The saxophone, or sax, is a conical instrument of the woodwind family, ususally made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece like the clarinet. It was invented by Adolphe Sax in the 1840s. The saxophone is most commonly associated with popular music, big band music, and jazz, but it originally intended as both an orchestral and military band instrument. The inspiration for the instrument is unknown, but there is good evidence that fitting a clarinet mouthpiece to an ophicleide is the most likely origin.
The saxophone uses a single reed mouthpiece similar to that of a clarinet, but with a round or square evacuated inner chamber. The saxophone's body is effectively conical, giving it properties more similar to the oboe than to the clarinet. However, unlike the oboe, whose tube is a single cone, most saxophones have a distinctive curve at the bell.