The saxophone is a conical-bore transposing
Transposing instrument
A transposing instrument is a musical instrument for which written notes are read at a pitch different from the corresponding concert pitch, which a non-transposing instrument, such as a piano, would play. Playing a written C on a transposing instrument will produce a note other than concert C...

 musical instrument that is a member of the woodwind family. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed
Single-reed instrument
A single-reed instrument is a woodwind instrument that uses only one reed to produce sound. Examples include clarinets, saxophones, and some bagpipes. In a single-reed instrument, the reed is attached to a mouthpiece that is blown into to vibrate the reed, producing the sound...

Mouthpiece (woodwind)
The mouthpiece of a woodwind instrument is that part of the instrument which is placed partly in the player's mouth. Single-reed instruments, capped double-reed instruments, and fipple flutes have mouthpieces while exposed double-reed instruments and open flutes do not.-Single-reed instruments:On...

 similar to that of the clarinet
The clarinet is a musical instrument of woodwind type. The name derives from adding the suffix -et to the Italian word clarino , as the first clarinets had a strident tone similar to that of a trumpet. The instrument has an approximately cylindrical bore, and uses a single reed...

. The saxophone was invented by the Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax
Adolphe Sax
Antoine-Joseph "Adolphe" Sax was a Belgian musical instrument designer and musician who played the flute and clarinet, and is best known for having invented the saxophone.-Biography:...

 in 1846. He wanted to create an instrument that would both be the most powerful and vocal of the woodwinds and the most adaptive of the brass, which would fill the vacant middle ground between the two sections.