Because all saxophones use the same key arrangement and fingering to produce a given notated pitch, it is not difficult for a competent player to switch among the various sizes when the music has been suitably transposed, and many do so.

A well-known implementation of the saxophone is modern jazz music, with the saxophone being one of the signature sounds of jazz. This is usually as a solo instrument with a rhythm section, but sometimes in the form of a saxophone quartet or big band. The crisp-toned alto sax was popularized in jazz music in the 1940s and 1950s by the pioneering virtuosity of Charlie Parker, whose bebop style of playing would deeply influence the next two generations of jazz musicians, in particular saxophonists.

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