The saxophone (also referred to as the sax) is a family of woodwind instruments. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. Like the clarinet, saxophones have holes in the instrument which the player closes using a system of key mechanisms. When the player presses a key, a pad either covers a hole or lifts off a hole, lowering or raising the pitch, respectively.
The saxophone was invented by a man named Adolphe Sax whose father also made instruments. He wanted to have the crisp sound of a brass instrument (trumpet, trombone, tuba) and also wanted to have the mellow sound of a wood wind instrument (clarinet, oboe, bassoon) Sax also wanted all of the saxophones (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone etc.) to have the same fingerings. The saxophone was adopted by French military bands early on since the saxophone has more power than other woodwinds.
A number of changes have been made to the saxophone. Most saxophonists believe that the Selmer Mark VI was the best saxophone manufactured. Modern saxophones are continually being designed with the help of saxophone players. Selmer, Keilwerth, Yamaha, and Yanagisawa are the top four saxophone companies.
According to wikipedia