2.16"). He said the lead pipe comes at an angle that makes pressing it to the lips a challenge.
In the 1980's DEG also build a sax trumpet. DEG was started in 1965 in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin USA, by Donald E. Getzen after he split from the Getzen company in Elkhorn. Aurelia Hartenberger owns one.
In 1994 trumpeter Nargo apparently played on a DEG-trumpet with the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra in Gold Rush, live at NHK TV (from 0.40' and from 2.29')
Lienbacher saxopete, coll. James B. Degnan, La Crosse Wisconsin, US
A Lienbacher saxopete, might have been made by Toni Lienbacher from Berchtesgaden (Germany), somewhere before 1999. Probably a one of. It's nickelplated. A hook and a ring were added by it's owner James B. Degnan to get better control.
Andy Taylor and Eddie Veit
Jazzophone from Andy Taylor Flugelbased sax shaped trumpet from Taylor Sax shaped trumpet from Eddie Veit Trumpet from Peter Rieblinger
British manufacturer of instruments Andy Taylor build another sax shaped trumpet, called Jazzophone. "We built this example because it hadn't been done for years and was a lot of fun. It was primarily used at exhibitions as a conversation piece." Taylor also build a flugel based instrument. 'There was never any commercial intent with them at all', he says. 'The flugel based one was far easier to play due to being able to control how you held it against the chops.'
In the nineteens Jupiter in Taiwan built the Excite. Trumpet version R77L and a trombone in F with an additional valve, the VL33L.
Sean Mason from Factoryville, Pennsylvania, made this double belled, trigger action, saxophone shaped trumpet as his final project at Renton technical college. It was made out of Yamaha trumpet parts and the rotor off of a G bugle. One of the bells is a tuning bell to make sure the bells play in tune with each other. It is currently on display in the band instrument repair classroom at Renton tech. Here Sean demonstrates it.
A saxy trumpet build in 2010 by Doug Teeter from Fresno, California, early Bundy valves and bell, bore size .460, with left hand brace to get sufficient mouthpiece pressure, for sale on Ebay, October 2011.
Shew-Horn and others
Bobby Shew on the Shew-Horn Herb Alpert on the Kanstul Gemini Herb Smith on the Jason Harrelson
Dave Monette is told to have made a double-bell horn for trumpeter Bobby Shew (1941, Albuquerque, New Mexico). He named it Shew Horn with the advice: 'try thinking about your sound more'. Here's a soundclip of Shew playing 'Stompin at the Savoy' on his Shew-Horn, for BBC's 'Pebble Mill at One' in Birmingham, somewhere in the eighties.
Zig Kanstul in Anaheim, California, US designed this double-belled 'Gemini' together with Herb Alpert. It's using a rotary valve to divert the air between the two bells. Here's Herb Alpert playing 'It’s only a paper moon' on it, Oakland, California US 2008.
Trumpeter Herb Smith played on a Jason Harrelson double-bell trumpet at the International Trumpet Guild conference 2009 in Harrisburg, PA, US, the Harrelson Medusa. Jason Harrelson himself shows it here.
Max Thein in Bremen developed the double bell trumpet on which Matthias Höfs performs 'Eine Spanische Weihnacht', together with the Berliner Symphoniker.
Julius Edward (Billy) Brooks (1923, Mobile, Alabama - 2003, Amsterdam) performed regularly on his double bell trumpet, de Skoonum-horn. He had it patented in the Netherlands and England since 1965 and in 1970 obtained an US patent and he dreamed of a small factory to make it a sales success. That never happened.
Skoonum Calicchio 1973/74 Duplex horn Calicchio mid 1960's
Dominic Calicchio from Los Angeles made in 1973/74 the Skoonum trumpet, now in the HWM-collection, in his workshop in Hollywood, with a brass upper bell. Some 10 years before, in the mid 1960's, he made another experimental double bell instrument for Jack Coleman, that was in the collection of the Fiske Museum..
