US2591023A - Musical instrument - Google Patents

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US2591023A
US2591023A US768912A US76891247A US2591023A US 2591023 A US2591023 A US 2591023A US 768912 A US768912 A US 768912A US 76891247 A US76891247 A US 76891247A US 2591023 A US2591023 A US 2591023A
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reeds
reed
harmonica
linear
blow
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US768912A
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Hugh M Stephenson
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Hugh M Stephenson
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10DSTRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; WIND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACCORDIONS OR CONCERTINAS; PERCUSSION MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; AEOLIAN HARPS; SINGING-FLAME MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G10D7/00General design of wind musical instruments
    • G10D7/12Free-reed wind instruments
    • G10D7/14Mouth-organs

Description

April 1, 1952 H. M. STEPHENSON MUSICAL INSTRUMENT Filed Aug. l5, 1947 0.1/ .IJIAII OC D0 QMMW @Mmmm ZM Hm MHA@ mmy, mm/U im my, Mmm um mm w M w w 5..

Blow

Draw

Inventor: Hugh NL Stephenson, b

.y His Attorney Patented Apr. 1, 1952 MUSICAL INSTRUMENT Hugh M. Stephenson, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Application August 15, 1947, Serial No. 768,912

2l Claims.

My invention relates to musical instruments and particularly to harmonicas. In my improved instrument, the reeds are arranged in a preselected progressive linear order of notes such that a predetermined melody may be rendered by simply linearly progressively blowing on a series of blow reeds and linearly progressively ldrawing on a linear series of draw reeds.

An object of my invention is to provide a novelty musical instrument, such as a harmonica upon which a single predetermined'melody can be readily played.

Another object of my invention is to provide a harmonica adapted to render a single melody by simply blowing progressively on a linear series of reeds and drawing progressively on a linear series of reeds.

Further objects and advantages of my invention will become apparent, and my invention will be better understood from the following description referring to the accompanying drawing, and the features of novelty which characterize my invention will be pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming part of this specification.

In the drawing, Fig. 1 is a perspective view, partly broken away of a ten-cell harmonica provided with an embodiment of my invention; Fig. 2 is a perspective view of another type harmonica provided with another embodiment of my invention; Fig. 3 is a diagrammatic illustration of a tuned reed arrangement and playing pattern for a melody adapted to be used in a ten-cell instrument such as that shown in Figs. 1 and 2; Fig. 4 is a perspective view, partly broken away, of a harmonica of the type shown in Fig. 2 and constructed as a twelve-cell instrument; and Fig. 5 is a diagrammatic illustration of a tuned reed arrangement of a melody and the playing pattern for a twelve-cell instrument such as that shown in Fig. 4.

Referring to the drawing, I have shown in Fig. 1 an embodiment of my invention applied to a harmonica provided with a reed-supporting structure which includes a reed spacer i formed of any suitable material, such as molded plastic, rigidly mounted in or made integral with a supporting plate or flange 2 separately mounted within or made integral with a suitable cover 3. The spacer is formed with side walls 4 and 5 in lopenings Ii formed in a mouthpiece I2 tted over the outer edges of the spacer side walls @and 5. The mouthpiece l2 may be rigidly secured in position by screws which extend through openings i3 in the supporting plate 2 and threadedly engage the underside of the mouthpiece I2.

As shown in this gure, the harmonica is of the ten-cell type; that is, it is provided with ten mouthpiece openings Il and twenty reeds, each mouthpiece opening 'li and pair of reeds form'- ing a single cell. In this type instrument, I prefer to mark the reed cells with significant designations, such as letters or numerals, as shown on the sides of the mouthpiece i2. These designations may suitably be arranged on any part of the harmonica adjacent the mouthpiece openings l I so that a player may readily identify each designation with a particular mouthpiece opening. In my improved arrangement, the harmonica is provided with a plurality of alternately Varranged draw reeds 8 and blow reeds Il] which are fitted which reed-plate grooves B are formed which are into the reed spacer l in a preselected progressive linear musical note arrangement in a fixed relation thereto. The blow reeds 8 are progressively arranged according to tonesof a part of a musical score or melody and the draw reeds il! are arranged in a linear series according to the notes or tones of another part of the same musical score or melody. With such an arrangement of blow and dra reeds, the musical score may be rendered' by blowing 'on a linear progressive series of blow reeds and drawing on a linear progressive series of draw reeds according .to the predetermined tempo of the predetermined melody. ,Wherea tone or note is repeated in the melody, it is not necessary to provide two reeds tuned to the same tonev or note, as the player can repeat the note by blowing or drawing as the case may be on the same cell. In this manner, a number, of melodies may be arranged in standard type tencell harmonicas, such as that shown in Fig. 1, by a preselected tone or note arrangement of the blow and draw reeds, and it is not necessary that all the successive tuned reeds in a series include all notes successively in the score as long as the linear progressive tonal arrangements of the blow and draw reeds correspond to the preselected parts of the melody. Furthermore, since many melodies have a repetition of the same musical theme in successive order or alternately with other musical themes or variations, it is possible to arrange the reeds such that the musical theme or part of the melody can be vrepeated by'merely blowing or drawing progressively over the saine linear series of reeds or by alternately blowing over a linear series of reeds and drawing over a series of reeds, that is, the sequence of notes need be only a xed relative succession of the different successive tones of the melody and not each note ofthe melody, the repetition of a tone or sequence of tones being left to the performer,

