C Soprano Saxophone
The C Soprano Saxophone is the only saxophone that does not transpose. At one time, it was widely seen, but today it is almost a footnote to history. In sound it is midway between the B-Flat Soprano and the Sopranino. When I think of this instrument, I think of it as a lighter voiced B-flat Soprano.
This instrument has the exact same written and sounding range as does the Oboe.
Adolph Sax envisioned two families of Saxophone: one in F and C for use in orchestras and another in E-flat and B-flat for use in bands. Because orchestras rejected Sax himself, the instrument’s place in the orchestra never took hold, and the idea of the two families slowly fizzled out.
The last C Sopranos were made in the early 1930s at the end of the so-called saxophone craze. Until, that is, a year-or-so ago, when a Chinese manufacturer began to make new C Sopranos for a New Zealand importer. These new instruments are said to be of excellent make and are relatively inexpensive.
A video demonstrating several types of Soprano and Sopranino Saxophones. The C Soprano is featured starting at 5:50.