A Brief History of Selmer

Henri Selmer Logo

Henri Selmer Paris is a brand steeped in musical history.

The company Henri Selmer Paris was founded by Henri in 1885 initially producing reed, mouthpieces and clarinets. As well as the creators of not only the legendary MkVI but many other horns down the years, Selmer Paris has set the benchmark for top quality instruments.

Between 1954 and 1974, Selmer Paris sold over a quarter million units of the Mark VI. Even today, it is the chosen ‘vintage’ instrument by professionals around the world. As times changed, so did Selmer Paris’ models and the Mark VI evolved to the Mark VII, the Super Action 80, the Series II, and Series III. In 2003, Selmer Paris launched the Reference 54 saxophone which is based on the feel and response of the Mark VI with modern intonation refinements.

Today, Selmer Paris is a leading manufacturer and the choice instrument of clarinet and saxophone professionals around the world. The instruments continue to be hand-crafted in Paris and until the retirement of Jérôme Selmer in 2021, was managed by the fourth generation of the Selmer family.


Any pro, or semi-pro musician is well advised to explore the Selmer Paris range.

There are many professional musicians choosing the Selmer Paris range, but they have also been played by many well-known saxophonists in the past, including, but not limited to Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. Among famous Selmer Clarinet players is Benny Goodman in his early career.

More recently they find their brand name confused with that of Conn-Selmer, who produce very different instruments, but have the distribution rights of Henri Selmer in the US.