US3136196A - Violins and like instruments - Google Patents

Violins and like instruments Download PDF

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US3136196A
US3136196A US81502A US8150261A US3136196A US 3136196 A US3136196 A US 3136196A US 81502 A US81502 A US 81502A US 8150261 A US8150261 A US 8150261A US 3136196 A US3136196 A US 3136196A
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zone
zones
thickness
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waist
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John G Charlesworth
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John G Charlesworth
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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
    • G10D3/00Details of, or accessories for, stringed musical instruments, e.g. slide-bars
    • G10D3/02Resonating means, horns or diaphragms

Description

June 9, 1954 J. G. cHARLEswoRTH 3,136,196
VIOLINS AND LIKE INSTRUMENTS 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 9, 1961 June 9, 1964 J. G. cHARLEswoRTH 3,136,196
voLNs AND LIKE INSTRUMENTS 3 Sheets-SheetV 2 Filed Jan. 9, 1961 June 9, 1964 l J. G. cHARLEswoRTH 3,135,196
VIOLINS AND LKE INSTRUMENTS 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Jan. 9. 1961 hmmm,
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United States Patent O 3,136,196 VIOLINS AND LIKE INSTRUMENTS John G. Charlesworth, 52 Cumberland Ave., Portland, Maine Filed Jan. 9, 1961, Ser. No. 81,502 4 Claims. (Cl. 84-275) The present invention relates to violins, violas, cellos, and bass instruments.
While the invention is equally adapted to violas, cellos and bassinstruments, it is herein discussed primarily in connection with violins as they are more widely used. In addition, it is generally understood that the tonal qualities of violins vary widely and that these qualities are attributable to small structural variations. This factor is, of course, equally true of the other instruments with which the invention is concerned even if less commonly appreciated.
f Theprincipaly objective of the present invention is to provide a construction for violins, violas, cellos, and bass instruments that enables superior tonal qualities to be imparted thereto with uniformity.
Each such instrument has a back, belly or top, and side Y walls with the back and belly each having upper and lower bouts and ansintermediate waist portion whose edges are approximately arcuate and having purfling lines adjacent their edges. In accordance with the invention, its broad objective is attained by` providing that both the belly and back decrease in thickness from a central zone to a zone closely adjacent the puring lines where they increase in thickness. The thinnest portion of the belly and yback is in a zone extending marginally of but spacedinwardly of the waist portion on each side of the back and into areasinclusive yof the corner blocks to which the back and the belly'are secured and which are located adjacent the extremities of their waist portions and the Side walls are of the same thickness as the thinnest zones of the back between the corner blocks.
In the accompanying drawings, there is shown an illustrative embodiment of the invention from which `these and otherof its objectives, novel features, and advantages will be readily apparent.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a top'y elevation the invention; f y
FIG. 2 is a section taken approximately along the indicated lines 2-2 of FIG. 1 but on anr increased scale;
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal, vertical section of the violin also on an increased scale; f
FIG. 4 is side elevation of a bass bar on the scale of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a plan View of ythe interior of the violin with thegbelly or top of the violin removed and drawn on the scale of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a somewhat schematic view, on an increased scale, ofthe back of a violin with the details limited to the outlines of the several zones; and
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6, and on the same scale, showing the belly of the violin.
In the drawings, a violin is shown that is conventional in that it has a back 10, a belly or top 11, and interconof a violin in accordance with strings '20, 21, 22, and 23 are attached with their other ends being secured to the keys 24, 25, 26, and 27, respectively, by which they may be drawn suitably taut over the bridge 28. The sound apertures 29 are of conventional shape and these are located on opposite sides of the bass bar 30 attached to the undersurface of the belly 11 somewhat nearer one side than the other. The usual post is indicated at 31.
The violin, as thus far described, is conventional and in order that the novel featuresand advantages of the invention may be fully appreciated, reference is made to FIGS. 1 and 7, particularly FIG. 7, wherein the belly is shown as having a generally indicated central or first zone 32 extending from and including the yarea occupied by the neck block 13 and the tail block 14 cf. FIGS. 5 and 7. The zone 32 has upper and lower bout portions 32B and 32C, respectively, separated from each other by a waist portion 32A. The upper bout portion 32B is separated from the neck portion 32D by a narrowed portion 32E, while a narrowed portion 32P separates the lower bout portion 32C from the tail block portion 32G, all the portions having the same prefix designation have kthe same 'dimensional characteristics. y
