US1242466A - Expression control for musical instruments. - Google Patents

Expression control for musical instruments. Download PDF

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US1242466A
US1242466A US9929916A US9929916A US1242466A US 1242466 A US1242466 A US 1242466A US 9929916 A US9929916 A US 9929916A US 9929916 A US9929916 A US 9929916A US 1242466 A US1242466 A US 1242466A
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valve
equalizer
exhausters
stack
air
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George H Parsons
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KROEGER PIANO Co
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10FAUTOMATIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
    • G10F1/00Automatic musical instruments
    • G10F1/02Pianofortes with keyboard

Description

G. H. PARSONS.
EXPRESSION CONTROL FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
APPLICATION FILED MAY23. l9l5- 1,242,466. Patented Oct. 9,1917.
2 5HEETSSHEE-T I.
WITNESSES: lNl/E/V TOR @ffw W W A TTORNEY G. H. PARSONS.
EXPRESSION CONTROL FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
APPLICATION FILED MAY23I I9I6. 1,242,466. Patehted Oct. 9,1917.
2 SHEETSSHEET 2.
i 8 III II III IIII I I '26 7 58 g 57 l IL 56 6 46 WITNESSES:
A 7TORNEI UNIT D STATES PATENT orricn GEORGE H. PARSONS, OF STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT, ASSIGNOR TO KROEGER PIANO COMPANY, OF STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT, A CORPORATION OF NEW YORK.
EXPRESSION CONTROL FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
Application filed May 23, 1916.
v To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, GEORGE H. PARsoNs, a subject of the King of Great Britain, re-
siding at Stamford, county of Fairlield, State of Connecticut, have invented an Improvement in Expression Controls for Musical Instruments, of which the following is a specification.
This invention relates generally to mechanical musical instruments, with more particular reference to so-called player pianos and to means therein for facilitating and carrying to. a much higher degree the control by the operator of the produced sound volumes, known in musical terms as expression.
It is well known, of course, that sound volumes or expression, in the production of musical tones in a pneumatically actuated player piano of the common and well-known type, may now to a certain extent be controlled by the operator, hard pedaling obviously resulting in a greater variance between the air pressures and thus generating greater hammer-actuating forces and conse quently producing louder tones, and soft pedaling permitting an approach toward air-pressure equalization with corresponding diminution of generated forces and soft or low tones. However, it is not infrequently essential to proper or desired expression to proceed abruptly or quickly from very loud to relatively soft tones, as from a crash to a pianissimo effect, and it will be apparent that the degree of rarefaction of the air in the equalizer cannot by operation of the pedals alone be varied to any great extent with the rapidity which is essential to a substantially instantaneous and marked change of tone effects. Therefore, various means have been provided for the control of expression, but these have heretofore been either in the form of devices actuated by or through the instrumentality of levers or buttons on the key-slip,
necessitating mental effort and additional manual operations, or in the form of devices automatically actuated through the medium of perforations in special rolls, thus destroying the possibility of individuality in the interpretation of musical selections.
Specification of Letters Patent.
Patented Oct. 9, 1917.
Serial No. 99,299.
Attempt has been made to enhance the degree of control of expression by providing a comparatively small equalizer,
known as a direct variation system, for it is well known that the sensitiveness of the instrument to the action of the pedals varies in direct proportion to the capacity of the equalizer. that the capacity of the equalizer cannot be reduced beyond a certain limitand not even to the limit of even a fair degree of sensitiveness without calling for an extraordinary degree of skill on the part of the operator, thus making the instrument impractical for the general run of users of player pianos.
