US3230815A - Musical instrument - Google Patents

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US3230815A
US3230815A US256640A US25664063A US3230815A US 3230815 A US3230815 A US 3230815A US 256640 A US256640 A US 256640A US 25664063 A US25664063 A US 25664063A US 3230815 A US3230815 A US 3230815A
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strings
string
instrument
fingerboard
bridge
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US256640A
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Robert N Currier
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Robert N Currier
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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
    • G10D1/00General design of stringed musical instruments
    • G10D1/02Bowed or rubbed string instruments, e.g. violins or hurdy-gurdies

Description

Jan. 25, 1966 Filed Feb. 6, 1965 I i lm' FIG! R. N. CURRIER MUS I CAL INSTRUMENT 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIGZ FIG. 3

INVENTOR ROBERT N. CURRIER @M9/MMM ATTORNEYS Jan. 25, 1966 R. N. cuRRlER MUSICAL INSTRUMENT 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Feb. 6, 1963 NVENTOR.

ROBERT N. CURRIER WN N@ V v3 .YJ

ATTORN EYS perienced child.

United States Patent O 3,230,815 MUSICAL INSTRUMENT Robert N. Currier, Ossining, N Y. (181 Grove St., Bridgeport, Conn.) Filed Feb. 6, 1963, Ser. No. 256,640 5 Claims. (Cl. 84-315) This invention relates to musical instruments and more particularly comprises a simpliiied string instrument or pre-instrument to be used by young children.

The use of simple instruments in elementary school classes is highly recommended by prominent figures in music education. These instruments are introduced to children as a supplement to singing in order to broaden their experience with music and to provide them with a happy, easy, successful relationship with instruments before the more serious study of a regular instrument is begunf Today in the string family there are available small violins, cellos, etc., but these are merely diminutive and not simplified. The 'smaller instruments although intended for young students, are in many ways more difficult to lplay `than'those of full size because the strings are so close together.

Because success with string instruments generally rekquires as early a start as possible, apre-string instrument is deemed to be of particular value in aiding a student to obtain technical proiiciency. A pre-string instrument is deemed to be more important than are pre-winds and pre-percussions already available as instruments in these areas. can be started at a relatively late age without any sacrifice lin ultimate proficiency.

Oneimportant object of this invention is to provide la pre-string instrument which may be played by a youngster without iingering the left hand.

' 'Another important object of this invention is to provide a pre-string instrument which enables the player to bow the lstrings either simultaneously to sound a chord or separately as consecutive notes.

Another important object of this invention is to provide a 'pre-'string instrument which may be tuned to any chord and which chord may be varied without iingering of the left hand.

Another important object of this invention is to provide in the'iingerboard means which assist the ear of the player to achieve correct intonation.

Yet'another object of this invention is to provide an instrument which may be played by the youngest elementary school child as an introduction to musical instruments and which will furnish musical satisfaction, and which may be used in the more advanced grades to teach fingering and some of the other more intricate manipulations required of a string player. y

Still another important object of this invention is to provide a string instrument having a particularly rugged construction so that it may be used by the most inex- To accomplish these and other objects, the instrument of this invention includes a generally box shaped body having a generally conventional iingerboard, taiipiece and strings, and aunique bridge disposed between the fingerboard and tailpiece. The bridge has means for positi'oningy certain of the strings in either of two positions. By placing'the stringsV in one position they al1 lie substantially in the same plane andtherefore may be bowed simultaneously. Alternatively, the strings may be bowed -separately when certain or the strings are placed in the alternate position provided. The pitch of each of the strings may be varied by a tuning device which releasably snaps onto the iingerboard above the strings. The tuning device carries a moveable pad for each of the strings, and each pad is biased to engage its string wherever it is positioned on the device. A note scale provided on the de- 3,230,815 Patented Jan. v25, 1966 ice vice Will indicate to the youngster what notes will be sounded when the pads are in any of the selected positions available.

These and other objects and features of this invention will befbetter understood land appreciated from the following detailed description `of one embodiment thereof, selected for purposes of illustration and shown in the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is a top view of a string instrument constructed in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the instrument shown in FIG.

