US1239609A - Electric control apparatus for musical instruments. - Google Patents

Electric control apparatus for musical instruments. Download PDF

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US1239609A
US1239609A US1148915A US1148915A US1239609A US 1239609 A US1239609 A US 1239609A US 1148915 A US1148915 A US 1148915A US 1148915 A US1148915 A US 1148915A US 1239609 A US1239609 A US 1239609A
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board
keys
contacts
key
instruments
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Frederick B Little
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Frederick B Little
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10HELECTROPHONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
    • G10H1/00Details of electrophonic musical instruments
    • G10H1/32Constructional details
    • G10H1/34Switch arrangements, e.g. keyboards or mechanical switches peculiar to electrophonic musical instruments
    • G10H1/344Structural association with individual keys

Description

F. B.'L|TTLE.
ELECTRIC CONTROL APPARATUS FOR MUSICAL INSTF'JMENTS.
, APPLICATION FILED MAR. 2. I915.
1,239,609. PatentedSept. 11,1917.
3 SHEETS*SHEEI' WiTNESSES |NVENTOR $6M Q 2 g F. B. LITTLE.
ELECTRIC CONTROL APPARATUS FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
APPLICATION FILED MAR. 2. 1915. 1,239,609.
Patented Sept. 11, 1917.
3 SHEETS-SHEET 2- M i.t% l 5 as s L F. B. LITTLE.
ELECTRIC CONTROL APPARATUS FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
APPLICATION FILED MAR 2. 1915. 1,239,609.
Patented Sept. 11, 1917.
3 $HEETSSHEET 3.
l I JTNESSES INVENTOR W 2% W73: M
FREDERICK B. LITTLE, OF INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA.
ELECTRIC CONTROL APPARATUS FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
Specification of Letters Patent.
Patented Sept. 11, 191 *7.
Application filed March 2, 1915. Serial No. 11,489.
To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, FREDERICK B. LI'I'ILE, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of Indianapolis, in the county of Marion and State of Indiana, have invented a certain new and useful Electric Control Apparatus for Musical Instruments; and I do hereby declare the following to be a full, clear, and exact description of the invention, such as will enable others skilled in the art to which it appertains to make and use the same, reference'being had to the accompanying drawings, and to the characters of reference marked thereon, which form a part of this specification.
My invention relates to musical instruments and has particular reference to musical instrumentscomprising a plurality of sets of electrically operated tone-producers, a single key board and connections by means of which any one or more of the sets of tone producers can be operated from the key board.
My invention also covers a construction particularly adapted for easy and rapid assembling and disassembling of the several parts to facilitate the convenient and rapid setting up and dismantling of the apparatus in various places for use, such as moving picture theaters.
A further feature ot'my invention is the idea of providing electric lights related to the various tone-producers so connected that the lights will flash when respective tone producers are sounded.
My invention resides in an electrical musical apparatus which includes a plurality of sets, of electro-magnetically operated tone-producers, a single key board, a plurality of multiple switches, one for each set, an electro-magnetic means for closing one or more of said multiple switches from the key board, whereby u on operation of the keys of the key boar corresponding tone producers of the connected sets shall sound.
My improved apparatus 18 particularly adapted for use in theatrical work when frequent changes of location necessitate the convenient and safe packing of and shipping of the apparatus. I have arranged the scyeral main sections of myapparatus, that is, the key board, the switch board and the musical instruments so that they can be quickly and easily detached from each other for shipping and as readily connected pieces 2.
operation. For this purpose the wires running from the switch board to each musical set are bound into a cable and the bar by which they are connected to the switch board is easily removable therefrom. In like manner the key board is readily disconnected from. and connected to the switch board. When disconnecting the apparatus for. shipment the several connection bars are removed from the switch board and each with its cable connected thereto is packed with the musical instrument or the key board with which the other end of the cable is permanently connected. Consequently, the spring tongue connectors which might be damaged if they were to'be removed from their positions are protected by the frame of the switch board.
In the drawings, Figure 1 illustrates a switch-board having thereon the circuit-controlling devices and the connectors for connecting the parts mounted on the switch board with the instruments. Fi 2 is a sectional view of the connectors $0 of circuits which are connected with the sets of musical instruments taken onthe line indicated in Fig. 1. Fig. 3 is an end view of the switch board shown in Fig. 1. Fig. 4: is an end 'view of a contact rod. Fig. 5 is a section of the master controlling magnet which operates to disconnect the connectors connected in the circuits of the musical instruments. Fig. 6 illustrates the manner of mounting of one of the circuit changing keys. Fig. 7 illustrates the playing keys which operate the sets of musical instruments and also one set of the circuit-changing keys which control the connections of the sets of linstruments' with the playing keys. Fig. 8 illustrates diagrammatically the connections between the different instrumentalities used in connection with a system involving my invention.
1, Fig. 1, is the base of the switch board of any desired construction. 2 are supporting cross pieces mounted near the ends of the switch board 1. A plurality of bars numbered 5 to 14, inclusive, aresupported on the cross pieces 2 and extend lengthwise of the board. They are disposed in parallel arrangement and are secured to the cross The bars 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 are so mounted that they may be easily removed from the cross pieces or reattached when the switch board is to be reassembled by r the sets and 12.
the screws 19, while the bars 5, 7, 9, and 11 are pivotally supported on the crosspieces 2.
The bars are provided with contacts numbered 20 to 29, inclusive. The contacts are secured by screws 19 to the bars or by any other suitable means. The contacts 20, 22, 21-, and 26 are preferably elastic or yielding so as to allow a certain amount of rotation or movement of the bars 5, 7, 9 and 11. The bars 5. 7, 9 and 11, are hinged to the cross pieces by means of the hinges 30. The contacts or contact plates 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29 are fixed contacts and operate as the anvil contacts with reference to the movable spring contacts 20, 22, 2 1, and 26. The contacts 20, 22, 24, 26 and 28 are connected together by means of a conductor or bus bar which runs transversely beneath the longitudinal bars 5 to 13, and the flexible wires 36 which extend up through holes 37 located in the strips 5, 7,9, 11 and 13. The flexible wires 36 permit movements of the bars 5, 7, 9 and 11 when closing with the fixed contacts located on the bars 6, S, 10 The contacts 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29 are connected to wires 40, 41. 42, 43. 4-1 which are bound together to form cables. The rods being connected to the cable may by reason of their removability be readily disconnected from the switch board together with the cables to which they are connected and the cable rolled up with the rods for purposes of transportation. To re-assemble, all that is necessary isto connect the rods to the cross pieces of the switch board by the screws 19.
The cable 45 contains wires which lead to the electric lighting circuit and to the circuit changing switches located on the switch board in the manner hereinafter described. It maybe bound with thecable 4.4: to form the cable 49. The wires 45 terminate in the connectors 4-6 which may be clamped upon the posts 47 for making connection.
The contacts 20, 22, 24c and 26 are moved so as to close and-make contact with the anvils or fixed contacts 21, 23, 25 and 27 by means of the magnets 50, 51, 52 and 53 which operate upon the armatures 54, 55, 56 and 57. The armatures are connected to the rods 5, 7. 9 and 11 and when they are drawn down by the magnets the contacts are closed. The magnets 50, 51, 52 and 53 are preferably iron-clad magnets.
The contacts 20, 22, 21 and 26 are normally held open by the operation of the springs 60 which are secured to the fingers ()1 fastened to the bars 5, 7, 9 and 11 and to the cross piece 2.
The spring dogs or latches 65, 66, 67 and 68 are disposed in front of the magnets 50.
51, 52, and 53, respectively, and in such a position as to engage the armatures of the magnets when they are pulled down upon the energization of the magnets. They operate to retain the contacts in closed position which are originally closed by the magnet. This avoids the necessity of keeping a constant supply of current to the magnets in order to keep the contacts closed. The spring latches 65, 66, 67 and 68 are connected to a master release magnet 70. The latches may be provided with hooks 71 while a rod 72 is connected to the armature 73 of the release magnet 70. The rod 72 is provided with pins 74 which are located so as to engage the hooks '71 and pull the' spring latches away from the armatures of the magnets when the release magnet is energized, thereby causing the release of any and all of the armatures that may be engaged by the latches. Immediately upon releasemcnt of the armatures the springs 60 o crate to lift the movable contacts away i iom the fixed contacts and thus disconnect the circuits that have been closed by the operation of the magnets and which have been retained in a closed condition by the latches which hold the armatures in their closed or contact making position.
The magnet is preferably provided with a movable core 80 as well as an armature 73. The core 80 extends inwardly into the coil of the magnet 70 which is wound upon a brass spool 82. The rod 72 is preferably made of a non-magnetic material and is threaded into the armathre 73. The magnet 70 is supported on a bracket 83 which is attached to the base 1. The core 80, annature 73 and the rod 72 are guided by the core fitting into the brass spool 82 and by means of the bracket 84 in which the outer end of the rod 72 is located and through which it extends. The rod 72 is yieldingly held in its outermost position by a spring 85 which presses against one of the pins 71. \Vhen the rod 72 is pulled inward by the operation of the release magnet 70 it not only pulls against the hooks 71 attached to the spring latches but also pulls against the spring 85 which operates to pull the rod and the armature 73 away from the magnet. The rod 72 is provided with an adjustable stop 86 which abuts against the bracket 81 which operates to limit outward movement of the rod 72 by the operation of the spring 85.
A block 90 is supported on the base 1. A plurality of circuit-changing keys 101 are supported on the top of the block 90, which are connected to the source of current through the connectors 91, see Fig. 6. Contacts 95 of this series operate upon contacts 92, see Figs. 6 and 7, which are connected with the release magnet 70. see Fig. 8. Further, the contacts 96, 97. 98 and 99 of this series operate to close with contacts 92 that are connected with the magnets 50. 51, 52 and 53, respectively. The contacts 95, 96, 97, 98 and 99 are supported on the rod 93.
The contacts 92 are connected through suitable connectors 100, see Fig. 6, with the magnets 50, 51, 52 and 53 and with the release magnet 70, as hereinafter described.
The contacts or keys 95, 96, 97, 98 and 99 control connections between keys 110 and sets of electric musical instruments. The keys 110 may be located in any position such as, in front of the stage of a theater. while the part having the circuit-changing keys may be located in any part of the theater convenient where'the times to make the desired changes may be noted. While the op- The playing keys may be located in, anyv convenient position, but I have found it preferable to mount the keys 110 in the vicinity of the piano, which is commonly found. in a theater in front of the stage. The keys are so constructed and mounted that they may be attached to one end of the key board of the piano in the manner shown in Fig. 7. The keys 110 are mounted in the case 111 and are substantially of the same form as the keys of a piano. The case 111 is attached to a bracket 112 having a clamping screw 113, whereby the case 111 containing the keys 110 may be clamped to the easing 114; of the piano. The case 111 having the keys 110 is attached so that the keys 110 are substantially in the plane of the keys 115 of the piano, preferably parallel therewith. The electrical key-board is located at one side of the center of the piano and in such position as to expose all of the piano keys for use, so that the operator can play upon the piano and upon the electric keyboard simultaneously or alternately, and with either or both hands as may be desired. without altering or changing the position of the electric key-board.
The keys 110 are mechanically connected with suitable contacts which are closed by the operation of the keys in the manner hereinafter described.
Also in the vicinity of the keys 110 and the piano l eys'are located circuit changing keys 120 which are in construction a duplicate of the circuit changing keys 95, 96, 97, 9S and 99 shown in Figs. 3 and 6. The circuit changing keys 101 and the circuit changing keys 120 are connected in parallel relation in the circuits as hereinafter described, so that the sets of instruments may be controlled by either set of circuit changing keys.
The circuit changing keys 120 are located intermediate the key board of the piano and the key board containing the keys 110. They are located in such a position that the circuit changing keys are in proximity to the keys of either key board whereby the operator may finger the keys of the key board 120 with the same hand that the other key boards are fingered. He may operate the keys of the key board 120 while holding any one of the keys 110 down. Also the keys of the key board 120, which correspond to the keys 95, as indicated in Fig. 3, are located beside each of the controlling keys 96, 97, 98 and 99, which control sets of instruments so that the release magnet may be caused to disconnect any set of instruments from the control of the keys 110 and the adjoining key which controls the set that is desired to be played may be operated. without changing the position of the hand; that is, the release magnet' keys are located beside each one of the controlling keys whereby the operator may change the set of instruments which are being played while holding one of the keys 110 down in its operative position.
Also by myinvention is provided a switch 126 for cutting off the connection to the playing keys and thereby preventing operation of any instruments by the operation of the key board.
Also by my invention is provided a light controlling switch 127 whereby lights associated with the musical instruments may be controlled by the operator.
The system involving the several instrumentalities which have heretofore been described is' illustrated in Fig. 8. I
In Fig. 8 is illustrated the system showing the electric connections between the several instrumentalities involving or contain ing my invention. 130 is the source of current supply for operating the electromagnetically controlled switches and the musical instruments. It may be any suitable source of current supply. It is preferably a source of direct current and I have found that a 'storage battery is probably preferable to any other form of current supply. The storage battery 130 is connected to a plug 131 which may be inserted between contacts 132 located in a suitable socket. 133 and 143 are bus bars which are,connected to the contacts 132. From the bus bars 133, 143 the circuits'branch into two parts 150 and 140, 150 connecting with the operation of the musical instruments. In the branch 140 leading from the bus bar 133 are located the contacts 28 and 29 which are carried by the rods 14 and 13 on the switch board. The current then asses through the switch 126 which contro s theplaying keys thence it divides to the playing keys 110 and passes through the pair of contacts which are closed by the operators finger and thence it goes through contacts 29 and 28 to the contacts which are controlled by the magnets 50, 51, 52 and 53. The current will pass through the contacts which are connected to the rod which is held down by the latch of amagnet that has been energized. In the drawing the magnet 53 has been energized so that the current will then flow through the .contacts 26 and 27 to one of the bells of the set 138. It will go to that bell thatcorresponds to the key 110 that is closed by the operator.' Thence the current flows from the set 138 to the contact 26 and 27 of the return line to the bus bar 143 and thence it returnsto the battery 130. When the magnet 52 has been energized and its armature and the bar 9 attached thereto have been turned so as to close the contacts 24 and 25 and the arma-- ture and bar held in contact closin position a similar circuit will be esta lished through one of the instruments of the set 137 instead of through one of the instruments of the set 138. he same is true with reference to the magnet 51 and the set 136 and the magnet 50 and the set 135. Any combination of sets may however be obtained in the operation of the system.
The other branch 150 of the circuit from bus bar 133 contains the controlllng magnets 50, 51, 52, 53 and and the circuitchanging keys 101 and 120. The current passes from the bus bar 133 to the magnets 50, 51, 52, 53 and 70 and thence it passes to the circuit-changing keys 101 and to the circuit changing keys 120 which are connected in parallel. They are connected to the bus bar 143 thence the circuit is completed to the storage battery 130. Upon the operation of the keys 96, 97, 98 or '99, or the circuit changing keys 120 on the keyboard, the magnets 50, 51, 52, or 53, respectively, will be energized. The magnets will pull their associated armatures down so as to be engaged by one of the hooks 65, 66, 67, 68 according to which of the magnets is energized, closlng thereby the contacts 20, 22, 24 or 26, which are connected to the armature of the magnet energized. In order to release the armatures and consequently open the circuits of the contacts 20, 22, 24 or 26 as the case may be, any one of the keys 95 oi the set 101 or the corresponding keys of the set 120 may be operated whereupon the releasing magnet 70 will be energized, the circuit being completed through the keys 95 to the bus bar 143 and thence back tothe storage battery 130. Whenthe release magnet 70 is energized it will pull the rod 72 which will en age with the hooks 71 and pull out the late es and permit the contacts which have been closed by one of the magnets to be opened. Whereupon, another of the magnets or any number or combination of the magnets 50, 51, 52, or 53, may be energized which will cause the latches to engage with their respective armatures and hold the contacts closed which will cause any one or any number-or any combinationof the sets of instruments to be operated by the playing keys 110.
