US1707057A - Power-operated musical instrument - Google Patents

Power-operated musical instrument Download PDF


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US1707057A US1707057DA US1707057A US 1707057 A US1707057 A US 1707057A US 1707057D A US1707057D A US 1707057DA US 1707057 A US1707057 A US 1707057A
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March 26, 1929. Q Q FUS/CH 1,707,057




Application filed December 28, 1926. Serial No. 157,463.r`

This invention has to do with a musical instrument and has particular reference to a power operated musical instrument.

Xylophones, orchestra bells, and various other like and similar musical instruments such as are commonly used in orchestras, are diliicult to play, as the sounding members must be rapidly and uniformly struck by means of hammers, or the like. ne propel` operation of hammers employed in playing` these instruments requires extensive practice.

It is an object of my present invention to provide a device for playing' orchestra bells or other similar musical elements whereby the elements are struck with the desired rapidity and regularity through depression `of suit-able control keys.

Itis an object ot my invention to provide an instrument of the cha 1acter mentioned, which is simple and compact, making it suitable ttor se in orchestras and the like where it is necessary that the instruments be portable.

It is another object oit my invention to provide an instrument of the character mentioned, which can be operated at the will of the operator to strike the sounding members at various speeds Another object of my invention is to provide an instrument of the character described, with an extreniely simple, etteetive and ine/ic pensive movement, or key controlled mecha-V msm.

The various obj eets and features o'imy prescnt invention will be best and more fully understood from the following detailed description of a typical Jr'orm and application oitv the invention, throughout which description reterence is had to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fi 1, is atop or plan view oli my improved iustriunent show ing it with the top or upper portion oit the casing removed;

Fig. 2, is a detailed, transverse, sectional view oi' the instrument taken as indicated b line 2-2 on Fig. 1;

Fig. 3, is a detailed plan view of a portion of the instrument, being a view taken, as indicated by line 3 3 on Fig. 2;

Fig. Ll, .is an enlarged sectional view of a portion et the instrument, being a view taken indicated by line A,le-#1 on 2; and

Fic'. 5 is v an enlarged View, illustrating the movementor striking mechanism provided by my invention.

My present invention may be employed or carried out with sounding elements of various kinds and I may state for example, that the invention may be employed to actuate the sounding elements of orchestra bells, Xylophones, or the various elements of traps employed in bands, orchest as, etc. In this connection, it is to be understood that the invention may be carried out to actuate a combination ot diiierent types of sounding elements. For purpose of example, I will referto the invention as being applied to the actuation of orchestra bells as such elements present a typical condition that can be advantageously handled by my present invention.

The device embodying my invention includes, generally, the striking mechanism 12, operable to actuate the elements 11, drive means 13 which actuates the power operated element of the striking' mechanism, and various other parts and features, the details ot which will be hereinafter described.

The casing 1() includes, generally, a main compartment A, which carries the soundingl elements 11, a key compartment B at which is located the control keys 15, and a drive compartment C, which carries the drive means 13. The main compartment A, shaped and proportioned to properly accommodate the sounding elements 11, and in any particu] ar case, the shape and size of this con'ipartment will depend upon the number, size, arrangement, and character of the sounding elements. It is preferred however, in practice, to arrange the parts within the compartment A, so that they are as compact as possible. One part, for instance, the top ot the compartment A, is formed with a'hinged portion or sect-ion 1T, adapted to be opened and closed to control the volume ot sound from the instrument. In practice, I may line the compartment A, and it desired the compartment C, with sound deadening material, such as felt or the like. The key compartment B is located at the front of the compartment A, and has a plurality of control keys 15 projecting into it from the compartment A. The Jfront 16 of the eompartment B is mounted on hinges 17a or in any other suitable manner so that it can be removed or swung out of position at the front of the compartment B, making the keys 15 accessible 'for operation. The drive compartment C, may be located at one end or" the compartment A, to carry the various parts or drive means 13 as will be hereinafter described. The casing 10, may be provided with supporting' legs 10a or it may be added to or made a port of some other instrument` The sounding elements 11, illustrated .in the drawings are in the nature of orchestra bells and for purpose oit compactness, have arranged them in two series, and have spaced the two series, one above the other, in the compartment A. The lower series olf bells 11, is carried by or suspended trom sui table carriers 20, which extend between the ends 70 and (1 of the compartment. A, The upper series of bells is supported a substantial distance above the lower series and is carried by or suspended from t-he .carriers 21, which extend between the ends ot the compartment A. rlhe general arrangement oil' the bells in the compartment A, will be understoqd from in spection the Figs. 1 and 2, olf the drawin The striking mechanism `l2. includes, `generally, a rod 23 located between the two series of bells and extending;- parallel with the series of bells between the ends 7.0 and 71 et' the compartment A, levers 24., mounted on the rod, keys 15 mounted on a rod 2,5, hammers 26 carried by the levers, @collections 27 between the keys and levers, and a power operated member 2) for actuating; or oscillating; the levers. The principle of construction and operation employed in striking each KCE beingthe same, I will proceed to describe one single mechanism, itbeing understood that the description applies to. all.

The lever 24 isffreely carried on the rod 23, at a point substantially opposite the bell to be played, while the key 15 for operating` the lever 2l is freely carried on the'rod 25 at a point oppositie or substantially in line with the lever 2l. The key 15 extends forward Afrom the rod 25 to project from the compartment .A into the compartinent B where it can be en gagred by the operator, The key is normally held in the up pos fion by asuitable springr 30. The upward movement ot the key may be limited by the. lmver edge 3,1 olf the partititm 352 which separates the eonumrtment-s A and B. The operating; connection between the lever 24 and key la extends downwardly from one end olf the, lever and connects with the key at a point removed 'from its pivotal mounting. The coni'iectioii includes a resilient clement., 'for instance, a spring 2:33. A second spring 34. errar-.ged in connection with the lever 2st, 'for instance, under its other end., toA counteract or urge the lever in the direction opposite to the direction to which is urged by the spring' The springs 373 and 3ft are balanced or re lated so that the lever Qfl is held in the position shown in F igf2 when the key 15 is in the normal unactuated position. ,Vhen the key is actuated or depressed, the connection causes the level' Z4 to be operated or moved to the operated position. The hammer QG includes a spring` arm S8 extending from lthe lever Ql and a head .39 carried on the outer part or the arm. The arm 3S is shaped and proportionedso that the head 39 is carried in position to strike the bell when the device is operated as hereinafter described. The power operated element or member Q9 in the form et a cam extending parallel with the rod 23 at a point to be engaged by jdie lever when the lever is moved to the down position. The earn 29 is rotated through the drive means 12S hereinafter der ibed, and is shaped, tor instance, as shown in the drav' ings, so that it oscillatcs or vibrates the lever when the parts are in operating position. the arrangement shown, the head 3f) is normally spaced from the bell, but when Athe arm is escillated or vibrated, the resiliency ol the arm 38 allows the head to strike the bell. The rate at which the bell is struck by the hammer will, oil: course, depend upon the speed at which the cam 29 is driven. rlhe cam 25) is carried by or between suitable bearings 40 at the ends 70 and 'T1 olf the compartment A, and thus extends past all ol lthe levers 2d to operate any lever that may be depressed through depression of its corresponding' key.

'lhedrive means 13 provided for actuating the cam is located in the compartment C, and includes, generally, a source el? power as a motor M, a shaft e5, which enten( the compartment C from cr as, a. continuation of the cam, and a variable speed drive between the motor M and shaft 115. ln practice, l. have 'found it advantageous to employ a friction drive, and in the arrangement shown in the drawings, l drive i V friction f lo i'roni the motor through a :notable bel and l provide a 'friction wheel do on the sha l't ll5 to engage the tace l? the disk. 'lhc 'i'rict-ion wheel 18 may be slidably keyed to the shaflft 41:5 and may be shiled with rote' une to the disk through a rod lil which carries au arm 5d enojar ine' the hub ot the vih/sel l?. spring' 51mayhearralrl nl in connection 'with the disk L118 to urge it tov-Jard the wheel lfm io maintain the disk and wheel in driving coutact. will be obvious that sl'liil'ine of the wheel to vari-ous positions on the disk. will vary the speed which the cani is .lrivca. The rod L9 by which the wheel is shit'ha may be operated 'lroin any cinivenient point, 'for instance, troni a point at the troni; oil the casino` 1d inuned'ately below the ker board of the instrument. in the wings l have shown a lever operatively connected wdli the rod L19 and liaving one end at the exterior of the instrument immediately below the key board.

It is desirable to provide means for convei'iiently operating the movable top part 17 of the compartment land for this purpose I may provide a lever 60 having one end accessible from the exterior of the device adjacent the key board and the other end lopera.- tively connected with the part 17 by a rod 62,

ln carryingi out my invention l may increase the s 'e or range olf the instrument by adding;v addi .mal units ot soundingij elements to theend 7l ol the casing; l0, 'lhese additional units may include striking); mechanisms and the cams ol such mechanisms may be attached to th 1 cam above described se that the whole instrument is operated from the means i3.

