Soprano saxophone may not be quite as popular a saxophone as the alto or tenor saxophone, but it still is one of the four most loved of the saxophone family. The fourth one, of course, is the baritone saxophone.
At one point during the 1920s and 1930s, the soprano was widely used in jazz and the curved soprano was a popular or common type of soprano sax. It basically looked quite similar to a smaller version of the alto. I actually have a curved soprano and they play about the same as a straight soprano sax, which is the more common counterpart.
I would not recommend a beginner start on the soprano for a couple of reasons. The first reason is simply that it is considered to be a bit more difficult to control and the intonation is very challenging, even for seasoned players. The resistance is greater than on the tenor or alto saxophone, but if you have been playing for a while, then you should consider trying the soprano. It is a beautiful instrument and has been featured by many noted saxophonists over the years.
Some of the pioneers were Sidney Bechet, Johnny Hodges and of the more modern era, some of the masters of the soprano included people like Eli “Lucky” Thompson, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Joe Farrell, Sonny Criss, Jerome Richardson, and others.
If you are looking to buy a new soprano saxophone I would suggest looking for either a Selmer, Yamaha, Keilwerth or Yanagisawa Soprano Saxophone. These four are about the most consistently well made and easy to play soprano saxophones on the market today.
Here are the websites I recommend for purchasing a Soprano Saxophone: