US3478630A - Harpsichord with vertical engagement action for jacks - Google Patents

Harpsichord with vertical engagement action for jacks Download PDF

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US3478630A
US3478630A US788979*A US3478630DA US3478630A US 3478630 A US3478630 A US 3478630A US 3478630D A US3478630D A US 3478630DA US 3478630 A US3478630 A US 3478630A
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jacks
harpsichord
keys
control
register
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Philip M Cucchiara
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10CPIANOS, HARPSICHORDS, SPINETS OR SIMILAR STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH ONE OR MORE KEYBOARDS
    • G10C1/00General design of pianos, harpsichords, spinets or similar stringed musical instruments with one or more keyboards
    • G10C1/06General design of pianos, harpsichords, spinets or similar stringed musical instruments with one or more keyboards of harpsichords spinets or similar stringed musical instruments

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  • the jacks in a harpsichord are positioned solely for sliding vertical movement, and counterweights may be associated with some jacks in the instrument, where the jacks are to have on and off conditions in the instrument.
  • One or a pair of striking members are pivotally associated with the posterior end of each of the keys in the instrument and one of such members is individually brought into and out of engagement with a respective jack or counterweight when present in the instrument whereby one of such striking members will always be engaged with one jack or one counterweight so that the striking action of associated keys will remain the same regardless of whether or not a register is in the on or off position.
  • Control means are provided to move the Striking means by sets or registers into positionsto operatively engage either all of the jacks in the register, or none of the jacks.
  • the present invention relates to stringed musical instruments wherein the strings are played by a plucking action.
  • the harpsichord is the best known instrument of this type.
  • each of these keys may control strings from a plurality of registers.
  • Each register normally consists of all of the jacks in a row known as a stop or a set of jacks for actuating the strings of one register.
  • Each register has its own characteristic quality of sound and pitch and the different registers are in predetermined musical relationship to each other.
  • registers such as two, three, or even four registers can be associated with some or all of the various keys on a manual of a harpsichord and suitable controls, e.g., stop pedals or hand stops, are provided so that the various registers can be brought into and out of playing or operative positions, which may be referred to as the on position.
  • suitable controls e.g., stop pedals or hand stops
  • the individual jacks associated with a given key for plucking a wire string in the instrument have a little plucking finger at the end of each of the jacks which is made of leather or quill and known as a plectrum.
  • jacks are movable vertically in the instrument by key action to move the plectrum up into plucking position with a string, thereby activating the string and producing the desired musical sound.
  • means are provided in the harpsichord for moving an entire register of jacks laterally of the keys whereby the jacks are taken out of operable engagement with their associated wire strings so that a register may be moved to its off position, when desired.
  • the harpsichord is a very delicate instrument and that exacting musicians using the harpsichord naturally want to have only the finest action from the instrument and to have completely satisfactory musical tones produced thereby.
  • harpsichords are very delicate instruments and require continual maintenance thereon for professional performance of such instrument. Since nearly all professional harpsichords as made today have a plurality of registers controlled by each key, it is seen that the maintenance problems on these instruments are continual; complex, and tedious, if the instrument is to be maintained in the best possible playing condition. Even then the instrument may vary in tone when one or more registers are necessarily turned on and on several times when the instrument is played.
  • the general object of the present invention is to provide a novel and improved positioning and control means for the jacks in plucking types of musical instruments whereby the jacks can readily be perfectly controlled so that registers thereof can easily and positively be rendered on or o as desired.
  • Another object of the invention is to provide jacks in a harpsichord wherein the jacks are positioned positioned only for upward movement in a vertical plane and wherein special control means are provided to connect a key to a jack, or to disengage the jack with relation to the key, as desired.
  • a further object of the invention is to provide novel and improved control means to move registers in a harpsichord to on and off positions and wherein the means include one or more striking means carried by the posterior end of a key and adapted to engage with either a jack or a counterweight means provided in the instrument at all times whereby the striking action or touch of the key is constant regardless of whether registers are in the on or off positions.
