Friday’s Google Doodle marks what would have been legendary instrument maker Adolphe Sax’s 201st birthday.
Born on Nov. 6, 1814, in Belgium, Sax grew up under the stewardship of his fellow instrument-maker father, bestowing him with a thorough understanding of brass and woodwind. This led him to fuse elements of both musical genres to create the iconic saxophone in 1840. His creativity was prolific — he also created the less commonly used seven-bell trombone and saxtuba.
The saxophone, considered the unconventional “Cinderella” of musical instruments in the 1800s, went on to gain prominence in the 20th century, lending its brassy tone to the jazz age and even rock ’n’ roll.
Lydia Nichols’ gold-toned Doodle shows the massive influence Sax had on modern-day music with his namesake instrument.