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Story | Mar 13, 2005Many of today's symphony orchestra instruments have been around for centuries. The violin, for instance, dates to the 1500s and as a result has an enormous repertoire spanning 450 years. The saxophone, by contrast, wasn't invented until the mid-19th century, so it missed the Baroque and Classical periods entirely and, because it was known at first only in France, much of the Romantic era as well.