  • Yet other objects of the invention are to improve plucking types of stringed musical instruments whereby the maintenance thereof is reduced, and whereby positive means are provided for moving control, or striking members into on and oli positions without elfecting the positioning of the jacks in the instrument in any way; to provide unitary controls for registers for readily moving them into and out of engaged positions, as desired; to simplify and render more positive and accurate the construction and positioning means used for jacks in a harpsichord; and to provide an improved control means for turning registers in a harpsichord to the on or off positions.
  • FIG. 1 is a fragmentary side elevational view, partially shown in vertical section, of a key means for a stringed musical instrument, such as the harpsichord, and wherein the means shown comprises one embodiment of the invention- FlG. 2 is a fragmentary plan view of the structure shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is an enlarged detailed side elevation, partially broken away and shown in vertical section, of the posterior end of one key and the associated means;
  • FIG. 4 is a rear end elevation of one key of the instrument shown in FIG. 1 and a portion of the associated means;
  • FIG. 5 is a fragmentary plan view, partially shown in section, of a portion of the control shaft of FIGS. 3 and 4 and the associated striking means or control members;
  • FIG. 6 is a fragmentary enlarged end elevation of a portion of the control means and jacks in the instrument of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 7 is a fragmentary side elevation, partially shown in vertical section, of a portion of a modified key and control means of the invention.
  • FIG. 8 is an end elevation of the portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. 7.
  • a stringed musical instrument of the plucking type such as a harpsichord is indicated as a whole by the numeral 10.
  • a stringed musical instrument of the plucking type such as a harpsichord
  • a harpsichord is indicated as a whole by the numeral 10.
  • a portion of a frame 11 of this harpsichord is shown, and only a few of the keys 12 for the harpsichord are shown in the drawings.
  • the principles of the invention shown are readily applicable to any and all keys or registers provided in the harpsichord 10.
  • each of the keys 12 as shown is pivotally positioned on a balance rail 13 and each key receives a positioning pin or upright 14 extending from the balance rail and engaging a preformed slot or mortise in each of the keys for operatively locating them on the frame 11.
  • the keys may have any suitable guides associated therewith and are struck or played by depressing the exposed ends thereof in a conventional manner.
  • the harpsichord includes any suitable number of playing strings 15 that are positioned in a conventional manner on the usual supports, bridges, and the like, provided on the frame 11 and the different sets of strings may be at different levels.
  • These strings 15 usually are horizontally positioned and are relatively closely spaced from each other in a horizontal plane.
  • the strings usually are made from wire and the strings in the harpsichord are adapted to be plucked in a conventional manner by the use of jacks 16, which may be of conventional or novel design, and one of which is provided for each of the strings 15. In some cases, however, two sets of jacks or registers may be employed to pluck the same set of strings.
  • jacks are of a substantially conventional, rectangular shape and construction, with each jack providing a protruding quill or plectrum 17 at its upper end for plucking the associated string when the jack is raised by depressing one of the keys 12, all in a generally conventional manner.
  • the jacks 16 may have a jack rail 18 positioned thereabove, with. a suitable layer of cushioning material 19 being provided on the under surface of the jack rail above the upper ends of the jack 16 to limit or control vertical upward movement of these jacks.
  • Further means are provided for positioning the jacks 16 and in this instance, such means particularly include an upper guide or bar 4 20 slidably attached to the frame 11 and extending along the keys 12 adjacent and above the posterior ends thereof.
  • the jacks 16 may be further positioned or supported by a lower guide rail or bar 21. In this particular instance, two registers of the jacks 16 are shown associated with each of the keys 12.
  • a register normally constitutes, in a harpsichord, all of the jacks mounted on the keyboard (manual) encompassing the entire range of the keyboard, and with each register representing a certain predetermined octave or tonal characteristic that is to be provided by the strings associated with or providing the musical notes of any such register.
  • a pair of registers are shown being controlled by each of the keys 12 with a jack 16a being shown representing the jacks in one register whereas the jacks indicated at 16b represent the jacks at the second register controlled by the individual keys 12.
  • jack guides or bars 20 and 21 can be made from any suitable material, usually wood, plastic or metal, and are fixedly positioned in spaced horizontal planes on the frame 11 to control movement of the jack 16.
  • the upper bar or guide 20 is provided with a pair of slots or apertures 22 and 23 therein each being adapted to receive, snugly, a jack 16 and an associated member to be later described therein and position them for movement only in a vertical plane.