A self designed - red - double bell trumpet from Marco Blaauw, build in 2000 by Dieter Gärtner, from the company Gärtner und Thul in Düren, Germany. The trumpet uses the standard three valves, plus a fourth and fifth valve. The fourth valve enables one to play quarter-tones over the whole range of the trumpet. The fifth valve is for changing between the two bells, that are made of slighly different material. He used it amongst others for the Peter Eötvös composition Snatches of a Conversation which calls for a double-bell trumpet enabling the soloist to switch quickly between different mutes. Here Marco tells more about the history of this trumpet.
Blaauw also had made a second - blue - trumpet, a few years later, that made it possible to direct one bell backwards.
Brandon Ridenour demonstrates the Yamaha double-bell trumpet
Canadian Brass trumpeter Brandon Ridenour asked Wayne Tanabe from Yamaha to make him a a double-bell trumpet to perform Snatches of a Conversation with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Ensemble. The instrument was configured from a Yamaha piccolo trumpet (YTR-9835) valve casing, a YTR-9636 Eb trumpet leadpipe, bells from an Artist Model C trumpet and a rotor from a french horn. Ridenour had performed the piece before on the Ben Neill mutantrumpet.
The mutantrumpet is designed by Ben Neill and is a triple belled electro-acoustic instrument. The mutantrumpet has been evolving since the mid-1980’s when Neill worked with synthesizer pioneer Robert Moog to design its first electronic interface. In 1992 Neill made the instrument fully computer interactive. The new mutantrumpet includes 8 continuous MIDI controllers and 8 momentary MIDI controllers in addition to the acoustic note and volume control from the instrument’s natural sound.
Echo-bell cornet by Adalbert Riedl, coll. Irving Bush Echo-bell cornet by Jérome Thibouville Lamy, 1890, coll. Denis Balande
Echo trompet Carl Schäfer Hannover ca 1900, coll. Musikinstrumenten Museum Berlin
The echo-bell cornet was a popular type of instrument in the nineteenth century. The echo-bow was invented by Friedrich Adolf Schmidt form Cologne and patented in 1859. The echo bell, which the 4th valve brings into the windway in place of the normal bell, may originally have been intended as an instantaneous muting device. Before 1900 the echo cornet became quite widely used in Germany, France and England, with soloists performing ingenious pieces with echo effects. In the twenties they were seldom sold because of changes in taste and the upcoming jazz trumpet. Nowadays cheap versions can be obtained from India.
An interesting two bell cornet comes from Z. Albert Meredith from Elkhart.
Meredith two bell cornet ca. 1901 coll. Nick Decarlis VSS
Unlike the echo-cornet where the second bell gives a different sound, the purpose of the second (lower) bell is that it eliminates the small second valve slide. Any valve combination using the second valve, the sound comes out the lower bell, and sounds exactly like the other notes which come from the upper bell. Meredith wanted to make an instrument without any sharp bend or curve, to be played with less exertion, having less friction in the air-passages, creating more volume and more carrying power and a better tone quality.
The patent application was filed January 19, 1901 and granted in 1906, and claims to be applicable for other instruments as well. Nick Decarlis, who owns this cornet, says: "In my opinion, this was a very complicated solution to a non-existent problem!"
An unique combination of a trumpet and a flugel (?) with a double bell, one inside the other was offered for sale from Uruguay on Ebay in november 2011. The outer bell measures 7 inches, the length of the instrument is 17 inch (without the missing leadpipe). The bell reads 'Gautrot-Marquet Breveté s.g.d.g. Paris' (breveté s.g.d.g. meaning: patented without governmental garantee). Gautrot was a French manufacturer of musical (brass) instruments and an inventor from the second half of the 19th century.
A combination of a flugelhorn and a cornet, dated 1890, was made by the Italian instrument maker and inventor Guiseppe Pelitti in Milano. It is part of the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It's an instrument in C with rotary valves. Also from Milano but probably from a later date (ca. 1919) comes a flugel/cornet-combination from D(ante) Rancilio, in the HWMC- collection.
A cheap Chinese double bell trumpet, designed by Dr. Lee. Pitched in Bb and A (or Bb and C, that's not quite clear) from BerkeleyWind. With a rotary valve that directs the air through the smaller bell, stated to sound like a piccolo trumpet.
