US1302172A - Expression-controlling device for mechanical musical instruments. - Google Patents

Expression-controlling device for mechanical musical instruments. Download PDF

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US1302172A
US1302172A US23474118A US23474118A US1302172A US 1302172 A US1302172 A US 1302172A US 23474118 A US23474118 A US 23474118A US 23474118 A US23474118 A US 23474118A US 1302172 A US1302172 A US 1302172A
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expression
pneumatic
valve
music
devices
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US23474118A
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Otis M Kennedy
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CUNNINGHAM PIANO Co
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CUNNINGHAM PIANO Co
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10FAUTOMATIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
    • G10F1/00Automatic musical instruments
    • G10F1/02Pianofortes with keyboard

Description

0. M. KENNEDY.
EXPRESSION CONTROLLING DEVICE FOR MECI-IANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
APPLICATION FILED MAY15. ms.
1 ,302,172. Patented Apr. 29,1919.
II/I/A IIIIIIIl/I/I/IIIIII/I/IA S; I INVENTOR 0175M ffannevgq, $2:
" W we 1 S ATTORNEYS M UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
OTIS M. KENNEDY, 0F PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, ASSIGNORTO THE CUNNING- HAM PIANO COMPANY, A CORPORATION OF PENNSYLVANIA.
EXIRESSION-CONTROLLING DEVICE FOR MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
Specification of Letters Patent.
Patented Apr. 29, 1919.
Application filed May 15, 1918. Serial No. 234,741.
To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, O'rrs M. KENNEDY, a citizen of the United States, residing at Philadelphia, in the county of Philadelphia and State of Pennsylvania, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Expression-Controlling Devices for Mechanical Musical Instruments, of which the following is a specification.
In certain heretofore known devices for controlling expression in player pianos, there has been provided a plurality of mechanisms whose operation is separately controlled by the operator, the music sheet being provided with means to indicate when each of the several mechanisms is to be operated. In view of the fact that each of these expression devices has heretofore been independent and separately controlled by a corresponding series of manually-operated actuating levers, it has been necessary for the operator to watch the indications on the music sheet to ascertain when the several levers are to be operated and individually manipulate each accordingly.
In certain other prior devices, it has been suggested to employ a music roll having such an indicating line of the then prior art With a controller lever of a certain type actuating one expression mechanism, and also another line of similar character cooperating with another similar controller lever actuating another expression mechanism; each of said controller levers carrying a pointer; such for example as shown in patent to Young, No. 692968; each of these controllers and expression instrumentalitie's actuated thereby were independent of each other, both structurally and operatively, and each, so acting, necessarily produced, by following the expression line on the music roll, only so much of the expression efiects indicated by such line as each controller and its adjunc-. tive instrumentality was adapted to produce,
In certain other devices, as for example that shown in patent to Ives, No. 90l906, 1t was proposed to employ a vertically disposed pointer connected to and actuated by the hammer rest rail, in one direction, and by a spring in the other direction, and also mechanically connect the soft pedal with a movable hammer rest bar and both with the hammer pneumatic, so that the effect of the latter may accord with the softpedal eifect. But
no one prior to my invention has provided a plurality of pneumatically actuated expression devices,including forte pedal efiects governed by a unitary valve device, actuated by a single manually operable member, whereby said several expression instrumentalities may be operated separately, or selectively in any desired order, or any two of them simultaneously, at the will of the operator; nor has any one ever combined such instrumentalities with a movable pointer or indicating mechanism actuated by and with said instrumentalities and operating as a guide to their appropriate operation as suggested by symbols or a sinuous line on the music roll over which said indicating device is reciprocated. Nor has any one ever provided such a movable pointer or indicating mechanism actuated by or with expression instrumentalities, in a horizontal plane directly over and in fixed parallelism with the tracker bar where alone the expression effects originate and may be adequately controlled.
My invention has for its object to overcome the inherent disadvantages in these prior constructions and so connect the several pneumatic expression devices as to place the same under a unitary, valvular and manually operable control with a movable indicating device associated therewith adapted, upon a manipulation of the unitary control by the operator, to reciprocate over the sinuous line on the music sheet as it passes over the tracker bar ducts,whereby an operation of the several expression mechanisms will be effected severally and selectively, or conjointly in accordance with the indicating sinuosities of the line. By thus placing the several expression devices under a unitary control and using a music sheet with a single composite expression line thereon, resultantly indicative of all types of expression which it is desired to give'to the music, the same may be followed by the operator to effect, with the unitary control, an appropriate actuation of the several expression devices, to produce the musical effects so indicated and desired and an extremely accurate and correct expression may be given to the music, as, for example, in accordance with the intention of the original composer as shown by the line on the music sheet.
While I have illustrated in the drawings forming-a part hereof certain types of expression obtaining devices to which my invention has been applied, yet it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to this association, or to the particular type of expression devices shown, or to theparticular forms of the types illustrated, but any kind of expression devices might be arranged under a unitary control of any formwhich may be varied widely from that illustrated herein-and have associated therein an element or member capable of oper tion therewith so as to follow the line on the music sheet so that, when manually operated, the same will automatically throw into proper operation the requisite expression controlling devices "or combination of the expression controlling devices to obtain the correct expression.
Figure l of the drawings represents a front elevation partly in section of one means for carrying my invention into practice associated with a player :piano, while Fig. 2 is a detached, enlarged view of the music roll and one form of member-adapted to be -moved to :follow an expression line on the music sheet. Fig. 3 is a vertical section showing certain details of one "type of mechanism for carryingmy invention into use;
:Fig. 4 .a detail.
In the particular mechanism illustrated herein, the expression is obtained by adjusting either 'the treble or bass half df a divided hammer rail and by controlling the string dampers. The hammer rails and the dampers are controlled by 'separate pneumatics, the several pneumatlcs being under the control of a unitary valve which is V manually "adjusted by asinglefleverlmanipulated by the operator. Am element'ormember, such as a "button or "knob, is movably positioned adjacent the music roll so as to be reciprocated horizontally to follow-a line thereon and this member is "connected in any suitable manner to means'cperable with the mechanism for contro'lling the valve, this constituting, -gener'ally, one means for carrying my "invention intc-elifect. v
The divided hammer rail is illustrated as respects its two sections at 10 and 11 pivoted at 13 and 14:, whilethe series ofstringdampers indicated at 14, there =being one for each string, are actuated by contact with a rod 12 extending transverselyof the piano as is well understood in the art. Each of these string dampers is operated by contact therewith of the said rod '12 which in turn is actuated by rods 10, ll and '12 "and these rods last mentioned are inf-turn controlled in'thei'r movement by Y the bass pneum'atic B, the loud pedal or damper pneumatic L and "a treble pneumatic T. Each of these fpneum'ati'cs "may be operated from the main power plant or the piano, which, as shown herein, includes a plurality ot feeders -1'6to which-each cf the pneumati'cs B, lli a'nd T areconne'cted by conduits 17,
18 and 19 so that air maybe exhausted from the vacuum chambers of the several pneumatic as is well understood in the art. Each 'of'these pneumatics B, L and T is connected by a control tube B, L and T respectively (see Fig. 4;) to a'unitary valve 20, and the valve is provided with means to place, for example, the loud pedal pneumatic L into action or effect an operation of the soft treble or soft bass Pneumatic either partially-selectively, or otherwise. The position of the valve 20 is controlled by a link 21 and in the particular form illustrated herewith is connected to a pivoted hand piece 22. Adjacent the music roll 25 is a reciprocable member 26 having :a button :or small knob 27 thereon adapted 'to .move hori zontally over the music sheet adjacent the tracker ducts in the tracker bar 28. The button may be moved out of the way'to iacilitate'the application and removal 'ofthe music rolls. Any means may be used "to move the button :9? in unison with the valve 20, as by linksfrom the end of the lever 26 connected to an oscillating rod 28 pivoted a't.129 and connected at its other end to a suitable rod 30. A link 31 connects :rod 30 to an upright rod 32 which "is provided at its lower end with =an arm The arm '33 is connected by a link3 l'to the member 21 and consequently a movement of :the finger piecez22 controls both the valve :20 and the button 227. Of course, any means combined with nd actuated by the valve actuating mechanism whereby a member :27 could be manually moved over the music "sheet 25, and the several expression devices operated in accordance therewith t'hrough -the "unitary controlling 'valve'l20'could be used in place of the specific type illustrated. The niusic sheetz25 'Which,'as in itheiprior'rart is 105 commonly provided with expression indieating words or symbols appropriately placed "is, in my invention preferably 'providedwith; an-additional or alternative sinuous line, well'known intl1e'art,'as for-zexam- 1' pic that shown in patent to Webber No. 452203 or Poole No. 622260, and operates,
in myinventiom'to serveas a guide 'to'the proper'selective actuation o'f all or any of the plurality of pneumatic expression in- 115 strumentalities, through-the appropriate adjustable movements of the unitary valveaby means of the single manually "operated lever, and ithe r simultaneous actuation thereby of the connected movable :indicating device 'reciprocable overthe'trackerducts; hence the operator is :enabled to adjustably operate the valveyto any desired operativezposition relatively to any or iall of the pneumatic expression instrumentalities, by a single 125 means, to impart the correct :expressionto the music as indicated by said line "on the music roll. Theline may thus represent any and all kinds of expression effects which are ca'pable of being roduced by'"the ;sevl st eral pneumatically actuated expression devices in playing-such as loud and soft effects, both treble and bass, loud pedal or sostenuto effects, or any and all other dynamic effects to be produced-dependent upon the artistic temperament of the composer and the devices used to reproduce those effects in the mechanical instrument.
Various types of controlling valves 20 could be employed for this feature of this invention but in the type shown herein the same includes a disk 38 rotated by the link 21, having an opening t and an extension 6 thereof as well as an opening Z, to selectively put the tubes T, B and L, connecting the treble pneumatic, the bass pneumatic or the loud pedal pneumatic, into communication with the atmosphere as may be necessary. In this way the treble half of the hammer rail may be moved to give the hammers a shorter stroke and thus obtain a softer tone to the treble notes while the bass half of the hammer rail 10 remains stationary. Likewise, the bass half hammer rail 10 may be moved to give these notes a softer tone, and, by reason of the extension b'in the unitary valve plate 38, both of the pneumatics B and T may be thrown into action at once if desired, thus giving both the treble and bass notes a softer tone. The sinuosities of the line 35 shown on the music sheet 25, when followed, will control the order of operation of the mechanisms for controlling expression, these soft effects being usually obtained when the line goes to the extreme left, causing a collapse of the pneumatics T, or T and B, and a corresponding shifting of the hammer rail 11 nearer the strings, or a shifting of both rail portions 1.0 and 11 nearer thereto. If now, the line 35 goes to the right of the sheet 25 or any zone chosen thereon within which it is intended to limit the indicating sinuosities of the line 35 and across which the follower 27 may move, then a loud effect will be given to the music by the mechanism first cutting ofl both the treble and bass pneumatics to bring the hammer rails to normal position and then opening to the atmosphere the loud pneumatic tube causing a collapse of pneumatic L, a raising of rod 12' and a swinging of rod 12 toward the piano strings, thus releasing the dampers from the strings.
Any type of valve 20, either rotary or sliding, arranged with the openings corresponding to t, b and Z properly positioned therein to effect the requisite operation of the pneumatics T, B and L, could be employed and therefore a further detailed description of this construction and its operation is deemed unnecessary. Likewise any type of pneumatic T, B or L could be used so that the admission of air through proper ports in the valve 20 to the various pneumatics would be effective to collapse the same.
In the mechanism disclosed herein, I have operatively combined by my invention the several pneumatically actuated expression instrumentalities by the interposition of a unitary valve common to each and the main source of pneumatic pressure or exhaust, operable by a single manual means, whereby any expression effects or combinations or shadings thereof may be produced at the will of the operator; with or without guidance by the music sheet; but to enable the operator to follow the interpretation indicated by symbols or a sinuous line on the music roll, my combined mechanism includes the horizontally movable indicating device reciprocating over the tracker ducts and so actuated by the same single means and at the same time with the valve controlled expression instrumentalities.
I claim:
1. In a mechanical musical instrument, comprising a divided hammer rail and string dampers, the combination therewith of a plurality of pneumatic instrumentalities, connecting actuating devices between each of two of said pneumatic instrumentalities and each of the sections of said hammer rail and between the remaining pneumatic and the string dampers, a unitary controlling valve having ports communicating separately with each of said pneumatics, and with the atmosphere, a manually operable lever for operating said valve, and means forming part of said valve and movable adjustably by said lever to actuate said pneumatic instrumentalities selectively.
2. In a mechanical musical instrument, comprising a divided hammer rail and string dampers, the combination therewith of a plurality of pneumatic instrumentalities, connecting actuating devices between each of two of said pneumatic instrumentalities and each of the sections of said hammer rail and between the remaining pneumatic and the string dampers, a unitary controlling valve having ports communicating separately with each of said pneumatics, and with the atmosphere, a manually operable lever for operating said valve, and means forming part of said valve and movable adjustably by said lever to actuate said pneumatic instrumentalities selectively; and expression indicating mechanism mechanically and operatively associated with said valve and movable by and with the same.
3. In a mechanical musical instrument, the combination of a music sheet having indicia thereon for denoting expression effects to be produced in playing, a plurality of pneumatic instrumentalities, a corresponding plurality of mechanisms actuated thereby for obtaining difi'erent expression effects, valvular means adapted to selectively control the actuation .of said pneumatics, man- .cating member in a plane adjacent to and ually operable means adapted to adjustably rparafllal with the traqkerbar of the insjqruactuate said walivular gmeans, w-horizontally 'm n an L Q l With th 'm wam n 0f 10 disposed. in dicat ingmember, and iconnecting saii Vaf1'W1 r meansactuating means :between said indicating In Witness whereof, I have hereunto ;s et member and said valvular-device adapted to my hand this lth day Q-fMay, 1 -71 ;reciprocate said horizontally movable indi- LOI IS M.
,cqniesqf thispate may bmobtained for flvc.cents each, byaddress ing the-ficommissioner of Patents. Washingtomj). G.
US23474118A 1918-05-15 1918-05-15 Expression-controlling device for mechanical musical instruments. Expired - Lifetime US1302172A (en)

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