  • the lower ends of the jacks are shown supported by a stop 24 extending downwardly from the lower ends thereof.
  • stops 24 preferably comprise headed screw means or the like which adjustably engage each of the individual jacks and extend downwardly therefrom to engage a padded upper surface layer 25 on a stop block 26 which is secured to and extends upwardly from the lower guide 21.
  • the downward movement or inoperative at rest position of each of the jacks 16 is limited or determined by the stop 24 engaging the upper portion or layer on the stop block or means 26.
  • Each of the jacks 16 also has a downwardly extending pilot, or control rod or pin 27 that extends through a guide hole or aperture 28 in the lower guide 21 and terminates immediately above the posterior end section of one of the keys 12 and striking means, as hereinafter described, carried thereby.
  • a companion counterweight or associated member 30 is usually provided for each of the jacks 16 positioned in the harpsichord 10, a companion counterweight or associated member 30 is usually provided and special controls are provided for engaging the counterweights.
  • Each of these counterweights corresponds in weight, and generally in size, to one of the jacks 16, but as shown in FIG. 6, the counterweights are shorter in vertical height than the associated jacks wtih one of the counterweights 30 being positioned immediately adjacent the side of and parallel to its corresponding jack.
  • a suitable small bearing such as a wire 20a which acts as an interseptum usually positioned between the jack and its companion counterweight by the upper guide bar 20 which facilitates said members in moving freely in a vertical plane.
  • Each of the counterweights 30 likewise has an adjustable stop 31 secured to its lower end and protruding downwardly therefrom for normally seating on the stop block 26, while a pilot, control rod or pin 32 is also secured to the lower end of each of the counterweights and extends downwardly therefrom through a suitable aperture 33 in the lower guide 21 whereby the jacks and counterweights are similar in design and construction and are positioned in a similar manner, insofar as the lower ends of these members are concerned.
  • the jacks and counterweights are smooth surfaced and are immediately adjacent but neither interferes with vertical movement of the other.
  • control means used for operatively connecting one of the keys 12 to its associated jack and/or counterweight, depending upon whether a given register is to be in or out 'of operative position and whether or not counterweights are desired in the instrument.
  • the control means include a pair of upwardly extending striking means- 40 and 41 which may comprise headed members including an arm 42 which is pivotally secured in an aperture or slot 43 at the posterior end of a key 12, as by means of a support rod or pin 44.
  • This rod 42 is continually urged forwardly of the key 12 by suitable spring means, such as a spring finger 45, or similar member, suitably associated with and carried by a key 12 and engaging an individual rod 42 to urge it to a forward position to aid in the control thereof. It is seen that a pair of these rods 42 and 42a are positioned immediately adjacent each other usually in individual receiving slots or apertures in a key and that these striking means 40 and 41 are adapted to be operably positioned immediately adjacent and below the lower ends of the control pins 27 and 32 associated with a jack 16, or counterweight 30, respectively.
  • suitable spring means such as a spring finger 45, or similar member
  • FIG. 2 shows a plurality of these striking means 40 and 41 indicates how different sets of the striking means are provided in axially spaced relationship with relation to the length of the individual key 12 whereby individual striking means are provided for the different registers controlled by the individual keys 12.
  • a control member in this instance comprising a shaft 46 or 46:11 is suitably journalled by means 146 carried by the frame 11 whereby the shaft 46 or 46a is in this instance positioned immediately adjacent and forwardly of the sets of the individual rods 42.
  • Thisshaft 46 carries a plurality of control members, usually T-shaped pins, screws 47, or the like, which adjustably engage the shaft 46 by threaded shank portions whereby the effective operating length of the screws 47 can be controlled.
  • T-shaped members provide a minimum of friction in engaging the rods 42 and42a.
  • Sets of thev screws 47 are aligned axially on the shaft and are provided usually in 9,0 circumferentially spaced relationshipto each other on the shaft 46 whereby one set of screws 47 is provided for engaging the axially aligned rods 42 whereas a second set of screws 47a is provided for engaging the vaxially aligned rods 42a and thus control means are provided for each of these sets of rods 42 and 421;.
  • the shaft 46 extends at least for the lengthof. any individual register and is positioned immediately adjacentthe rods 42 and 42a provided for such register forcontrol action of the corresponding jacks in .the harpsichord. -A. 90 arcuate movement of the shaft'46 is provided by a control operatively engaged therewith and in this instance, the shaft 46 has a substantially I l-shaped control rod 48 attached thereto andextendinggenerally axially therefrom.
  • endof the control rod 48 may be journalled in a support 148 on the frame.
  • the position of the shaft 46 hence can be controlled by the rod 48 and its position in turn is controlled by suitable means such as a rod or shaft 49 which is slidably positioned in members, such as uprights 50 and 51 on the frame to position the shaft for recipro' cation on its axis,
  • the inner end of the shaft 49 is secured to an. offset 48a on the rod 48.
  • a connector link 52 which is suitably pivotally connected to the inner end of the shaft 49 and pivotally connects to the offset 48a in the rod 48 whereby by axial movement of the shaft 47, as by a control knob 53 secured to the exposed end thereof, will move the shaft 46 through a arc.
  • the control knob 53 normally would be carried by a suitable member on the frame 11, and directly connects to the shaft 49 for only axial movement thereof. It should be noted, however, that an entire register can be controlled by a hand stop control knob 53 or by a stop pedal which is operated by the feet of the performer. Such a stop pedal (not shown) would transmit the motion to the shaft 49 in the same Way as described except that a few extra levers of conventional construction and relationship may necessarily also be employed. Either means of control may be used; however, in todays instruments the pedal is more common.
  • the controlled limited axial movement provided for the shaft 49 is so arranged as to provide the limited, but positive 90 movement of the shaft 46.
  • the individual registers provided in association with the different keys 12 can thus have individual control means provided for bringing the register into or out of operative positions and that such action does not involve any movement of the various jacks 16 in the harpsichord. Only slight pivotal movement of the various rods 42 and 42a in the apparatus is required to move a register into and out of operation, This action provided by a stop pedal (not shown) or a hand stop 53 is such that it can occur at any time whether or not some of the keys on the manual (keyboard) are depressed, in motion or at rest.
  • Such action is permissible because in every instance, even if one of the screws 47 or 4711 is in engagement with one of the pilots or control pins or rods 27 or 32 at that time, the individual action of the different rods 42 and 42a in engaging its associated member, is not disrupted and the rods 42 or 42a will just move to or from operative position when the actual key 12 associated therewith is released. In other words, the finalization of the action in turning a register on or off can await individual release of the various keys in such register.
  • the individual jacks 16 in the harpsichord can be accurately positioned in the harpsichord for only upward vertical movement and that no movement of the jacks is required to bring a register into and out of playing condition.
  • Any suitable stops or controls can be provided for regulating arcuate movement of the control rods or shaft 46 provided in the harpsichord, so that a foot operated stop or other means, as well as a hand actuated stop can be used for register contr-ol as long as such means engage a control rod 46 for controlled arcuate movement thereof.
  • the heads 60 are provided with enlarged heads 60 to provide a relatively large operative area on these rods for engaging the associated control pins.
  • the heads 60 preferably have a suitable resilient layer or padding 61 provided on their upper surface to cushion impacts with the associated control pins.
  • a counterweight has been shown in association with each of the jacks.
  • the counterweights shown can be eliminated, particularly, where only one register of a multiple register manual or keyboard is being controlled, the difference in touch provided may not be objectionable.
  • This harpsichord includes an upper keyboard, or manual comprising a number of individual keys 70 that are positioned in the harpsichord in a conventional manner and which will have the posterior ends thereof resting against a stop or support bar 71 that normally has a padding 72 secured to its upper surface.
  • the harpsichord 10a also includes a lower keyboard, or manual 73 which has a plurality of individual keys 173 provided therein and operatively positioned in a conventional manner and with the posterior ends thereof normally resting against a stop bar 74.
  • the drawing shows that a number of sets of strings are provided at ditferent vertical elevations in this harpsichord 10a, and thus a set of strings 75 is provided which can be considered the 16 ft. set of strings in the harpsichord, while 76 indicates one set of 8 ft. strings and the number 77 indicates a second set of 8 ft. strings (in the same horizontal plane) in the harpsichord while the number 78 identifies a string of the 4 ft. set of strings or register provided in the harpsichord.
  • the terminology of 16 ft. strings etc. refers to low Cs pitch lengt as in the pipe organ but does not refer to the actual physical length of the harpsichord string.
  • the drawing also clearly shows that the individual keys are adapted to actuate or pluck wires in different registers of the harpsichord, if desired, in accordance with the novel means of the invention as hereinafter described.
  • the key 70 is used to pluck or actuate one of the strings 78 in the 4 ft. register but it may actuate strings in other registers, if desired.
  • a jack 83 is operatively positioned in the harpsichord for only vertical movement by engaging with a slot in a guide bar 84 carried by the frame of the harpsichord, which jack 83 is supported by a dampener pad 80 on the jack. Others of the keys 70 and the jacks actuated thereby are omitted for clarity.
  • Striking means equivalent to those described hereinbefore, are provided and thus a rod 86 is shown operatively and pivotally secured to the posterior end of each of the keys 70 and a similar striking rod 87 is provided in pivotal engagement with each of the keys 73.
  • Such striking means may be of any desired shape, but usually they include the rods 86 and 87 as described and with each of these rods having a head 88 thereon and with a layer of a suitable padding 89 being carried by the upper surface of this head 88.
  • any suitable spring members 90 are afiixed to the keys 70 and 73 and, in the embodiment of the invention as shown, continually urge the rods 86 and 87 rearwardly of the keys 70 and 73 so as to position the rods 86 and 87 and members thereon in operative position.
  • the striking means or rod 86 is shown pivotally secured to the key 70 by a U-shaped or channel bracket or section 96 that for example is secured to the upper surface of the key 70 by screws 97 and 98.
  • the screw 98 may also engage the lower end of the spring 90 to position such spring.
  • a pin or shaft 99 extends across and engages the bracket 96 to form a stop to limit movement of the rod 86.
  • the rod is pivotally secured to the bracket 96 by a rod or shaft 102 engaging the bracket.
  • a downwardly extending control rod or screw 92 is secured to the jack 83 and it may be adjustable in relation theretofif desired.
  • the control rod 92 is in vertical alignment with the head 88 and is immediately thereadjacent whereby anyone striking or playing one of the keys 70 will cause the head 88 thereon to lift the jack 83 vertically and cause a plucking of the wire 78.
  • the jack 83 also has an adjustable elongate control rod 93 extending vertically downwardly from the lower end thereof and that such control rod terminates immediately above the head 88 on the control or striking rod 87.
  • this same jack 83 can also be played by actuation of one of the keys 173 in the lower keyboard or register of the harpsichord.
  • control rods or extension means 92 and 83 are secured to axially spaced portions of the jack 83 when considering the wider dimension of the jack to be on the longitudinal axes of one of the keys 70 and 173.
  • Such keys are of such length as to have an operative portion of each of the striker means or rods directly below and adjacent the lower ends of the extension means 92 and 93.
  • a guide or control bar 94 is operatively positioned and extends longitudinally of the register behind each of the rods 86 on the upper keyboard or register and with a similar control bar or rod being positioned behind each of the guide or striker rods or bars 87 in the lower keyboard or register of the harpsichord.
  • any known members such as the control rod or shaft 49 and a hand control lever or knob 53 may be connected to each of these control bars 94 and 95 to move one or both of them depthwise of the harpsichord and thus, in the structure shown in FIG.
  • levers 100 and 101 may connect to the bars 94 and 95 and be moved by control means such as foot pedals operatively controlling movement of such levers.
  • control means can be used, as desired, for alternately bringing the 4 ft. register into or out of operative position with either upper or lower keyboards or both of them.
  • the features of the present invention include the positioning of the individual jacks in the harpsichord for only vertical movement and that any set or register of keys on any keyboard in the harpsichord can be brought into and out of operative Position readily by providing means thereon like the individual striker means or rods 86 in the upper keyboard and with an individual control bar 94 being associated with each register of striker means on the keys 70.
  • Counterweights may or may not be used in the harpsichord when practicing the features of the invention as desired.
  • the apparatus of the invention is relatively sturdy and has only a relatively few movable parts, none of which can easily go out of adjustment or become damaged or impaired under normal operating conditions.
  • the jacks 16 can be positioned accurately in fixed relationship to their associated strings by being snugly but not frictionally engaged with individual 10- cating apertures in the spaced parallel guide bars 20 and 21.