t as is explained in detail with reference to Fig. 3.

These linear series of blow and draw reeds may be arranged so that the player begins to blow and begins to draw from the same end of the instrument or may be arranged so that the player begins to blow from one end of the instrument and to draw from the other end of the instrument. This latter arrangement may be` particularly useful for melodies with, relatively quick tempo, as it does not require the player to shift the harmonica when changing from blowing; to drawing on the reeds.

Fig. 3 illustrates an arrangement of a melody for a. ten-cell harmonica, such as that shown in Fig, Lin Which the blow reeds are tuned and arranged according to the notes or tones indicated inthe upper linear series of squares which correspond to, the ten cells of the harmonica, and the draw reeds are tuned to the notes or tones indicated in the lower linear series of squares. In order to play'. the. melody, the player could be provided with a pattern or" the linear progressive seriesV of reeds to be blown and drawn, as. indi` cated in this gure by the numerals marked Blow and Drawf In order to differentiate betweenthe blow and draw reeds in this reed pattern. instruction sheet, the blow numerals appear as, the numbers 1 to 9l and 0 and the. draw numerals appear as the numbers 1 to 9. and G. The numbers in each case correspond to the reed cells., as. indicated by theY numerals marked, on the` harmonica mouthpiece I2. Where a note is repeated,l the numeral is repeated, which4 in the melody shown in. Fig. 3 would be the blow reeds 1 and` 6; and the draw reeds 1. and' 7. The arrowsshown in Fig. 3 indicate the linear direction Qfl progression in blowing or drawing` on the instrument. Inthis case, b oth the blow and draw patterns begin from the same end ofthe harmonica. and` progressi to the other end of the harmonica. For rendition of this melody, the player would iirst blow on the linear progressive series ofjblow reeds and then draw on the linear progressive series ofi` draw reeds according to the predetermined tempo of the melody andv complete, the. melody by blowing on the last blow reed as indicated. This. general arrangement of a linear seriesA of blow reeds andi a linear series Off draw reeds `corresponding to predetermined parteci a. melody for theA rendition ofthe melody without any actual selection of, successive notes except in the case, of the repetition of the same notemay be adaptedl to any type harmonica and that shown in Fig.. 1 is merely illustrative. of the general scope. of my invention.

In Figure 2, I have shown another embodiment oimy invention which is adapted to be used with the same melodies as may be usedV with a harmonica of the type-shown in Fig. 1,. However, in this. instance, the mechanical constructionl of the harmonica isconsiderably diierent from that shown in Fig.. 1. In this instrument, a unitary plastic reed; plate I4 isV provided; and a plurality of' blowA reeds maybe securedindividually thereto or maybefintegral-ly molded therein to a preselected linear musical tonal or note arrangementfor a progressiveseries of. reed cells. A unitary molded plastic reed plate I5 having a preselected linear musical note arrangement of a plurality of draw reeds individually secured thereto or integrally molded therein also is provided, and these two reed plates are mounted on opposite sides of a spacer cell block I6 which also may be formed of molded plastic, This reed spacer cell block I6 is formed with a plurality of longitudinally spaced slots I'I between ngers I8 with a blow reed and a draw reed arranged on opposite sides of each of the slots I'I to complete each cell of the instrument. A protective side cover and tone chamber wall I9 of suitable material, such as molded plastic, is arranged on each side of the reed plates and the entire assembly may be secured together by any suitable means, such as by hot pressing projecting portions of the reed plates I4 and I5 into grooves or recesses in the spacer I6 and the side covers I9. As shown in this figure, the linear series of reed cells may be progressively indicated by suitable references, such as the numbers 1 to 9 and 0, and the same melody pattern system as that used for the Fig; 1 construction may be used to indicate the linear progressive series of reeds to be blown and drawn upon for the rendition of a predetermined melody. Fig. 3 also is illustrative of a melody for which the construction shown in Fig. 2 may be tuned and the long dash lin'es extending between Figs. 2 and 3 indicate the cells in which the series of blovvl and draw reeds are arranged which are identified by the diagram of Fig. 3.

