Additional support and materials are available in the teaching areas. Project areas give background information and guidance at each stage of the project; there are in-depth explanations and downloads. Any saxophone techniques you might require are explained. There are online demonstrations and teaching sessions alongside the material in the projects. These are delivered through online conferencing software (Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams). Where applicable a downloadable performance is produced on completion of a project. Each project is 'your' experience; feel free to ask questions and explore.
Additional Materials & Upload Area
This area is specifically for 1:1 students of Sarah Markham.
If you are asked to provide a video or audio track for Sarah to discuss you are able to upload the file here. There will also be additional materials to download to support ongoing work in lessons.
by Kenneth Wilkinson
for saxophone ensemble
The score of Three Angels is a representation of sound and texture rather than a notated score. The composition is similar to a painting, comprising a background texture, percussive interjections and a solo voice.
All the parts in Three Angels blend into an overall texture:
The solo melody is more haunting and distant than prominent.
The multiphonics are vocal in nature, some delicate, others almost like subdued screams, contrasted with percussive interjections.
by Elliott Carter
for saxophone quartet
The aim of this project is to produce a recording of a saxophone quartet work with musicality, nuance and cohesion working totally online. The work is for four alto saxophones. The players work separately on their parts, coming together to discuss approaches to interpretation, sound, and dynamics. Regular online discussions are used to agree a common approach. Throughout the process saxophonists make several recordings of their part, gradually layering the parts to form four versions of a quartet performance.
by Sarah Markham
This eight part project is aimed at woodwind teachers wanting to develop their understanding of how to teach the saxophone.
Sessions include thoughts on sound, mechanics, fingering, practise methods, articulation, vibrato, musical language and contemporary techniques.
Each section begins with a break-down of how to introduce students at different levels of experience to a concept: from a complete beginner through to subtle nuanced teaching for a more advanced student.
by Sarah Markham
A Quick Start Guide to Altissimo
Many saxophonists beginning their journey into the altissimo range start with a fingering chart. The problem with this first step is that fingerings are the least important element of the altissimo range. In fact, as you develop your altissimo you may well find you change the fingerings to fit the musical phrase you are playing. It is necessary to develop three key areas before downloading that fingering chart:
Embouchure, Voicing and Support.
This project guides the saxophonist through the developmental stages needed for a secure altissimo range.
by Cornelius Cardew
An interpretation of pages from one of the most influential contemporary music scores: Treatise by Cornelius Cardew.
Treatise is a graphic score and there are no performance instructions from the composer. You make your own choices as to how to interpret what you see.
The aim of this project is to produce between one and two minutes of music from your selected page. Recordings from available mobile devices are uploaded and a soundtrack of the material made by the participants of the project produced.
by Sarah Markham
The use of multiphonics, along with other advanced techniques, are often used in saxophone compositions. This project discusses multiphonics, covering topics such as:
by Karol Beffa
The aim of this project is to produce a recording of a saxophone quartet work with musicality, nuance and cohesion working totally online. The work is for the standard saxophone quartet instrumentation of soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones.
The players work separately on their parts, coming together to discuss approaches to interpretation, sound, and dynamics. Regular online discussions are used to agree a common approach.
The players work with a click-track, initially at a slow practise speed with a subdivided pulse to ensure precision. The members of the quartet record their parts at the agreed final tempo of the movement. The separate recordings are then mixed to create a quartet performance.
by Charlotte Harding
RCM alumnus Charlotte Harding was commissioned in 2017 to compose Vi by the Love Music Trust Saxophone Ensemble. Vi is written for solo lead soprano, lead alto, and lead tenor saxophone with saxophone ensemble.
In 2020 Charlotte performed Vi at the annual University of Huddersfield Saxophone Day along with saxophonist Amy Green, members of the Quirk Saxophone Quartet, and a large saxophone ensemble, directed by Sarah Markham.
Following that successful collaboration and after consultation with Charlotte, Sarah created an online project based around Vi.
The online version ofVi has an audio backing track, with the saxophone ensemble parts being created remotely.
by Catherine Evison
by Johann Pachelbel
The Canon by Pachelbel is an iconic melody. It was written in the late seventeenth century for three violins and basso continuo. This arrangement is for saxophone ensemble, imitating ideas arising in the 1960s of augmenting ensemble parts to create a more orchestral sound.
Using alto saxophones playing above the baritone saxophone ostinato bass line, the ensemble will create an ensemble sound, developing a rigorous eye for detail, strong sense of pulse, and good intonation.