  • the jacks are not moved in relationship to the guides except for controlled vertical actuating movement so that the jacks can be adjusted for exactly the type of striking action desired.
  • the counterweights 30, when used, may be received in the same individual aperture 23 in the guide bar 20 as its associated jack but the individual apertures 28 and 33 for the control rods for the jacks and counterweights in the guide bar 21 aid in positioning such members accurately.
  • the apparatus is not extremely complicated to build and the parts thereof, such as the jacks and counterweights usually are removably carried in their positioning means so that the individual members can be readily removed for inspection and/or repair when necessary.
  • the jacks and 'counterweights are retained in vertical positions by their positioning means and any desired number of parallel guide bars may be used to provide for only vertical movement of the jacks and/ or counterweights.
  • a register may selectively be played by one or two keyboards, as desired and such keyboard may control other registers or not as desired.
  • the novel means of the invention can be associated with all, one or more registers controlled by any selected keyboard.
  • each plucking means including a vertically movable jack, the jacks being aligned and defining a vertical plane
  • the improvement comprismg means positioning said jacks individually above individual keys of one register adjacent and above the posterior ends thereof for only vertical movement, an upwardly extending striking means pivotally carried by each of said keys as the posterior end thereof and being adapted to be individually positioned below a said jack for such said key, and
  • control means for said striking means to move same alternately to operative and inoperative positions in relation to a said jack for a said key.
  • control means position said striking means to engage a said counterweight or a said jack whereby the striking action for a said key is constant at all times.
  • control means include a member positioned adjacent and extending along a series of said striking means for one register, and
  • said striking means comprising two upwardly extending arms one of which is engaged by said control means to be moved to inoperative position at all times, one of said arms being engageable only with a said jack and the other arm being engageable with a said counterweight.
  • positioning means including an upper guide bar having apertures therein through which said jacks and counterweights extend for only reciprocating vertical movement
  • stop means engaging said jacks and said counterweights to limit downward movement thereof
  • control rod carried byeach of said jacks and said counterweights and extending downwardly therefrom, and r a lower guide bar having apertures therein through which said control rods extend and terminate above and adjacent to individual ones of said striking means.
  • each plucking means including a vertically movable jack, the jacks being aligned and defining a vertical plane, the improvement comprising means positioning said jacks operatively'Yabove individual keys adjacent and above the posterior ends thereof for vertical movement and where the jacks of at least one register can be actuated by the keys from two keyboards,
  • each of said keys of said two keyboards pivotally carried by each of said keys of said two keyboards at the posterior ends thereof and individually positioned below a said jack for such said keys,.each of said striking means being movable to an operative position for engaging its said jack and to an inoperative position, and
  • control means for said striking means of said two keyboards to move the said striking means for one keyboard to operative and to inoperative positions as desired whereby the same register can be selectively played by either or both of said keyboards.

Description

Nov, 18, 1969 P. M. CUCCHIARA 3,478,630
HARPSICHORD WITH VERTICAL ENGAGEMENT ACTION FOR JAcKs Filed Nov. 6, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet l FIGZ INVENTOR. PHILIP M. CUCCHIARA P. M. CUCCHIARA 3,478,630
HARPSICHORD WITH VERTICAL ENGAGEMENT ACTION FOR JACKS Nov. 18, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed NOV. 6, 1968 PHILIP MCUCCHIARA v ATTORNEYS,
United States Patent 3,478,630 HARPSICHORD WITH VERTICAL ENGAGEMEN ACTION FOR JACKS Philip M. 'Cucchiara, 1101 S.O.M. Center Road,
Cleveland, Ohio 44124 Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 753,338,
Aug. 9, 1968, which is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 614,210, Feb. 6, 1967. This application Nov. 6, 1968, Ser. No. 788,979
Int. Cl. Gc N06 US. Cl. 84-258 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The jacks in a harpsichord are positioned solely for sliding vertical movement, and counterweights may be associated with some jacks in the instrument, where the jacks are to have on and off conditions in the instrument. One or a pair of striking members are pivotally associated with the posterior end of each of the keys in the instrument and one of such members is individually brought into and out of engagement with a respective jack or counterweight when present in the instrument whereby one of such striking members will always be engaged with one jack or one counterweight so that the striking action of associated keys will remain the same regardless of whether or not a register is in the on or off position. Control means are provided to move the Striking means by sets or registers into positionsto operatively engage either all of the jacks in the register, or none of the jacks.