Double bell trumpet by Tim Brown, Galesburg Illinois, US Project-horn by P. van Asselt
The right bell (with mute) of the project-horn Tim Brown build, is from the original Holton Collegiate trumpet. For the left one Brown, from Galeburg, Illinois, US, used a bell from a private label 'Temple' trumpet. 'Temple' is the name of a music store on the US east coast many years ago. The project-horn of P. van Asselt is made of an Amati and a Yamaha.
A trumpet with a double bell made in 2006 by Michael del Quadro from Del Quadro Custom Trumpets in Wichita, US for Pat Shaner. A rotary valve switches between both bells. Del Quadro used an Olds Ambassador valve block and has put a Pilczuk leadpipe on the front end of the horn.
Robb Stewart in Arcadia, California, made three double bell trumpets in the last 30 years. You'll find an explanation here.
A Melton Egerländer flugelhorn combined with a Benge trumpet bell. An idea from a German player of Donauwörth, made in 2010.
Jazzophon Calura D.G.R.M. coll. Gerard Westerhof
Saxaphone, Britisch made kazoo, ca 1930, coll. Pete Thomas Saxaphone
The name Jazzophon is also used for other sax shaped instruments. Before World War II the German company C.A. Lux from Ruhla (Thüringen) made a 20 cm tall metal sax shaped kazoo called Jazzophon. The sound source is a vibrating membrane. They registered the design also at D.R.G.M. on August 18th, 1932. The British saxaphone is an almost identical instrument from the same period.
Similar instruments with a reed instead of a membrane were called Luxophon or Sirenophon. Both are of German origine, the Luxophon, measuring 4 3/4" tall, has a D.R.G.M registration.
Sirenophone Luxophon, coll. Gerard Westerhof
On October 13th, 1929 the Bubbling Over Five recorded a piece called Get up off that Jazzophone during sessions in Richmond, Virginia, for the Okeh Record Company with James Simons ("Blues Birdhead") on a harmonica, labelled as jazzophone.
Adler also sold the Saxoharmonika, a saxophone shaped harmonica.
La Traviata, harmonica made in Germany, registered under number 264852, Ebay November 2010
Zobo and Songophone
The Zobo saxophone dates from the end of the 19th century. Under the Zobo brand W.H. Frost in New York marketed a whole line of brass kazoo's from 1895 onwards. On Januar 7th, 1896 he had the patent registered. Besides the saxophone there was also a cornet, a trombone and a tuba model. A set of 4 listed for $8,25 and made musical instruments affordable. Some years later, in 1900, Louis N. Crakow patented the Songophone, an almost identical instrument. Crakow first dealt in Zobo's together with Frost. The Songophone was also traded as Sonophone.
Couesnon Saxie and Couesnophone
coll. the late David Rycroft coll. Pete Thomas coll. Sid Glickman
The Saxie is a sax shaped instrument with a 62 centimeter u-bend brass tube and bell and a reed mouthpiece. The inventor and patentholder of the instrument was Frederick B. Hammam of Baltimore, Maryland, the US-patent dating from June 3rd, 1924. The Couesnon company in Paris must have quickly bought the patent rights as their name is on the four now know extant saxies. It was described to the 'ever-widening circle of admirers of the saxophone' as 'the little brother of the saxophone', but easier to play. The small number of extant saxies shows that it was an interesting experiment but not a commercial succes.
Couesnon also produced the Couesnophone, patented in France in 1924 (patent number 569294). The instrument is described in the patent as a 'saxophone jouet' (saxophone toy). This proved a little difficult for English-speaking people to pronounce, so it was commonly Anglicized as “queenophone”, but it was even more commonly known as goofus. The instrument did resemble a sax but it was actually a free reed instrument with the reeds being selected by piston-like keys arranged in a similar manner to the keys of a piano – one row of keys giving a C major scale, the other row arranged in alternate groups of two and three to give the sharps and flats. It was played professionally by early jazz musicians like Adrian Rollini.