A means is also provided for connecting a lighting system with the instrument-playing system whereby the set of instruments which are being operated will be illuminated. 160 is thesource of electric light supply and is connected by means of a suitable socket 161 to the switch board 1 through which it is connected to the controlli switches and the electric lamps, the electric lamps being located in the vicinit of the different sets of instruments whic are being operated upon by the operator. The source of cur rent supply 160 is connected to the bus bars 162 and 159.
The sets of instruments are preferably located 0n racks and electric lamps are preferably mounted above the instruments and in front of reflectors. The connections and controlling switches are such that when any particular set of instruments is played or any number of sets of instruments are being played aflood of light will be produced by the electric lamps associated with the set or sets of instruments that are being played, which gives a distinction over and above the other sets of instruments that are out of circuit and not being operated upon.
The circuit thence passes from the bus bar 162 to the clip 46 and the switch 127, thence it returns to another of the clips 46 and to the switches 163 and thence it passes to the contacts 20, 22, 24 and 26 which are controlled by the control magnets 50, 51, 52, and 53; thence it passes to the electric lamps 165, 166, 167, 168 according as the contacts 20, 22, 24 or 26 are closed by the magnets 50, 51, 52 or 53 and held closed by the latches. So that the instruments 135, 136, 137 or 138 which receive their current through the set of contacts 20, 22, 24, or 26 as it is being played by the operator by closing the playing keys 110 will be illuminated with the lamp associated with such instruments as are thus being played. The circuit returns from the contacts 20, 22, 24 or 26 as the case may be, to the bus bar 159, thence it returns to the source of supply 160. The switch 170 has two switch bars connected together to be operated simultaneously; one bar is in the circuit connecting the source of supply 130 with the playing circuits, and the other is in the circuit connecting the source of supply 160 withthe lighting circuit. Consequently when the 5 switch 170 is closed, current is supplied tothe playing keys ill and when opened will.
revent any of the instruments being played y the keys 110. The switch 12? will also prevent the lamps from being lighted during the operation of the instruments. The switch 125 is located in the corn eon connection of the circuit changing keys 120 which when opened will prevent the operation of any of the controlling 50, 51, 52,- 53 and 70. The switches 16% will, when opened, cut out or prevent the lighting of any of the lamps of any particular set of instruments.
Also, suitable "fuse 175 may connected in the system for protection of the electric lamps. @ther suitable safety devices may be connected in the circuits of system as may be desired.
The be used foroperating any form electric musical instruments or any by vibrating magnets an nets. I have shown a set 138 sical bells, a set 137 of sin a set 136, of double tone s; V and a set l35,ol cathedral chime tubes. as chinie tubes are operated by magnets, of which makes a single stroke when producing t tone, while the other instruments are erated by vibrating magnets to desired tones. The system how crate instruments of any des The arrangement and comic 1 instruments and their construe. 'eatly varied. Eleni i iIlClJlOHS may be modifications may be tor Ina purposes and still contain tirl'laving thus described my l claim as new, and desire 8:.
Patent, is, I 1. A key board, a plurality o ruled by the keyboard, a plurali y c. instruments, each instnunient plurality of electro nsagnec tone producers, a switch so oi": multiple circuit closets o board, onefor each musical in multiple circuit closer cc stationary individual c with tlietons producers o1 its eel bars;
- respective strnrcent and a movable switch bar carrying cooperating contacts, bus bars connecting corresponding cooperating contacts of the several movable switch bars, switches on the key heard one for each circuit closer and connected therewith for operating the same, a single pair of contacts operable by each key, and connections between said key contacts and said bus bars on the switch board whereby when any key is operated current will pass to its connected bus bar and-the tone producers of the musical instruments will'be sounded which are connected with the multiple circuit closers which are in closed position.
2. ln a semi-portable electro-inagneticany operated musical apparatus a plurality of sets of electromagnetic musical tone producers, a key-board, a single circuit closer loreach key, a switch-board, a plurality of multiple contact bars reniovably mounted on the switch-board one for each set of musical tone producers, a'series of contact plates on .each bar, one late for eachtone producer of its set, a exible cable connecting the co tone producers of each set with its associated multiple contact bar, a removable key-board contact bar on the switch-board having a contact plate for each key, a flexible cable connecting said removable key-board contact bar with the contacts of the keys whereby the musical sets, the switchboard and the key-board are readily disconnected for ship ment and are readily connected for operation.