The principal object of the present invention is the provision of means, in a player piano or other manually operated mechanical musical instrument, under direct control of the pedals or other power-applying device or devices and immediately responsive to variations in the manual forces imparted thereto, for correspondingly varying the forces which actuate the hammers or other sound producing instrumentalitics. In the adaptation of my invention herein shown and describedthat is to say, in a It is apparent, however,
stood by reference to the accompanying drawings, forming part of this specification, in which- Figure l is an elevation of the lower portion of a player piano, the front being removed, with a practical and convenient embodiment of my invention applied thereto;
Fig. 2 is a vertical section taken substantially on the line 2-2 of Fig. l;
Fig. 3 is a vertical section taken substantially on the line 3-3' of Fig. 2;
Fig. -l is a perspective detail view, on an enlarged scale, illustrating a preferred form of special valve in each of the feeders;
Fig. 5 is a side elevation, on an enlarged scale, of a novel auxiliary expression controlling device, the front side thereof being removed Figs. 6 and 7 are, respectively, an end elevation and an inverted plan view thereof;
Fig. 8 is a horizontal section taken sub stantially on the line 88 of Fig. 6, and
Fig. 9 is a vertical section taken substantially on the line 9.9 of Fig. 5.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, numeral 20 designates the blow pedals, of usual construction andidcsign, and mounted in the usual and well-known manner in the front of the lower portion of a player piano. The exhausters 21, operated from the pedals 20, communicate with the equalizer 22 through a duct or air passage 23, and from this duct 23 leads the pipe 2% to the roll-winding motor (not shown) and a pipe 25 to the stack (not shown), all of which parts may be of any preferred or known construction and arrangement.
In carrying out my invention, I interpose in the pipe 25, between the duct 23 and the stack, a device 26 which for the purposes of description I shall hereinafter term a windchest. This wind-chest 26 consists of a substantially air-tight, rectangular box, having openings on opposite sides thereof, at which openings pipe couplings or connections 58 58 are provided forthe ends of the sections of the pipe 25, whereby this wind-chest forms a part of the passage from the duct 23 to the stack. Mounted upon the lower face of the windchest 26, preferably by means of the bracket 27, is a pneumatic 28, of common and wellknown construction and function. The interior of the pneumatic has direct connection with the interiors of the exhausters, and for this purpose I have shown pipes 29 leading from the stationary members of the exhausters and uniting in a pipe 30 which leads to the pneumatic. I prefer to provide a special type of valve for the passage from exhausters to pneumatic, which valves are, of course, wholly independent of the usual feeder valves checking-egress of air from the exhauster to the equalizer, and I have shown in Fig. l a preferred form th reof which preferably consists in a strip of soft leather 31 secured at one end thereof to the inner side of the stationary member of the exhauster and adapted to close the opening to the pipe 29. The free end of each strip is provided with a block which is engaged by a spring to yieldingly retain the valve-strip in a closed position. Thus air is at all times permitted to flow freely from the pneumatic to the exhausters but is prevented from passing from the exiausters to the pneumatic.
The chamber within the wind-chest 26 is divided by a partition 3i into two compartments 35 and 36, the former communicating with the duct 23 and the latter with the stack. The compartment 36 is relatively larger than the compartment 35, first, in order to provide room in the former for the valve actuating members and, second, because the relatively smaller capacity of the chamber sensitizes the valve action and thus causes the valves to more quickly respond to pneumatic impulses.
I have shown the partition provided with two separate and distinct means of communication between the compartments 35 and 36 and, therefore, between the equalizer and the stack. The first of these means comprises a plurality (preferably three, as shown) of holes 39'. While a single relatively larger opening might be em l'oyed instead of three smaller openings, have found, in view of the fact that it is designed to effect from time to time a gradual increase or decrease of the total clearance area of the opening, that a plurality of relatively smaller holes is more effective for all purposes, not only in insuring better control of the air currents, but also in necessitating less maximum movement of the valve in effecting this control. A slide valve 40, which I shall hereinafter term a reducing valve, is mounted upon the partition 34 in such manner as to be pivotably slidable over the openings 39 and open and close the same to a greater or less extent, said reducing valve being held in close contact with the partition wall preferably by means of a spring 41.
Mounted on the upper side of the windchest 26 is a bellows 43, the interior of which is open to the compartment 36 of said wind-chest through the hole or opening 42, and through this opening projects a rod ll having one end thereof suitably secured to the movable member of the bellows and the other end to the valve 40. The bellows 4?) being normally yieldingly held in an open condition by means of a coil-spring 45, it will be apparent that the valve 40 will be moved toward and away from open and closed positions by movement of the movable member of said bellows in proportion to the degree of the variance between external and'internal air pressures due to the exhaustion of air from the wind-chest.
