The Art and Craft of Saxophone Mouthpiece Design (2019-2020)
The primary goal of this Bass Connections project was to digitally archive the dimensional and material property differences between nominally similar vintage and reproduction mouthpieces to document the differences in playability and tonal character of these mouthpieces. A secondary goal of the project was to evaluate the effectiveness of modern low-cost manufacturing techniques in faithfully reproducing a vintage saxophone mouthpiece.
The team digitally archived the dimensional and material property differences between nominally similar vintage and reproduction mouthpieces to document the differences in playability and tonal character of these mouthpieces.
The team studied 11 mouthpieces and recorded eight musicians. They rated each on a scale of 1 to 10 for brightness, resistance, tuning, register transitions and projection. Mouthpiece groupings showed a positive correlation between musician-ranked brightness and recorded spectral centroid. Vintage 3D copies were more similar to their originals than modern replicas for both brightness and centroid.
Summer 2019 – Spring 2020
Archiving Saxophone Mouthpiece Designs (Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase 2020)
The Art and Craft of Saxophone Mouthpiece Design (poster by Giavanna Jadick, Maxwell Bartlett, Matthew Busch, Joshua Socolar; runner up, Bass Connections 2020 poster competition)
This Team in the News
Image: Sax Magic, by Alam Levine, public domain
- Matthew Busch, Arts & Sciences-Physics
- Joshua Socolar, Arts & Sciences-Physics
/undergraduate Team Members
Maxwell Bartlett, Computer Science (BS)
Ethan Cheung, Mechanical Engineering (BSE)
Giavanna Jadick, Physics (BS)
/yfaculty/staff Team Members
Justin Gladman, Shared Materials Instrumentation Facilty (SMIF Lab)
/zcommunity Team Members
Durham Jazz Workshop
Brian Curry, getasax.com