ln operation7 the motor may be operated continuously7 it beingl preferred to employ a constant speed niotor. The motor is pret rably under control ot a switch having;P an

operating;` part 8O located adjacent the key board. With the motor in operation, the

cam 29 is driven through the drive above described. YVhen it is desired to strike one of the bells..y its corresponding' key is depressed,

causing its lever 2e to bemeved down into engagement With the cam so that the cam trips or vibrates it, resulting` in the vibration o't the han'nner carried by the said lever so that the hammer strikes the bell. rlhe speed at which the hammer is vibrated5 or in other Words, the speed at which the bell is struck will depend upon the speed of rota* tion et the cam, this being` under control of the operator through the control lever 55, which is connected with the shiftable iriction wheel e8. ln view of the fact that all of the levers 2e are in position to be engaged by the cam 20, all notes or bells played simultaneously will be struck at exactly the same rate, vl have found in practice, that the variable soeed control makes it possible for an operator to very easily control the speed at which the notes are struck, and it is possible to manipulate the controls to obtain very pleasing` resul Having des qibeil only a typical preferred 'foi-in f my invention; l do not wiah to limit mysel to the specilic de s ortln but wish to reserve to myseir any changes er variations that may appear to those skilled in the art or tall Within the `scope or the rolleavingl claims.

.lilavinggv described my invention. l claim:

l. t musical instruniei'xt including;l a soumiinig; elementq a hammer unit operable to strike the element, the hznnmer unit including@` a pivoted lever and a spring` arm directly attached to the lever, a. continuously operating cam, and control means whereby the hammer and cam unit are directly related so that the eamdirectly engages the lever causingl the iammer to strike the element.

2. il. musical instrument including' a sounding` element hammer, a cam., power means for continuously operating the cam, means for varying the speed of operation of the cam`and control means whereby the hammer is moved with relation to the cam so that the cam operates the han'nner to strike the element.

A musical instrument including` a sounding element, a hammer, a continuously operatinf;` cam7 and control. means whereby the hamn'ier and cam are related so that the cam operates the hammer to strike the element, said control means including a levelI carrying' the hammer, a rey, and a direct connection between the lever and key whereby operation et the key moves the lever into position to be directly engaged by the cam.

4E. A musical instrument :includingl a sounding' element, a hammer, a continuously operating cam, and control means whereby the hammer and cam are related so that the cam operates the hammer to strik-e the ele-- ment, said control means including lover carrying the hammer, a key7 and a direct connection between the lever and key Whereby operation of the key moves the lever into position to be directly engaged by the cam, said connection including a spring.

5. A musical instrun'ient including; a sounding element, a hammer unit a continuously operating` cam, and control means whereby the hammer and cam unit are related so that the cam directly operates die han `r`er to strike the element, the hammer including a` pivoted lever directly engaged by the cam, spring; arm having` its inner end attached to the lever, and a head carried by the outer part of the arm.

6. A musical instrument including a sounding element, a hammer, a continuorsly L cam, and control means whe ebv the hammer and cam are related so cam operates the hammer to strike the element, said control means including a lever carrying the hammer7 a key and a connection between the lever and key whereby opert the key moves the lever into p sition ation oi to be engaged by the cam, the hammer including a spring` arm carried by the lever and a head on the outer part of the arm.

t". A. musical instrument including, a sounding; element, a hammer, a rotating-cam lier operating` the lnunmer, and means l'or operating' the cam including7 a motor7 and a variable speed drive between the motor and cam.

S. musical instrument incliulingr, a sounding element, a hammers a rotatingV cam for operating the hammer, and means for operating` the cam including, a motor9 and a variable speed drive between the motor and cam including a friction disk driven by the motor and a friction Wheel connected with the cam and movable to engage diliererit parts of the disk.

that the CII 9. A, muczz instrument including; D. aus@ pzutnmu, :md means whxru'wy hc wiwi-:ximg having thro@ compu-imams, a sounding eenwzms is con'iilablc from a pon zu'ljaccnt mout in on@ Cmnjpu'tment, means for SL'lkthe key. ing h@ dment incluc'l'mgz; a @um in Said 00H1- n Witness that I claim the foregoing I 5 pmtmen und n key in (me of the other Comhave hecunto Subscrbcd my 11mm; this 20H1 partmen's, variable Speed Opeang; 33.192515 day of Now/.1926. for the @zum and ocated in the third com- OTIS O. FUSCH.

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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2640385A (en) * 1953-06-02 Carlson
US3800652A (en) * 1973-01-02 1974-04-02 J Shubeck Musical tone generating apparatus
US4023458A (en) * 1976-05-05 1977-05-17 Decesare Dominic Toy piano
US20070204743A1 (en) * 2006-03-06 2007-09-06 Yamaha Corporation Musical instrument

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2640385A (en) * 1953-06-02 Carlson
US3800652A (en) * 1973-01-02 1974-04-02 J Shubeck Musical tone generating apparatus
US4023458A (en) * 1976-05-05 1977-05-17 Decesare Dominic Toy piano
US20070204743A1 (en) * 2006-03-06 2007-09-06 Yamaha Corporation Musical instrument
US7642437B2 (en) * 2006-03-06 2010-01-05 Yamaha Corporation Musical instrument

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