The principal object of these valved openings is to permit of a more rapid process of initial air exhaustion, in order to create a vacuum of the desired degree in the first instance and automatically maintain substantially uniform under ordinary conditions the forces due to pressure variations.
valve 40 in a closing direction.
The higher the degree of vacuum created by pedaling, the greater the movement of the movable member of the bellows 43, and, therefore, the greater the movement of the I However, the valve 40 is never completely closed, and it is undoubtedly true that by means of these valve-controlled openings 39 loud tones I might be produced by hard pedaling and low tones by soft pedaling. However, in view of the fact that an elastic medium must be employed for desired results in transmitting forces from the pedals to the hammers,
, or other sound producing instrumentalities,
substantially instantaneous action is impossible, the time required to transmit the 'forcesthat is to say to establish a higher or lower degree of partial vacuumoften being of such extent as to permit the record i which valve I trolled by the arm 46" pivoted at 51 and extending obliquely into the compartment, shall hereinafter term a graduating valve, and which I prefer to yieldingly retain in a closed position by means of "a spring 47. In order to secure the highest degree of sensitiveness and effectiveness, I provide the valve 38 with an opening 48 of materially less area than the opening 37 in the partition 34, which small opening 48 is adapted to be opened and closed by means of a supplemental valve 49,
, having'an arm 50 which extendsobliquely into the compartment, preferably being pivoted'on the same stud or at the same point as the arm 46 and lying contiguous to the latter, but in the closed positions of said valves being so disposed as to first contact with a common valve-actuating member, as hereinafter more fully described. In other words, it is designed that the smaller valve be opened prior to opening of and closed subsequent to closing of the larger. A spring 55 yieldingly retains the supplemental valve 49 normally in a closed con dition.
Mounted to oscillate in the wall of the wind-chest 26 is what I may term a cranklever 52 having an outwardly extending arm which is in relative position and adapted to engage the free ends of the arms 46 and arm 53 mounted upon and projecting from' the movable member of the bellows 54 of the pneumatic 28. The bellows 28 is normally yieldingly retained in an open condition by a spring 56, the extent of opening movement being limited by an adjustable stop 57 upon the wind-chest.
As hereinbefore suggested, the pneumatic 28 is of common and of well-known construction and function. It contains the usual pouch in the bottom wall thereof, which is constantly open to the atmosphere, and a pouch-actuated valve adapted upon proper variations of air pressures within and without the pneumatic to close and open the pneumatic to the atmosphere. It is also provided with the usual comparatively minute air passage always open from its interior to the interior of the pouch.
It will now be apparent that with the spring 56 in proper tension, the positional relationship between the arm 53 of the bellows 54 and the valve-operating crank-lever 52 may be made such that upon what may be termed a normal degree of air exhaustion from the pneumatic the arm 53 may have been caused to move a given distance, either to the point of having no effect upon the val've'arms 46 and 50, or a predetermined limited effect thereon such, for example, as that of opening the supplemental valve 49 without opening the larger graduating valve 38. Therefore, under such normal conditions, and by this term I refer to the de sired production of tones of average volume, the degree of the partial vacuum in the stack is maintained substantially constant by the exhaustion of air either through the open or partially closed holes 39 alone, or through both the holes 39 and the smaller opening 48 in the graduating valve 38.
lVhen it is desired to suddenly enhance the tone volume, it will be apparent that if attempt were made to accomplish this by exhaustion through the holes 39 alone, the cirouitous passage of therarefied air to the exhausters would retard the ultimate effect upon the hammer actuating mechanism. However, the direct connection between the exhausters and the pneumatic insures practically instantaneous response to pedal-generated impulses, and the suddenly accentuated rarefaction of the air in the pneumatic operates through the bellows 54 to move or continue the movement of the cranklever 52 to open the large graduating valve 38 and thus instantly increase the aggregate area of the openings in the dividing partition 34. Therefore, the almost instantaneous effect of hard pedaling is the widening of the channel between the stack and the equalizer, permitting the passage therethrough of a materially larger volume of the rarefied air and consequently quick response by the hammers to the increased forces.
On the other hand, when itis desired to effect a. sudden change of expression from loud to soft tones, or from fortissimo to pianissimo, diminished forces applied to the pedals will instantly have the effect of opening the pneumatic to the atmosphere, thus restoring the bellows 5a to extended or partially extended condition, depending upon the extent of diminution of the applied forces, thus releasing one or both of the valve arms &6 and 50 and seating one or both of the valves 38 and 49. In this manner, obviously, the area of the openings between stack and equalizer is instantly restricted, rarefaction of the air in the stack will be simultaneously retarded and the forces applied to the hammer actuating means will at once become materially lessened in degree.
In using the terms manual and manually in this specification, and in the claims, I do not mean to limit myself to-operations performed or forces generated by hand, in the strict sense of the meaning of these terms, but by the muscular exertions of an operator applied through the limbs in any usual manner.
Many modifications of minor details of my improved expressioncontrolling means for manually operatedmusical instruments will doubtless readily suggest themselves to those skilled inthe art to which it appertains, and I therefore do not desire to limit my invention to the specific construction herein shown and described.
Iclaim-as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent:
1. In a mechanical musical instrument of the character described, the combination, wit-h intermittently operating means for creating a partial vacuum, aduct for the passage of air to said vacuum-creating means, and means associated with said duct for equalizing the intermittently generated air impulses, of means interposed in said duct directly controlled by said vacuumcreating means independent of said equalizing means for substantially instantly varying the transmitting capacity of said duct.
2. Ina mechanical musical instrument of the character described, the combination, with intermittently operating means for creating a partial-vacuum, a duct for the passage of air to said vacuum-creating means, and means associated with said duct for equalizing the intermittently generated air impulses, ofa valve in said duct adapted to retard the flow of air therethrough, and
means directly. controlled by said vacuum creating means independent of said equalizing means for opening and closing. said valve.
3. In a mechanical musical instrument of the character. described, the combination, with intermittently operating means for in and without said duct for actuating one of said valves, and means directly controlled from said vacuum-creating means independent of said equalizing means for actuating the other valve.
4. In a mechanical musical instrument of the character described, the combination, with means for creating a partial vacuum, and an air passage to the vacuum chamber, of a valve in said passage normally retarding the flow of air therethrough, and means independent of the air pressure in said passage and actuated directly from said vacu uni-creating means for instantly opening or closing said valve.
5. In a mechanical musical instrument of the character described, the combination, with means for creating a partial vacuum, and an air passage to the vacuum chamber, of a valve in said passage normally retarding the flow of air therethrough, and means independent of the air pressure in said passage and actuated directly from said vacu-' urn-creating means for instantly opening or closing said valve to an extent proportionate to the degree of rarefaction in the vacuum chamber.
6. In a musical instrument of the char- 1 and the air passage from the equalizer to the sound-producing instrumentalities of the instrument,.of a chamber formed in said passage, a valve. in said chamber normally retarding the flow of air therethrough, and
means independent of the degree of a1r pressure in said passage and said chamber and having direct operative connection with said exhausters to open or close said valve to an extent proportionate to the forces applied to said pedals.
8. In a musical instrument of the character described, the combination, with the blow-pedals, the exhausters, the equalizer,
and theair passage from the equalizer to the sound-producing instrumentalities of the instrument, of a chamber formed in said passage, avalve in said chamber normally retarding the flow of air therethrough, a pneumatic for controlling said valve, and an independent air passage leading from said pneumatic directly to said exhausters.
9. In: a musical instrument of the character described, the combination, with the blow-pedals, the exhausters, the equalizer, and the air passage from the equalizer to the sound-producing instrumentalities of the instrument, of a chamber formed in said passage, a valve in said chamber normally retarding the flow of air therethrough, said valve including a smaller, independently operating, supplemental valve, and means independent of the degree of air pressure in said chamber for opening and closing said valves sucessively.
10. In a musical instrument of the character described, the combination, with the blow-pedals, the exhausters, the equalizer, and the air passage from the equalizer to the sound-producing instrumentalities of the instrument, of a chamber formed in said passage, a valve in said chamber normally retarding the flow of air therethrough, said valve including a smaller, independently operating, supplemental valve, and means di rectly controlled by said pedals for opening and closing one or bothof said valves as the applied forces are increased and decreased.
11. In a musical instrument of the character described, the combination, with the blow-pedals, the exhausters, the equalizer, and the air passage from the equalizer to the sound-producing instrumentalities of the instrument, of a chamber formed in said passage, a partition dividing said chamber into two compartments, valved openings in said partition, and means directly controlled by said pedals for opening and closing at least one of the valves. 7
12. In a musical instrument embodying a stack,-in combination,'exhausters, a duct, an equalizer, a wind way leading from the duct to the stack of the instrument, a wind chest interposed in said wind way, a wind way leading from each eXhauster to the wind chest, and a valve in said wind chest controlled by the vacuum in the exhausters wholly independently of the equalizer.
13. In a musicalinstrument embodying a stack, in combination, exhausters, a duct, an equalizer, a wind Way leading from the duct to the stack of the instrument, a wind chest interposed in saidwind' way, a wind way leading from each exhauster to the wind chest, a valve in the wind chest controlled by the. vacuum in'the equalizer and another valve inv said windchest controlled by the vacuumin the exhausters wholly independy 9 the equa ize 14. In a musical instrument embodying a stack, in combination, an equalizer, a wind chest interposed between the equalizer and the staclroi the instrument, graduating and reducing valves in said wind chest, means whereby the reducing valve is closed or opened as the rarefied air in the wind chest becomes more or less attenuated, and pedal controlled means for opening and closing the graduating valve independently of the attenuation of-the rarefied air in the wind chest. g a
15. In a musical instrument embodying a stack, in combination, exhausters, an equalizer, a wind chest interposed between the equalizer and the stack of the instrument, graduating and reducing valves in the wind chest, a bellows opening into the wind chest, a connection between said bellows and the reducing valve whereby said valve is moved toward the closing position as the rarefied air in the wind chest becomes more attenuated, a pneumatic operated by the exhausters and means whereby the pneumatic is caused to open the graduating valve as the rarefied air in the exhausters becomes more attenuated.
16. In a musical instrumentembodying a stack, in combination, exhausters, an equalizer, a wind chest communicating with the equalizer and the stack of the instrument, a valve in said wind chest controlled by the attenuation of the rarefied air in the equalizer and another valve in said wind chest and connections, whereby the last mentioned valve is controlled by attenuation of the rarefied air in the eXhausters produced by pedal action.
17., In a musical instrument embodying a stack, in combination, exhausters, an equalizer, a wind chest communicating with the equalizer and the stack of the instrument, graduating and reducing valves in the wind chest, a bellows communicating with the wind chest whereby the reducing valve is operated, and a pneumatic communicating with the exhausters, and connections, whereby the graduating valve is operated.
18. In a musical instrument embodying a stack, in combination, exhausters, an equalizer, a wind chestcommunicating with the equalizer and the stack of the instrument, graduating and reducing valves in the wind chest, a bellows communicating with the wind chest whereby the reducing valve is operated, a spring for normally retaining the bellows open and a pneumatic communicating with the exhausters, and connections, whereby the graduating valve is operated.
19. In a musical instrument embodying a stack, in combination, exhausters, an equalizer, a wind chest divided into compartments communicating with each other, one of said compartments communicating with the equalizer and the other with the stack of the instrument, graduating and reducing valves between said compartments, a bellows communicating with one of the compartments whereby the reducing valve is operated, and a pneumatic communicating with the exhausters, and connections whereby the graduating valve is operated.
20. In a musical instrument embodying a stack, in combination, exhausters, an equalizer, a wind chest having a wall dividing it into compartments, one of which communicates with the equalizer and the other-with the stack of the instrument, and said wall having holes between the compartments, a reducing valve coiiperating with certain of the holes, a',bellows communicating withone compartment and connected with :the reducing valve, a graduating valve colliperating with another'hole and having an outwardly extending arm, a-spring acting to close said valve, a crank adapted to engage said arm, and a pneumatic communicating with the exhausters and acting on the crank to open the graduating valve against the power of the spring.