On each side of the zone 32, thereis a second generally indicated zone 33, see FIGS. l and 7, each generally similar in outline to the outline of the proximate edge of the belly 11 in that each includes an upper bout portion 33B, a lower bout portion 33C, and an intermediate waist portion 33A. The remainder ofy thebelly 11 consists of third generally indicated zones 34, one'on each side of the first zone32 and separated therefrom by a second zone 33 except'in the area of the neck and tail block portions 32D and 33G, respectively.
Therback 10, see FIGS. Sand 6, particularly FIG. 6, is generally similar in that it has a generally indicated central or kfirst zone 132 extending from and including the area occupied by the neck block 13 andthe tail block 14. Like the vzone 32, the zone 132 has upper and lower bout portions 132B and 132C, respectively, separated from each other by a waist'portion 132A. The upper bout portion 132B is separated from the neck block portion 132D by a narrow portion 132E, while a narrow portion 132F separates the lower bout portion 132C from the tail block portion 132C. All the portions of the back having the same prefix designation have the same dimensional characteristics.
On each side of the first Zone 132, there is a second generally indicated zone 133. Each zone 133 hask an outline approximating that of the proximate edge of the back 10 in that each includes an upper bout portion 133B, a lower bout portion 133C, and an intermediate waist portion 133A. The remainder of the back 10 includes Of these, the fourth zone 134 is transverse line indicated at 135 approximately through necting side walls 12. As is also conventional, a neck f the middle of the waist that radii pass through the area of the corner blocks 15 and16 and cut about halfway into the waist portion 133A. There are, accordingly, four third zones, namely, two upper bout portions 136B and two lower bout portions 136C. J l
In order that violins in accordance with the inventio may be made accurately, it will be assumed that the violin shownin the drawings is full size. In that case, the first zones may be 2% wide in their bout portions with about tive inches separating their widest parts and their being of maximum thickness, typically 5/32 inch. The remainder of the rst zones taper to approximately %2 inch. The second zones, in the area of their bout portions, are approximately 11/2 inches wide as are corresponding pori tions of the third zones and in them, the back tapers from 3 %2 to 3/32 inch with an average median thickness being 4/32 inch.
In the third zones, the thickness of the wood gradually increases from 3%32 to i732 inch but in the fourth zone, the thickness is further decreased to about %2 inch and that thickness is maintained until close to the purfling line Where its thickness is sharply increased to 5732 inch. The thickness of the sides closely approximates that of the thinnest Vpart of the fourth zone.
It will also be appreciated that violas, cellos, and bass viols are similar in construction as to the general features but their dimensions vary with their size. With full sized instruments of the indicated type, the following chart shows the amount of taper and typical width of the zones in which the tapers occur so that those skilled in the art will experience no difficulty in making instruments in accordance with the invention.
THICKNESS (IN 32NDS OF AN INCH) WIDTH (AVERAGE WIDTH IN INCHES) IN LOWER BDUT Violin 2% 1% 1% Viola 3 1% 1% Cello 8 2 2% Bass viol 11 3% 8% Another important element of a violin in accordance with the invention is the bass bar 30 which may be seen in FIGS. 2, 3, and 4. The length of the bass bar is conventional, say lOl/2 for a full size violin and it tapers from 1A adjacent the belly to 1A". In accordance with the invention, the bass bar 30 has a central portion 30A of maximum thickness, the portion 30A being 11/2 inches in length and 1/2 an inch in thickness, and end portions 30B and 30C. The end portions are 51A inches in length and taper to 1A; of an inch and they are also provided with a concavity 30D.
For other instruments in accordance with the invention, the above portions and their dimensions are proportionate to the bass bar length. The length of a viola bass bar is l2 inches, that :of a cello is 24 inches, and that of a bass viol is 29 inches.
It will be appreciated that the thickness of the wood is not too sharply varied at the edges of the zones but is increased gradually from zone to zone with the indicated outlines being medians, particularly between the first and second zones.` It is not essential that the thickness be continuously varied transversely of any of the zones and usually, especially when the zones are wide, the average thicknesses are maintained through a substantial part thereof.
A stringed instrument, in accordance with the invention, whether it be a violin, viola, bass viol or cello, is characterized by the excellence of its tone and the reason for this is that the top 10, which is the sound board, has the sounds of the G and D strings primarilyproduced by the first zone, the sounds of the D and A strings primarily produced by the second zone, and the sounds of the A` and E strings generated primarily in the third zone. The back of the. instrument, which is the amplifier, has the first zone to amplify the G and D strings, the second zone to amplify the D and A strings, and the third zone t amplify the Aand E strings. The fourth zone and the side walls, which are of the thickness of the fourth zone, serve to correlate the several frequencies resulting in the high tonal qualities that are characteristic of instruments in accordance with the invention.