This application is a continuation-in-part of my prior application Ser. No. 753,338, filed Aug. 9, 1968, which itself is a continuation-in-part of my application Ser. No. 614,210, filed Feb. 6, 1967, both of which are now abancloned.
The present invention relates to stringed musical instruments wherein the strings are played by a plucking action. The harpsichord is the best known instrument of this type.
Heretofore in harpsichords and similar instruments, it has been conventional to have the plucking action of the various strings controlled by keys very similar to those in a piano. All of the keys on a given plane or level are called a keyboard. The terminology for a keyboard in a harpsichord is a manual. Usually, in the larger harpsichords, each of these keys may control strings from a plurality of registers. Each register normally consists of all of the jacks in a row known as a stop or a set of jacks for actuating the strings of one register. Each register has its own characteristic quality of sound and pitch and the different registers are in predetermined musical relationship to each other.
Asindicated, in harpsichords as made today, several registers, such as two, three, or even four registers can be associated with some or all of the various keys on a manual of a harpsichord and suitable controls, e.g., stop pedals or hand stops, are provided so that the various registers can be brought into and out of playing or operative positions, which may be referred to as the on position. In these harpsichords as now made, and as having been made for many, many years, the individual jacks associated with a given key for plucking a wire string in the instrument have a little plucking finger at the end of each of the jacks which is made of leather or quill and known as a plectrum. These jacks are movable vertically in the instrument by key action to move the plectrum up into plucking position with a string, thereby activating the string and producing the desired musical sound. When it is desired to "ice move a register into the off position in instruments as made at this time, means are provided in the harpsichord for moving an entire register of jacks laterally of the keys whereby the jacks are taken out of operable engagement with their associated wire strings so that a register may be moved to its off position, when desired. It will be realized that the harpsichord is a very delicate instrument and that exacting musicians using the harpsichord naturally want to have only the finest action from the instrument and to have completely satisfactory musical tones produced thereby. However, when a register of jacks is to be moved to an off position, there must be certain control means provided that has some play or looseness in its engagement with the register of jacks so that the jacks are free for operable movement when desired, but wherein the control means can slide or move the entire register of jacks laterally into a position whereby they cannot engage the associated strings. Various problems arise when jacks are movably positioned in a harpsichord, or similar instrumentas made today in that the jacks may be moved to have some slight engagement with associated strings in the harpsichord when the jacks are in an oil position and this provides interference with the adjacent strings and prevents maximum musical performance of the instrument. In all events, harpsichords are very delicate instruments and require continual maintenance thereon for professional performance of such instrument. Since nearly all professional harpsichords as made today have a plurality of registers controlled by each key, it is seen that the maintenance problems on these instruments are continual; complex, and tedious, if the instrument is to be maintained in the best possible playing condition. Even then the instrument may vary in tone when one or more registers are necessarily turned on and on several times when the instrument is played.
The general object of the present invention is to provide a novel and improved positioning and control means for the jacks in plucking types of musical instruments whereby the jacks can readily be perfectly controlled so that registers thereof can easily and positively be rendered on or o as desired.
Another object of the invention is to provide jacks in a harpsichord wherein the jacks are positioned positioned only for upward movement in a vertical plane and wherein special control means are provided to connect a key to a jack, or to disengage the jack with relation to the key, as desired.
A further object of the invention is to provide novel and improved control means to move registers in a harpsichord to on and off positions and wherein the means include one or more striking means carried by the posterior end of a key and adapted to engage with either a jack or a counterweight means provided in the instrument at all times whereby the striking action or touch of the key is constant regardless of whether registers are in the on or off positions.
7 Yet other objects of the invention are to improve plucking types of stringed musical instruments whereby the maintenance thereof is reduced, and whereby positive means are provided for moving control, or striking members into on and oli positions without elfecting the positioning of the jacks in the instrument in any way; to provide unitary controls for registers for readily moving them into and out of engaged positions, as desired; to simplify and render more positive and accurate the construction and positioning means used for jacks in a harpsichord; and to provide an improved control means for turning registers in a harpsichord to the on or off positions.