In Fig. 4, I have shown a broken away view of the same type harmonica as that shown in Fig. 2 in order to illustrate more clearly the details of this type harmonica, and this gure illustrates the versatility of my invention by its adaptation to a twelve-cell instrument, so that a melody requiring a larger number notes than can be readily accommodated in a ten-cell instrument can be easily provided for by increasing the number of cells in the harmonica. As in the arrangement shown in Fig. 2, this harmonica is provided with a plastic reed plate 20 to which a plurality of blow reeds 2l may be individually secured or may be integrally molded in a preselected progressive linear musical note arrangement of a part of a predetermined melody or musical score andis also provided with another reed plate 22 to which a seriesv of draw reeds 23 may be individually secured or may be molded as an integral part thereof' in a preselected progressive musical note arrangement of another part of a predetermined melody. These reed plates- 20 and 22y are spaced apart by a suitable reed spacer cellV block 24 which is formedA with a plurality of longitudinally spaced ngers 25 which provide a series of cell slots 26 adjacent each of which a blow reed 2| and a draw reed 23 is. arranged. As. in the construction shown in Fig. 2, protective side covers or tone chamber walls 21 are arranged over each of the reed plates 20 and 22 and are adapted to be spaced therefrom adjacent the reeds by the configuration of' these walls. which are held in the desired posi tion, by the rigid construction thereof andv by spacing blocks or lugs 28 formed on the inner sides ofV theV Walls 2T. The side Walls 2'Iv may also be made of molded plastic, and the ve main parts of the harmonica, which include the two side walls, the two reed plates, and the reed spacer cell block, may be secured together to form a single unit by projections 29 formed on each side of' each reedplate adjacent both' ends thereof and hot pressing these projections 29 into complementary recesses inthe; side walls 21 and the spacer block 22.

The predetermined melody for this type harmonica with twelve cells is schematically illustrated in Fig. 5 in which the reeds to be blown and drawn upon are indicated by the numerals which correspond to the numerals opposite the cells on the side walls 21 of the instrument. Repetition, slurring, and holding of a note are indicated in the reed-playing pattern of Fig. 5 by a series of dashes following the number designating the reed which is being played. In this playing pattern instruction diagram, each number represents a count of one in meter and may be considered a quarter note, while each dash following a number in the direction of playing progression indicates an additional count of one. Thus, the numeral 1 followed by three dashes is held for a count of four in tempo. This particular melody could be played in three-quarter or waltz time. Notes above the middle octave are shown underscored in the diagram. Rests are indicated by numerals succeeded by an asterisk,

and the reed space for this time interval could` be left blanlg. The direction of blowing and drawing succession upon the reeds is indicated by arrows. In this illustration, the melody begins with the blowing of a linear progressive series of blow reeds from one end of the harmonica to the other end of the harmonica, and the melody then continues by drawing upon the draw reeds beginning at the other end of the harmonica and linearly progresses to the iirst end of the harmonica, as indicated, after which the player again blows upon a linear progressive series of blow reeds, again retracing the draw reeds in the reverse direction in the proper tempo to conclude the melody with the draw reed 3 as indicated by the period on the melody pattern. The notes to which the various blow and draw reeds are tuned are indicated by the conventional letter symbols, some of which are succeeded by the hold note dashes to obtain the proper meter in the twelve squares which correspond to the twelve cells of the harmonica of Fig. 4, as indicated by the dashed lines extending between Figs. 4 and 5. This same type melody pattern can readily be adapted to a twelve cell instrument such as that shown in Fig. 1 or any other suitable twelve-cell harmonica. I have found that this type instrument provided with a suitable cellindicating system, such as the numberings shown in the drawing, and a suitable playing pattern instruction sheet similar to that of Figs. 3 or 5, or more simply similar to that of Figs. 3 or 5 without the provision of the squares indicating the conventional notes to which the reeds are tuned, can be played with very little practice and without any particular knowledge of music or methods of playing harmonicas. The particular harmonica constructions shown in the drawing are used only to illustrate embodiments of the linear melody arrangements as applicable to various types of known harmonicas and are not intended to portray novel harmonica structural details in other respects.