FIG. 3 is a front view of a portion shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary side view of the instrument shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 with an attachment shown mounted in place on it; and

FIG. 5 is a top view of the attachment shown in FIG. 4.

The instrument shown in the drawing includes a body 10, a fingerboard 12, a tailpiece 14, a bridge 16, scroll and peg assembly 18, and strings 20, 22, and 24. The ingerboard 12, tailpiece 14, and scroll and peg assembly of the instrument 18 are conventional in design as is evident in FIGS. .1.

than blocks ordinarily employed and serve not only as supports for the top and bottom plates 30 and 32 respectively but as the ends of the body as well. Ribs 34 and 36 are glued or otherwise secured to the blocks 26 and 28 and the edges of the top and bottom plates 30 and 32 to form a resonant chamber. A pair of narrow sound holes 38 are provided in the top plate 30. The straight and narrow configuration of the sound holes increases the size of the resonating surface.

The bridge 16 disposedbetween the tailpiece 14 an the ngerboard 12, which supports the three strings 20, 22 and 2.4 above the iingerboard is shown in detail in FIG. 3. Rather than being crown-shaped as the conventional violin bridges, the bridge 16 of this invention is provided with an upper edge having two supporting levels 42 and 44, 46. The upper lever 42 is shown to include three notches 48, 50 and S2 each designed to receive one string of the instrument because the instrument is provided with only three strings. Preferably they are G, D and A strings which are common to the'entire violin family. The second level 44, 46 divided on each side of the level 42 provides alternate positions for the outer strings; that is, the string lying in notch 48 can be lifted out of the notch and positioned in the corner 54 at the inner'edge of the level 44 and the string which occupies notch 52 may be moved to the corner 56 on the inner end of level 46.

' When all of the strings are positioned in the notches on the higher level 42 a player can bow the three strings simultaneously to sound a chord. When the strings are to be bowed separately, the outside strings are placed in the corners 54 and 56 on the lower level so that they are in different planes and are individually accessible. Thus, when the outside strings are placed in the corners 54 and 56, the bridge 16 is effectively curved as a conventional bridge, and when the outside strings are moved to the notches 48 and 52 a unique support is provided for the strings that enables them to be bowed together.

In FIG. 4 a tuning device 60 is shown mounted on the ngerboard 12. The device includes a frame 62 of substantially the same width as the iingerboard and of generally the same length. The tuner is provided with an arched support 64 at one-end which rests upon the peg box 66 beyond the end of the ngerboard to support the plate 62 above the fingerboard. A band 67 which may be made of an elasticized webbing or some rigid material is secured to the support 64 and is designed to extend about the peg box 66 to retain the tuning device in the position shown in FIG. 4. The other end of the tuner vincludes a pair of downwardly extending feet 68' which -able material land may b e provided with flanges which extend underneath the fingerboard as suggested in FIG. 4. The band 67 and clips 69 may take one of 'several con- 4tigurations and of primary importance is that they securely support the tuning'idevice 60 above' the fngerboardllZ.

The frame 62 of the tuner is shown in FIG. 5 to include three longitudinally extending slots or tracks 70, 72 and 74 which are aligned with the three strings above the bridge. Thus, if the three strings G, D and A are conventionally arranged, slot 70 overlics the A string, slot y"JZthe D strrlg, and slot 74 the G string. Disposed in each of the slots or tracks is a slide 76composed of a tr'olly 7S, p in 80 and pad 82. The trollyv78 may be `disposedpartially within yits track and carries the pin St) which'extends through the track and' toward thef string :beneath it. The pad"82 in turn'is carried on the end of the pin, and a spring 84 which surrounds theV pini urges the pad downwardly to engage the string yso as to control its pitch. A tab or head'v`86 is mounted on the upper end vof the pin above the trolly to provide a convenient finger grip to vdraw the pin upwardly in vthe troll'y and away f'frornvthe string against the bias of the spring 84. As each of the tracks is provided with a slide, it is obvious :two octaves above the base of the string. Toassist the youngster a note rule `as suggested in FIG. maybe k'provided along each of the tracks 4to indicate the pitch which will'bc sounded by each of the strings when the respective slides lare positioned at any point in the tracks. vFrom the foregoing `it will be `appreciated that the tuning device comprises a wholly detachable superstructure fastenedover therfin'gerboard of the instrument. The device enables the instrument to be tuned to any chord or otherzse'r'ies of three notes which the child can then produce without using the fingers of the Vleftihand. The notes may be sounded simultaneously byusing the fiat position of the bridge, namely levell 4 2, or, in the arched position with the youtside strings in the corners ,5d and 5,6 the ,strings may be bowed separately. y y

