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Soprano saxophone, 1920 - 1932
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Object statement
Soprano saxophone, metal / leather, made by Harola, place unknown, 1920-1932
This instrument is important as a representative example of a member of the family of saxophones and joins both alto and tenor instruments currently in the collection. Although the instrument is thought to have been manufactured overseas, it is also significant for the Museum's collection as it has Australian provenance, being used by an amateur musician during the jazz era of the 1920s and is representative of the kind of instruments being used by musicians in the development of jazz in Australia in the pre-World War Two period. Other instruments from this period in the collection include drums, a zylophone and a mandolin banjo but also two other saxophones with strong Australian connections. These are an alto saxophone made by Australian JE Becker of Adelaide whilst working as an apprentice at the CG Conn instrument company in the USA, and also a tenor saxophone by Selmer previously owned and played by Greg Ham of the highly successful Australian rock band Men At Work. These instruments, together with the soprano saxophone create a story of performance and creativity by three sections of the music community; the amateur player, the professional performer and the maker.
Information regarding the origins or history of the Harola company is limited, however it is known that accordions and banjos were also made under the Harola brand, however the banjos are thought to have been made in Britain whereas the accordions are thought to have been made in Germany.
The instrument belonged to the donor's father who had a love of jazz and played in small musical groups during the 1920s. He stopped playing the instrument after he was married in 1932 aged 24. The donor never saw his father play the instrument. It is presumed that the instrument was bought to Brisbane by the donor's father. The donor's father was a plumber who joined the RAAF during World War 2, however after the war he retrained as a doctor.

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Soprano saxophone constructed in chromed metal. Key tops flat, some with small mother of pearl finger pads. Leather pads on underside of keys. Dark wooden mouthpiece with reed held in place by two metal rings. Metal cover fits over mouthpiece. Metal mount allows small music clip to be attached to instrument.

Instrument housed in hard case covered in black leather with purple felt lining inside. Case also houses mouthpiece and cover and small metal music rest consisting of spring clip that can be attached to instrument.
Engraving on bell: 'The Sterling Mark / HAROLA / on Saxophones / Bb Soprano / High Pitch / Class B'
Production date
1920 - 1932
82 mm
82 mm

 This text content licensed under CC BY-SA.
Acquisition credit line
Gift of Mr Bernard Thomson, 2007
+ Jazz music
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{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/363390 |title=Soprano saxophone |author=Powerhouse Museum |accessdate=27 February 2017 |publisher=Powerhouse Museum, Australia}}

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Object viewed times. Parent IRN: 2131. Master IRN: 2131 Img: 170459 Flv: H:3697px W:5113px SMO:0 RIGHTS:.