While I have illustrated and described -particular embodiments of my invention, modifications which are within the spirit and scope of my invention may occur to those skilled in the art. I desire it to be understood, therefore, that all such modifications are included in the scope of the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A harmonica including a reed supporting structure, and means including a plurality of blow and draw reeds in a preselected linear reed note arrangement in said supporting structure in xed relation thereto providing for rendition of a predetermined melody by linearly progressiveiy blowing and linearly progressively drawing on a series of said reeds.

2. A harmonica including a reed supporting structure, and means including a plurality of blow and draw reeds in a preselected linear reed tone arrangement in said supporting structure in xed relation thereto providing for rendition of a predetermined melody by linearly progressively blowing on a linear series of said blow reeds and alternately linearly progressively drawing on a linear series of said draw reeds.

3. In a harmonica, a preselected reed tone arrangement of a plurality of blow and draw reeds providing for rendition of a predetermined part from a musical score by linearly progressively blowing and drawing according to a predetermined tempo on a plurality of linear series of said reeds.

4. A harmonica including a reed spacer, and

j means including a plurality of blow reeds in a preselected progressive linear musical tone arrangement according to tones of a musical score and a plurality of draw reeds in a preselected progressive linear musical tone arrangement according to tones of another musical score and mounted in spaced relation by said reed spacerfor rendition of a predetermined melody by blowing on linear progressive series of said blow reeds and drawing on linear progressive series of said draw reeds.

5. A harmonica including a reed supporting structure, and means including a plurality of blow and draw reeds arranged in a preselected progressive linear musical note arrangement in said supporting structure in a iiXed relation thereto according to a musical score for said blow reeds and another musical score for said draw reeds providing for rendition of the musical score by linearly progressively blowing on a series of said blow reeds and linearly progressively drawing on a series of said draw reeds according to a predetermined tempo.

6. A harmonica including a reed spacer, and means includinga preselected linear tone arrangement of a plurality of blow reeds and a preselected linear tone arrangement of a plurality of draw reeds mounted on and spaced apart by said reed spacer for rendition of a predetermined musical score by blowing on a linear progressive series of said blow reeds and alternately drawing on a linear progressive series of said draw reeds.`

7. In a harmonica, a. preselected reed tone arrangement of a plurality of blow and draw reeds providing for rendition of a predetermined melody by linearly progressively blowing from one end of the harmonica on a linear series of said blow reeds and alternately linearly progressively drawing from the other end of the harmonica on a linear series of said draw reeds according to a predetermined meter.

8. In a harmonica having a plurality of reed cells, a preselected reed tone arrangement on a plurality of blow and draw reeds providing for rendition oi' a predetermined melody by linearly progressively blowing each reed cell successively from one end of the harmonica on a linear series of said blow reeds and alternately linearly progressively drawing each reed cell successively from the other end of the harmonica on a linear series of saidfdrawreeds according to a predetermined meter.

9. yAharmonica including a reed Supporting structure, and means including a plurality of blow anddraw reeds in a preselected linear reed arrangement respectively from opposite ends of said harmonica in said supporting'structure in a xed vrelation thereto providingfor rendition of .a predetermined musical `score by linearly pro- .'gressively blowing of said harmonica from one fend on a linear series of said blow lreeds and alternately linearly progressively drawing from the otherend of said'harmonica on a linear series of yof 'the harmonica according to a predetermined vmeter.

ll. A harmonica including a reed spacer, and means including a preselected linear musical note arrangement of a plurality of blow reeds and a preselected linear musical note arrangement of alplurality of draw reeds mounted alternately a 'draw and blow reed on and spaced apart by said reed spacer for rendition of a predetermined `melody by blowing on linear progressive series of said blow reeds and drawing on linear progressive series of said draw reeds.

12. A harmonica including a reed supporting structure, and means including a plurality of linearly alternately arranged blow and draw reeds in a preselected progressive linear musical note arrangement in said supporting structure according to a musical score for said blow reeds and 'another musical score for said draw reeds providing for rendition of the musical scores by linearly progressively blowing from one end of said harmonica and linearly progressively dra-wing from the other end of said harmonica.