What I therefore claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. In a violin and like instruments, a back having upper and lower bouts and an intermediate waist portion Whose edges are approximately arcuate, said back includ ing a puring line within but close to its edge, a central first zone of approximately the same shape as said back and being of a first thickness, a second zone surrounding said rst zone but spaced from said edge and thinner than said rst zone, the remaining marginal portion within said purfling line being divided into third and fourth zones by approximately arcuate lines, one on each side of said back, and having their centers located on a transverse line approximately through the middle of the waist, said arcuate lines being approximately inclusive of the margin of the waist part of said second zone and including proximate parts of the bouts, the third zones being thinner than the proximate portions of said second zone, said fourth zones being thinner than said third zones, and said third and fourth zones sharply increasing in thickness close to said purfling line.
2. In a violin and like instruments, a back having upper and lower bouts and an intermediate waist portion Whose edges are approximately arcuate, said back including a puring line within but close to its edge, a central first zone of approximately the same shape as said back and being of a first thickness, a second zone surrounding said first zone but spaced from said edge and thinner than said first zone but having its end portions thicker than its waist portion, the remaining marginal portion within said purfling line being divided into third and fourth zones by approximately arcuate lines, one on each side of said back, and having their centers located on a transverse line approximately through the middle of the waist, said arcuate lines being approximately inclusive of the margin of the waist part of said second zone and including proximate parts of the bouts, the third zones being thinner than the proximate portions of said second zone, said fourth zones being thinner than said third zones, and said third and fourth zones sharply increasing in thickness close to said purtling line.
3. In a violin and like instruments, a back and top each having upper and lower bouts, an intermediate waist portion whose edges are approximately arcuate, and a purlling line within but close to its edge, and side walls secured to said back and top adjacent said lines, said back having a central first zone of approximately the same shape as said back and being of a first thickness, a second zone surrounding said first zone but spaced from said edge and thinner than said first zone, the remaining marginal portion of said top within said purlling line being thinner than said second zone and the corresponding portion of the back being divided into third and fourth zones by approximately arcuate lines, one on each side of said back, and having their centers located on a transverse line approximately through the middle of the waist, said arcuate lines being approximately inclusive of the margin of the waist part of said 'second zone and including proximate parts of the bouts, the third zones being thinner than said second zone, said fourth zones being thinner than said second zone, said third and fourth zones sharply increasing in thickness close to said purfling line, and said side walls being of the same thickness as said fourth zones.
4. In a violin and like instruments, a back and top each having upper and lower bouts, an intermediate waist portion whose edges are approximately arcuate, and a purfling line within but close to its edge, and side walls secured to said back and top adjacent said lines,'said back and top each including a central first zone of approximately the same shape and being of a first thickness, the first zone of said top including a central portion of maximum top thickness, a second zone surrounding said first zone but spaced from said edge and thinner than said first zone, the remaining marginal portion within said 5 purfiing line being thinner than said second zone and in the case of said back divided into third and fourth zones by approximately arcuate lines, one on each side of said back, and having their centers located on a transverse line approximately through the middle of the waist, said arcuate lines being approximately inclusive of the margin of the Waist part of said second zone and including proximate parts of the bouts, said fourth zones being thinner than said third zone, said third and fourth zones sharply increasing in thickness close to said puring line, and said side Walls being of the same thickness as said fourth zones except close to said line, and a bass bar secured to the under surface of said top and extending from one bout to the other, and having a central part of uniform thickness and approximately co-extensive with said central portions and end portions extending into said third zones and tapering gradually in thickness to a minimum in said third zones.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 109,696 White NOV. 29, 1870 536,081 Howe Mar. 19, 1895 572,906 McNichol Dec. 8, 1896y 1,419,440 Ashley June 13, 1922 1,800,980 Berry et al Apr. 14, 1931 2,150,736 Braman Mar. 14, 1939

