How to Put a Lyre on an Alto Saxophone

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Things You'll Need

  • Music on 5-by-7-inch paper
  • Flip folder

When it comes to saxophones, a lyre is not the same thing as the classical Greek stringed instrument. This type of lyre is a small device that attaches to a saxophone to hold music without using a music stand. A lyre typically attaches to the top of the saxophone body, below the neck. Lyres are useful for marching bands and other groups in performance situations where a saxophonist who must read music cannot use a stand.

Locate the lyre attachment near the top of the saxophone body. It should be a tube about 1/2 inch long, aligned vertically, with a thumbscrew protruding from a square-shaped shaft.

Remove the screw. Insert the end of the lyre into the top of the shaft so that the clip is in the front of the saxophone.

Insert the screw and tighten it so the lyre cannot move.

Clip the music onto the lyre. If you have a flip folder, arrange the songs you want to read in the right order.

Adjust the saxophone neck so you can read the music and play at the same time. The alto saxophone neck is small enough that most musicians can look over it to read music on a lyre.


  • Some alto saxophone models do not come with an attachment for a lyre. Ask a repair technician to attach one to the instrument body if necessary.

    It is easy to lose the thumbscrew. Music supply stores and many online merchants offer replacement screws for sale.

About the Author

Mason Stockstill began writing professionally in 1997. His work has appeared in the "Los Angeles Times," "San Francisco Chronicle" and many other newspapers. Stockstill earned a Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Master of Fine Arts in English from Mills College.

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