The saxophone was invented in 1841 by Adolphe Sax. He wanted to make an instrument with characteristics from both the woodwind family (including flutes) and the brass family (including trumpets). Saxophones are usually made of brass, but are a member of the woodwind family. The sound in a saxophone is made by a small cane reed in the mouthpiece that vibrates when you blow air through it. The different notes are made by opening and closing holes along the length of the saxophone.