Claims (1)

1. IN A VIOLIN AND LIKE INSTRUMENTS, A BACK HAVING UPPER AND LOWER BOUTS AND AN INTERMEDIATE WAIST PORTION WHOSE EDGES ARE APPROXIMATELY ARCUATE, SAID BACK INCLUDING A PURFLING LINE WITHIN BUT CLOSE TO ITS EDGE, A CENTRAL FIRST ZONE OF APPROXIMATELY THE SAME SHAPE AS SAID BACK AND BEING OF A FIRST THICKNESS, A SECOND ZONE SURROUNDING SAID FIRST ZONE BUT SPACED FROM SAID EDGE AND THINNER THAN SAID FIRST ZONE, THE REMAINING MARGINAL PORTION WITHIN SAID PURFLING LINE BEING DIVIDED INTO THIRD AND FOURTH ZONES BY APPROXIMATELY ARCUATE LINES, ONE ON EACH SIDE OF SAID
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Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3186288A (en) * 1964-03-02 1965-06-01 Thot Res Inc Stringed instrument of the viol type
US3691891A (en) * 1970-09-08 1972-09-19 Complexual Pentru Prelucrarea Musical instrument with cords and bow
US3884109A (en) * 1974-04-26 1975-05-20 Charles S Johnson Method for improving the resonances of stringed instruments
US3969971A (en) * 1970-09-08 1976-07-20 Complexul Pentru Prelucrarea Lemnului Reghin Instrument system and stringed-instruments therefor
US4325279A (en) * 1980-10-14 1982-04-20 Lower Louie H Sound box for musical instrument
WO2010148431A1 (en) * 2009-06-24 2010-12-29 Australian Native Musical Instruments Pty Ltd Soundboard for stringed musical instruments
US20130055875A1 (en) * 2010-12-01 2013-03-07 Xiaozhen Huang Acoustic Structure Fiddle and Manufacturing Method Thereof

Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US109696A (en) * 1870-11-29 Improvement in violins
US536081A (en) * 1895-03-19 Stringed instrument
US572906A (en) * 1896-12-08 Stringed instrument
US1419440A (en) * 1917-10-17 1922-06-13 Frank M Ashley Making plates for musical instruments
US1800980A (en) * 1929-04-12 1931-04-14 Frank C Berry Stringed musical instrument
US2150736A (en) * 1937-10-20 1939-03-14 Harry S Braman Stringed instrument body

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US109696A (en) * 1870-11-29 Improvement in violins
US536081A (en) * 1895-03-19 Stringed instrument
US572906A (en) * 1896-12-08 Stringed instrument
US1419440A (en) * 1917-10-17 1922-06-13 Frank M Ashley Making plates for musical instruments
US1800980A (en) * 1929-04-12 1931-04-14 Frank C Berry Stringed musical instrument
US2150736A (en) * 1937-10-20 1939-03-14 Harry S Braman Stringed instrument body

Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3186288A (en) * 1964-03-02 1965-06-01 Thot Res Inc Stringed instrument of the viol type
US3691891A (en) * 1970-09-08 1972-09-19 Complexual Pentru Prelucrarea Musical instrument with cords and bow
US3969971A (en) * 1970-09-08 1976-07-20 Complexul Pentru Prelucrarea Lemnului Reghin Instrument system and stringed-instruments therefor
US3884109A (en) * 1974-04-26 1975-05-20 Charles S Johnson Method for improving the resonances of stringed instruments
US4325279A (en) * 1980-10-14 1982-04-20 Lower Louie H Sound box for musical instrument
WO2010148431A1 (en) * 2009-06-24 2010-12-29 Australian Native Musical Instruments Pty Ltd Soundboard for stringed musical instruments
US20130055875A1 (en) * 2010-12-01 2013-03-07 Xiaozhen Huang Acoustic Structure Fiddle and Manufacturing Method Thereof
US8912415B2 (en) * 2010-12-01 2014-12-16 Xiaozhen Huang Acoustic structure fiddle and manufacturing method thereof

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