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Paraschos and Lebayle Wooden Ligatures

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Paraschos wooden ligature

I remember one time going through a jewelry store and seeing a sterling-silver telephone dialer. I chuckled to myself and thought, “Now I have seen everything.” As a saxophonist I have to say I have seen a lot of strange items made for the instrument, from flavored reeds to padless keys. So, when I was asked to review two brands of wooden saxophone ligatures, I have to admit that my expectations were not very high. These ligatures–one from the French woodwind company Lebayle and the other from the Greek company Paraschos, makers of wooden saxophone necks–are yet another addition to an already flooded musical accessory market.

Technology has benefited the modern saxophonist, yet there comes a point when there are too many choices and the basic purpose and function of a product is overshadowed by it packaging and design. The basic purpose of a ligature is to hold the reed onto the mouthpiece. Naturally, both the Paraschos and Lebayle serve this basic function. However, any seasoned saxophonist understands that the design and materials incorporated into a ligature will often determine the degree to which the reed is allowed to vibrate.

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