Since a great many compositions are built upon one, two or three underlying chords, three youngsters playing their respective `instruments could form an accompanying orchestra for a large repertoire lof songs. A director would be needed to indicate when each of the youngsters shouldl start and `stop his particular chord. With they strings in the arched position, namely vwith the outside strings'in the corners ,54 and 56, a certain number of simple melodies can be played. Some simple `melodies consist of only three notes and therefore can be played withlon'e instrument. `'Other 'melodies can be played only by two or three instruments each ,tuned differently. Both melodic and rhythmic simplifications of most well known melodies are available and can be performed with one or more instruments. i M

As the tuner is detachable from the fingerboard, the pitch of each of thepstrings can be controlled by the fingers. VMerely by removing'the band 67 from about the peg box 66-and slipping the clips 69 from underneath the other end of the fingerboard the tuner may be removed to expose the strings to allow the player to conptrol the pitch of the strings with his fingers. In order to facilitate `locating ,the fingers correctly, inverse frets or grooves are provided in the fingerboard as suggested in FIGS. l and 2 at 90. In the drawing four inverse frets are shown incorporated into the fingerboard. These small grooves cut across the fingerboard are shown in the close 2 3 pattern commonly used in the first stages of left hand manipulation. These frets are preferably barely perceptible to the fingertips and in any case should require the cooperation of the ear to achieve correct intona tion. Because the frets are inverted and further because the ear is required as an aid to correct intonation, they will not prevent the student from acquiring proper playing habits.

From the foregoing description it will be appreciated that numerous modifications may be made on this invention without departing from its spirit. Moreover, Iit will be appreciated that certain of the features of this 'invention may `be employed without others. Therefore, it is not lintended that the breadth o-f this invention be limited to the vspecific embodiment illustrated and V des,cribed. Rather, it is intended that the breadth' of :this invention be vdetermined by the appended claims and their equivalents. i

What is claimed is:

i. A string instrument comprising p a body having a iinge'rl'loardY extending from vone vend'of the body and la tailpiece mounted `at its'o'thejr ledd and having an intermediate ffbridge, three strings extending from the outer end of the fingerboard to the tailpiece, said bridge having twof'levels with one of said levels supporting all of the strings'in a single plane and with the other of 'said levels adapted to support the outer ofthe three strings below the middle string so that the three strings are effectively arched so that the strings may bey bowed separately, inverse frets provided in the fingerboard to serve as a i guide for positioningthe fingers,V a tuner including a frame detachably secured to the fingerboard and overlying the strings, .threel tracks formed in the frame Iand runninggenerally parallel to the str-ings,V and means including a pad mounted in each of the track-s ladapted to engage yeach of the 'strings for varying 4the pitch of' each string. 2. A spring instrumentas defined in claim 1 further characterized by each .of the last-named means including a slide movable along the track, a pin extending downwardly from lthe slide and carrying the pad at its lower end, i and biasing means engaging the pad urging the pa against'the string beneath it. 3. A stning instrument comprising a body having a fingerboard, strings and bridge, a tuner removably carried by the fingerboard and extending over an appreciable portion of itsflength, a plurality of tracks formed in the tuner andl each overlying one of the strings, a slide mounted in each track and movable along the track length, a pin extending downwardly from the slide in the direction of the string beneath, a pad carried on the end of the pin and spring biased to engage the string .beneath it, and means for overcoming the bias of the pad for moving the pin with its pad along the track so' that the pad may engage any selected portion of the str-ing beneath the track. 4. A tuning device for a string instrument comprising -a body adapted to be detachably secured to the fingerboard of the instrument, a track formed .in the body, a slide movable in the track and carrying apad for engaging a string of the instrument above the tingelboard,