3. In a knock-down electric musical instrurnent a key-board, a switch-board, a removable multiple contact bar on the switchboard, a contact thereon for each key, an electrical cable connecting the contacts with respective keys, a plurality of sets of elect-"oinagnetically operated. musical tone ducers', a plurality of tli'fibl'c contact bar on the switch-board one for each musical set and having a contact in the set, a c is c ducers of contact bar c the sw1tch-;
I the keys, whereby dlsconnecte on; Y the musical sets Y removable bar with the tone producers of its set, a removable key-board contact bar on the switch-board having a contact for each key, a flexible cable connecting said removable key-board contact bar with the circuit closers of the keys, a plurality of bus bars on the switch-board, one bar for each key and a multiple switch bar on the switc board for each removable bar having a spring plate for contact with the respective contact of the opposed removable bars, those for musical sets being mounted on rocking bars for simultaneously closing and opening all of the laying circuits of each set and connection etween the said spring contacts and respective contacts of the removable key board contact bar, a source of electricity one pole connected with the key circuit closers and the other connected with the electromagnetic tone producers.
5 The improvements herein described comprising a set of musical eleetro-magnetically operated tone producers, 24 playing key-board, one key for each tone and each having a circuit closer; a switch-board intermediate the key-board and the sets of tone producers, a plurality of bus bars on the switch-board one for each key and electrically connected therewith; a plurality of series of contact plates on the switch-board one series for each set of tone producers and electrically connected with the respective tone producers, a plurality of series of spring contacts corresponding with and adapted to contact with the respective contact plates and electrically connected with the respective key bus bars; means normally holding said spring contacts out of circuit closing position, a plurality of electro-magnetic devices on the switch-board, one for each said series of spring contacts, a plurality of electric switches on the key-board, one for each set of electro-magnetic devices and'electrically connected therewith for controlling the same, means for retaining the spring contacts in circuit closing position and means operable from the key-board for releasing the latter; a source of electric current one pole thereof connected with the keyboard, the other pole thereof connected with the electro-magnetic tone producers whereby when a key is depressed the corresponding tone will be sounded in each musical set, the corresponding spring contacts of which are in closed position.
6. In a musical instrument a plurality of sets of electro-magnetically controlled tone producers, a key-board, electrically controlled means whereby any desired instrument can be played from the key-board, electric lamps associated with each set of tone producers, and means whereby the lamps associated with respective instruments will beautomatically switched on when the particular instrument is being played.
7 In a musical instrument a plurality of electro-magnetically controlled tone producers, a key-board for operating said tone producers, electric lamps associated with said tone producers for illuminating them, and means whereby the particular tone producers being operated will be automatically illuminated.
8. In a musical instrument, a key-board, a plurality of sets of musical instruments having electro-magnetically controlled tone producers, each key having a single circuit closer adapted to be electrically connected to respective tone producers in said instruments, a normally open multiple electromagnetic eircuit-closer for each set, a switch on the key-board for each said multiple circuit-closer connected therewith for closing the same, and means controlled from the key-board for releasing said multiple circuit closers.
' In testimony whereof, I have hereunto
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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2547535A (en) * 1946-03-25 1951-04-03 Audiscope Corp Visual instruction device
US3149528A (en) * 1959-02-24 1964-09-22 Gunten Lee L Von Piano having electric playing means therefor
US4123960A (en) * 1976-03-15 1978-11-07 Rainer Franzmann Device for the manual playing of electronic musical instruments
US4331312A (en) * 1979-12-26 1982-05-25 Lavoe Paul A Instrument mounting rack

Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2547535A (en) * 1946-03-25 1951-04-03 Audiscope Corp Visual instruction device
US3149528A (en) * 1959-02-24 1964-09-22 Gunten Lee L Von Piano having electric playing means therefor
US4123960A (en) * 1976-03-15 1978-11-07 Rainer Franzmann Device for the manual playing of electronic musical instruments
US4331312A (en) * 1979-12-26 1982-05-25 Lavoe Paul A Instrument mounting rack

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