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Newspaper Smyth County News

Date 1/27/1927

Issue Number 44

Byline Elkhart, Indiana

Article Type Editorial

Article Title Saxophone Used in Fight on Devil

Article Text The saxophone--"instrument of the devil"--is being enlisted by the churches in their fight on the devil, it is indicated in advices reaching the Conn Music Center, Elkhart, Ind. All saxophone quartettes and sextettes in church and Sunday school are among the "devil's own weapons" being used to win folks over to religion.
"Not so long ago it was quite common for church people to shun the mention of saxophone, let alone to go hear one played," says James F. Boyer, supervisor of the Conn Music Center. "The sentiment seemed to be even among musicians, that the saxophone wasn't much good for but jazz, and for a while it did appear that the jazz artists were the only ones to recognize and make use of this comparatively new addition to the brass instrument family. Reports now coming in here, however, indicate, a changed attitude in the part of the public. Artists know that the saxophone tones come nearest of all others in resemblance to the human voice, and recognize that there is nothing so beautiful musically as a saxophone solo. H. Benne Henton, one of the greatest living masters of this instrument, claims that no cleaner, more elevating, or inspirational music can come from any instrument, and will not play anything that has the slightest taint of jazz in it. Saxophone quartets and saxophone sextettes are winning a place for themselves in churches, especially those that cannot afford a pipe organ, and other churches have found that the appearance of an orchestra at church functions invariable draws increased attendance. This is indeed fighting the devil with his own weapons."

Article Summary This article tells of the dissolution of widely held beliefs of the saxophone. It focuses on the use of the saxophone in many churches, where a few years ago, a saxophone was labeled a "devil's instrument". The article tells how the conversion of many people to religion is due to the saxophone and is ironic beacuse it is "fighting the devil with his own weapons".

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