5 6 a note rule located adjacent said track to indicate the References Cited bythe Examiner pitch to be sounded yby said 4string when said slide UNITED STATES PATENTS is positioned :at po-ints along said track, and yieldable means for biasing the pad into engage- 934,678 9/1909 Lallrlall 84-307 ment with the String- 5 1,095,900 5/1914 Manby 84-'4314 5. A tuning device for a string instrument as defined in 1,374,388 4/ 1921 Reed 84-315 claim 4 further character-ized by 2,450,210 9/ 1948 Sprague 85-315 said Ibody having a ytrack and slide for each string of 2,739,502, 3/ 1956 Thompson 84-307 the instrument, 2,961,913 11/ 1960 Popkin 84-315 X and means for moving the slides independently of one lo another. LEO SMILOW, Primary Examiner.

Claims (1)

1. A STRING INSTRUMENT COMPRISING A BODY HAVING A FINGERBOARD EXTENDING FROM ONE END OF THE BODY AND A TAILPIECE MOUNTED AT ITS OTHER END AND HAVING AN INTERMEDIATE BRIDGE, THREE STRINGS EXTENDING FROM THE OUTER END OF THE FINGERBOARD TO THE TAILPIECE, SAID BRIDGE HAVING TWO LEVELS WITH ONE OF SAID LEVELS SUPPORTING ALL OF THE STRINGS IN A SINGLE PLANE AND WITH THE OTHER OF SAID LEVELS ADAPTED TO SUPPORT THE OUTER OF THE THREE STRINGS BELOW THE MIDDLE STRING SO THAT THE THREE STRINS ARE EFFECTIVELY ARCHED SO THAT THE STRINGS MAY BE BOWED SEPARATELY, INVERSE FRETS PROVIDED IN THE FINGERBOARD TO SERVE AS A GUIDE FOR POSITIONING THE FINGERS, A TUNER INCLUDING A FRAME DETACHABLY SECURED TO THE FINGERBOARD AND OVERLYING THE STRINGS, THREE TRACKS FORMED IN THE FRAME AND RUNNING GENERALLY PARALLEL TO THE STRINGS, AND MEANS INCLUDING A PAD MOUNTED IN EACH OF THE TRACKS ADAPTED TO ENGAGE EACH OF THE STRINGS FOR VARYING THE PITCH OF EACH STRING.
US256640A 1963-02-06 1963-02-06 Musical instrument Expired - Lifetime US3230815A (en)

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE2635283A1 (en) * 1975-08-05 1977-02-17 Sankyo Kogaku Kogyo Kk Brennweiteneinstelleinrichtung for a photographic camera

Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US934678A (en) * 1909-06-14 1909-09-21 Gibson Mandolin Guitar Company Bridge for stringed musical instruments.
US1095900A (en) * 1912-09-12 1914-05-05 Charles Evelyn Creasy Jensen Manby Finger-board for violins or like string instruments.
US1374388A (en) * 1918-06-14 1921-04-12 Charles H Reed Fingering attachment for stringed instruments
US2450210A (en) * 1946-03-16 1948-09-28 Howard L Sprague String depressor for stringed musical instruments
US2739502A (en) * 1953-06-09 1956-03-27 Grover Musical Products Inc Bridge for stringed musical instrument
US2961913A (en) * 1958-07-03 1960-11-29 Gary S Popkin Tuning attachment for stringed instruments

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US934678A (en) * 1909-06-14 1909-09-21 Gibson Mandolin Guitar Company Bridge for stringed musical instruments.
US1095900A (en) * 1912-09-12 1914-05-05 Charles Evelyn Creasy Jensen Manby Finger-board for violins or like string instruments.
US1374388A (en) * 1918-06-14 1921-04-12 Charles H Reed Fingering attachment for stringed instruments
US2450210A (en) * 1946-03-16 1948-09-28 Howard L Sprague String depressor for stringed musical instruments
US2739502A (en) * 1953-06-09 1956-03-27 Grover Musical Products Inc Bridge for stringed musical instrument
US2961913A (en) * 1958-07-03 1960-11-29 Gary S Popkin Tuning attachment for stringed instruments

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE2635283A1 (en) * 1975-08-05 1977-02-17 Sankyo Kogaku Kogyo Kk Brennweiteneinstelleinrichtung for a photographic camera

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