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. The saxophone family was invented by the Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in 1840. Sax wanted to create a group or series of instruments that would be the most powerful and vocal of the woodwinds, and the most adaptive of the brass—that would fill the vacant middle ground between the two sections. He patented the saxophone on June 28, 1846, in two groups of seven instruments each. Each series consisted of instruments of various sizes in alternating transposition. The series pitched in B? and E?, designed for military bands, has proved extremely popular and most saxophones encountered today are from this series. Instruments from the so-called “orchestral” series, pitched in C and F, never gained a foothold, and the B? and E? instruments have now replaced the C and F instruments in classical music.