Couesnon also made a saxophone shaped bugle. The instrument has no reeds, holes or pistons but a trumpet/bugle like mouthpiece. It stands 77 cm high and has a bell diameter of 12 cm. The shape and the tapering is very much that of a saxophone body.
Coueson sax shaped bugle coll. Frans Mich, Neerpelt, Belgium
The pineapple below the Couesnon & Cie engraving says 27, which according to some sources stands for the year of production, 1927. That would make sense.
Saxonette en Saxello
Saxonette H.N. White Saxello
The saxonette, also named a French clarinet, pitched in C, A or Bb. It has the approximate overall shape of a saxophone, but unlike that instrument it has a cylindrical bore and is therefore categorized as a clarinet. The instrument is also known as the 'Claribel' and 'Clariphon'. Saxonettes were first produced by the Buescher Band Instrument Company, between 1918 and 1921. They were also made for the US market by french makers Couesnon and Martin Frères.
The Saxello is a soprano-saxophone with a bend neck and bell, made by H.N.White. The instrument came on the market in 1924-1925, the patent dates from 1926. Due to the economic crisis, production ceased in the thirties. Recently, new saxellos were build, by Rampone and others.Sax-nietphone
Sax Nietphone Rebuild King baritone
Somewhere around 2003 Paul van Bebber, former employee of Schenkelaars, manufacturer of musical instruments in Eindhoven, built the Sax-nietphone using a lot of different parts. He built the instrument for street musician George Glandorf of Schellinkhout. "Getting it tuned was the most different part", George says. Here George plays it in his Nuts and Notes act, performing in Hengelo (Ov), 2009.
To the right an old King 1165 baritone, reshaped by Ian Church from Seattle.[photogallery/photo00017150/real.htm]
A few years ago, Dan Schultz from Indiana built this 4 valve horn for Pat Stuckemeyer using a valve section from a Conn euphonium and a bell from a baritone sax. The instrument plays in Bb and "has an interesting timbre' according to Dan.
Tim Sullivan and the Sax-o-tuba Oren Marshall playing the Orenophone
An interesting experiment is this sax-o-tuba, build in 2010 by Harvey Hartman from Boyertown (PA) and Tim Sullivan (Lausanne). It's made out of a King 2341 Bb tuba, cut back to a CC-tuba. It's played by tuba-soloist Sergio Carolino from Portugal, and named Lusophone. The adjective 'Lusophone' means Portugese speaking. To the right the Orenophone Mike Johnson from the UK build for Oren Marshall. Marshall performs Bach's Badinerie from the Orchestral Suite No 2 in B minor on it.
Ian Church with the JazzophoneFinished with Rustoleum High Gloss
Ian Church and Harvey Hartman build this Jazzophone from a King 1140 marching tuba in 2011. A 19-inch bell, .687-inch bore and four valves. It weighs 26 pounds, measures 6 feet. For sale in October 2012 for $3100.Sources
Ernst W. Buser, Für immer verklungen, Jazzophon und Normaphon, in Fox auf 78. 4, 66. 1987
Günter Dullat, Fast vergessene Blasinstrumente aus zwei Jahrhunderten: vom Albisiphon zur Zugtrompete, Nauheim, 1992.
Günter Dullat, Der Musikinstrumentenbau und die Musikfachschule in Graslitz von den Anfängen bis 1945, Nauheuim, 1997
Bernhard Habla, Das heutige Image des Saxophons unter besonderer Berücksichtigung bildlicher Darstellungen in der Werbung, in: Clarino 1996/2,
David Rycroft, A Six-Finger Hole Saxophone: The Saxie, in The Galpin Society Journal 52, April. 1999
Dr. Enrico Weller, Der deutsche und vogtländische Musikinstrumentenbau in den Jahren der Weltwirtschaftskrise, Vortrag 23-06-2009
Roy Hempley & Doug Lehrer, New York Bach Stradivarius Trumpet and Cornet Bell Markings, October 2004
Heribert Schröder, Tanz- und Unterhaltungsmusik in Deutschland 1918-1933, 1990
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