Pitch Bending - Throat
Player 1

Bending pitch in the third and fourth octaves of the alto saxophone can be accomplished with movement of the tongue. The endoscopic examination of the vocal tract revealed two dissimilar ways in which the tongue can move in bending pitch downward: arching farther forward in the mouth, or dropping farther back in the mouth. In this video clip, the saxophonist bends each pitch of the chromatic scale from C6 to C7. The tongue drops downward as the pitch drops (visible only in the higher pitches), indicating that the tongue is moving out of the pharynx and farther forward in the mouth as the player lowers the pitch.

Lawrence University Saxophone Studio                                    Lawrence University