21. In a musical instrument embodying a stack, combination, exhausters, an equalizer, a wind chest having a wall dividing it into compartments, one of which comm-unicates with the equalizer and the other with thestack of the instrument, and said wall having 'holes between the compartments, a reducing valve and a graduatin valve cooperating with said holes, a be lows communicating with one compartment and connected with the reducing valve, an arm extending from the graduating valve, a crank engaging said arm and a pneumatic communicating with the exhausters andcacting on the crank.
22. In a musical instrument embodying a stack, in combination, exhausters, an equalizer, a wind chest having a wall dividing it into compartments, one of which communicates with the equalizer and the other with the stack of the instrument, and said wall having holes between the compartments, a :reducing valve cooperating with certain of the holes, a bellows communicating with one compartment and connected with the reducing valve, a graduating valve coiiperating with another "hole and having a hole of reduced area and an outwardly extending arm, a supplemental valve co operating with the hole in the graduating valve and having an outwardly extending arm pivoted to the graduating valve arm and lying slightly beyond-the plane of said arm,'a crank adapted to engage said arms successively to open said valves, and a pneumatic connecting the feeders and acting on the crank.
23. In a musical instrument embodying a stack, in combination, exhausters,,an equalizer, a wind chest communicating "with the equalizer and the stack of the instrument; graduating and reducing valves in the wind chest, a supplemental valve cooperating with "the graduating valve, a bellows commun'ica'ting with the wind chest whereby the reducing valve is operated, and a pneumatic communicating with the exhausters, and connections whereby the supplemental and graduating valves are operated successively.
'24. In a musical instrument embodying a stack, in combination, exhausters, an equalizer, a wind chest communicating with the equalizer and the stack of the instrument, a graduating valve inthe .w'ind chest, a supplemental valve coiiperating with the graduating valve,said supplemental and graduating valves having outwardly extending arms, and a crank acting on said arms to open said valves successively, a pneumatic communicating with the exhausters and acting on the crank, and a bellows communicating with the wind chest whereby the -reduc ing valve is operated.
'25. In a musical instrument embodying a stack, in combination, exhausters, an equalizer, a wind chest communicating with the equalizer and the stack of the instrument, graduating and reducing valves in the chest, a supplemental valve with the graduating valve, sal'id supplementaland graduating valves having outwardlg extending arms, a crank acting on sai' arms to open said valves successively, a pneumatic communicating with the exhausters and acting on the crank, and a bellows communicating with the wind chest whereby the reducing valve is operated.
26. In a musical instrument embodying a stack, in combination, exhausters, an equaL izer, a wind chest communicating with the equalizer and the stack of the instrument graduating and reducing valves inthe wind chest, a supplemental valve codperating with the graduating valve, a bellows communicating with the wind chest and connected with the reducing valve, a spring acting .to hold the bellows and the reducing valve open, other springs acting to hold'the supplemental and graduating valves closed, and a 'oneumat'ic communicating with the exhausters, and connections by which the supplemental and graduating valves are opened successivel 27. In a musica instrument embodying a stack, in combination, exhausters, an equalizer, a wind chest communicating with the equalizer and the stack of the instrument, graduating and reducing valves .in the wind chest, a bellows communicatin with the wind chest whereby the reducing valve is operated, an arm extending from the graduating valve, a pneumatic communicatin with the exhausters, a crank engaging said am and the pneumatic, a spring acting to its iio
ris
retain the graduating valve closed, and a nected to the reducing valve, means for holding said bellows open, arms extending from the supplemental and the graduating valves, a pneumatic communicating with the exhausters, a crank engaging said arms and the pneumatic, and means for yieldingly retaining the bellows of the pneumatic open.
In testimony whereof I afliX my signature.
GEORGE E. PARSONS.
Copies of this patent may be obtained for five cents each, by addressing the Commissioner of Patents, Washington, I). G.
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