13. A harmonica including a reed supporting structure, and means including a plurality of linearly alternately arranged blow and draw reeds in a preselected progressive musical note arrangement in said supporting structure according to a musical score for said blow reeds and another musical score for said draw reeds providing for .rendition of the musical scores by linearly pro- -gressively blowing on a series of said blow reeds and alternately linearly progressively drawing on a series of said draw reeds. A

14. A harmonica including a reed supporting structure, and means including a plurality of alternately arranged blow and draw reeds in a preselected linear reed note arrangement in said supporting structure providing for rendition of a `predetermined melody by linearly progressively blowing from one end of said harmonica and linearly progressively drawing from the other end of said harmonica.

v15. A harmonica including a reed supporting structure having a plurality of reed cells, and means including a plurality of alternately arranged blow and draw reeds in a preselected linear reed note arrangement in said supporting structure providing for rendition of a predetermined melody by linearly progressively blowing each succeeding reed cell from one end of said harmonica to the other and linearly progressively drawing each succeeding reed cell from the other end of said harmonica toward said one end.

16. A harmonica including a reed spacer cell block, and means including a; plastic reedyplate having a preselected linear musical note arrangement of aA plurality of molded plastic 'blow reeds formed therein mounted on one side of said reed spacer cell block in a xed relation thereto vand a second plastic reed plate having apreselected linear musical note arrangement of a plurality of "molded plastic draw reeds formed therein .mounted on the other'side of .said reed spacer cell block in a fixedrelation thereto for rendition of a predetermined melody by blowing on linear progressive series of said blow reeds and draw- .ing on linear progressive series of said draw reeds.

17. A harmonica'including a reed spacer,'and means rincluding a plastic reed plate having la plurality of blow reeds in apreselected progressive linearmusical note arrangement according to apart of a musical score and a` second plastic reed plate having a plurality of draw reeds in a preselected progressive linear musical Ynote arrangement according to-another part of themusical score and mounted in spaced relation on 0pposite sides of said reed spacer in axed relation thereto for rendition of a predetermined melody or part ofa musical score by blowing on a linear progressive series of said blow reeds and'alternately drawing on a linear progressive seriesf'of said draw reeds according to ya predetermined tempo.

18. A harmonica including a cell block,:a"pair of 'outside covers, and means including Aafreed plate having a preselected linear tone arrangement of aplurality of blow reeds securedto said reed plate and mounted on one side of said'cell block within and transversely .spaced fromone of said .outside covers and a second reed4 plate having a preselected linear tone arrangement of a plurality of drawreeds secured to said second reed plate and mounted on .the other sideiof said cell block within and transversely spacedfrom the other of said outside covers for 'renditiontof a predetermined melody or musical scorebyblowing and alternately drawing on linear progressive series of said reeds.

19. A harmonica vincluding a cell block, apair of outside covers, and means including a unitary molded plastic reed plate having a preselected linear note arrangement of a plurality of molded plastic blow reeds formed ktherein mounted on one r `side of vsaid cell block 'within and transversely spaced from one of said outside coversand aiseeond unitary molded plastic reed platehaving Vva vpreselected linear note arrangement "of la plurality of molded plastic drawreeds formed therein `mounted on the other side of said cell block within kand transversely spaced from the other of saidoutside .covers for rendition of a predetermined melody 'or musicalsc'oreby blowing and alternately drawing on linear progressives'eries oi' said reeds.

20. A harmonica ncluding'a reedsupporting structure, and V,means including a plurality of reeds on said supportingstructure in a fixed relation thereto in a preselected progressive musical note arrangement according 'to a musical 10 sical score for rendition of a, predetermined mel- UNITED STATES PATENTS ody by progressively vibrating said reeds accord- Number Name Date ing to a. predetermined tempo by passage of air 400,123 schommel. Man 26l 1889 over said reeds through said mouthpiece open- 1 269 511 Roberge June 11 1918 m85- 5 1,81'11109 stein Aug. 4 1931 HUGH M' STEPHENSON- Y 2,137,251 Steele N0v.22, 193s 2,442,447 Zadig June 1, 1948 REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the tile of this patent: l0

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Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US400123A (en) * 1889-03-26 Jean schoenner
US1269511A (en) * 1917-08-30 1918-06-11 Waterbury Clock Co Rod-gong for striking-clocks.
US1817109A (en) * 1930-02-24 1931-08-04 Irving L Stein Harmonica
US2137251A (en) * 1937-03-15 1938-11-22 Walter R Steele Harmonica
US2442447A (en) * 1944-06-29 1948-06-01 Ernest A Zadig Musical toy

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US400123A (en) * 1889-03-26 Jean schoenner
US1269511A (en) * 1917-08-30 1918-06-11 Waterbury Clock Co Rod-gong for striking-clocks.
US1817109A (en) * 1930-02-24 1931-08-04 Irving L Stein Harmonica
US2137251A (en) * 1937-03-15 1938-11-22 Walter R Steele Harmonica
US2442447A (en) * 1944-06-29 1948-06-01 Ernest A Zadig Musical toy

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