Attention now is particularly directed to the structures shown in the accompanying drawings, wherein:
.FIG. 1 is a fragmentary side elevational view, partially shown in vertical section, of a key means for a stringed musical instrument, such as the harpsichord, and wherein the means shown comprises one embodiment of the invention- FlG. 2 is a fragmentary plan view of the structure shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged detailed side elevation, partially broken away and shown in vertical section, of the posterior end of one key and the associated means;
- FIG. 4 is a rear end elevation of one key of the instrument shown in FIG. 1 and a portion of the associated means;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary plan view, partially shown in section, of a portion of the control shaft of FIGS. 3 and 4 and the associated striking means or control members;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary enlarged end elevation of a portion of the control means and jacks in the instrument of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary side elevation, partially shown in vertical section, of a portion of a modified key and control means of the invention; and
FIG. 8 is an end elevation of the portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. 7.
When referring to corresponding members shown in the drawings and referred to in the specification, corresponding numerals are used to simplify comparison therebetween.
Reference now particularly is directed to the details of the structure shown in the accompanying drawings. Thus, a stringed musical instrument of the plucking type, such as a harpsichord is indicated as a whole by the numeral 10. For purposes of clarity, only a portion of a frame 11 of this harpsichord is shown, and only a few of the keys 12 for the harpsichord are shown in the drawings. However, the principles of the invention shown are readily applicable to any and all keys or registers provided in the harpsichord 10.
In the harpsichord 10, only one set of the keys 12 is represented, but it should be understood that several sets of these keys or keyboard manuals may be provided in the harpsichord in accordance with conventional building practices. Each of the keys 12 as shown is pivotally positioned on a balance rail 13 and each key receives a positioning pin or upright 14 extending from the balance rail and engaging a preformed slot or mortise in each of the keys for operatively locating them on the frame 11. The keys may have any suitable guides associated therewith and are struck or played by depressing the exposed ends thereof in a conventional manner.
The harpsichord includes any suitable number of playing strings 15 that are positioned in a conventional manner on the usual supports, bridges, and the like, provided on the frame 11 and the different sets of strings may be at different levels. These strings 15 usually are horizontally positioned and are relatively closely spaced from each other in a horizontal plane. The strings usually are made from wire and the strings in the harpsichord are adapted to be plucked in a conventional manner by the use of jacks 16, which may be of conventional or novel design, and one of which is provided for each of the strings 15. In some cases, however, two sets of jacks or registers may be employed to pluck the same set of strings. These jacks are of a substantially conventional, rectangular shape and construction, with each jack providing a protruding quill or plectrum 17 at its upper end for plucking the associated string when the jack is raised by depressing one of the keys 12, all in a generally conventional manner.
- The jacks 16 may have a jack rail 18 positioned thereabove, with. a suitable layer of cushioning material 19 being provided on the under surface of the jack rail above the upper ends of the jack 16 to limit or control vertical upward movement of these jacks. Further means are provided for positioning the jacks 16 and in this instance, such means particularly include an upper guide or bar 4 20 slidably attached to the frame 11 and extending along the keys 12 adjacent and above the posterior ends thereof. The jacks 16 may be further positioned or supported by a lower guide rail or bar 21. In this particular instance, two registers of the jacks 16 are shown associated with each of the keys 12. It should be understood that a register normally constitutes, in a harpsichord, all of the jacks mounted on the keyboard (manual) encompassing the entire range of the keyboard, and with each register representing a certain predetermined octave or tonal characteristic that is to be provided by the strings associated with or providing the musical notes of any such register. In this particular instance, a pair of registers are shown being controlled by each of the keys 12 with a jack 16a being shown representing the jacks in one register whereas the jacks indicated at 16b represent the jacks at the second register controlled by the individual keys 12. These jack guides or bars 20 and 21 can be made from any suitable material, usually wood, plastic or metal, and are fixedly positioned in spaced horizontal planes on the frame 11 to control movement of the jack 16. The upper bar or guide 20 is provided with a pair of slots or apertures 22 and 23 therein each being adapted to receive, snugly, a jack 16 and an associated member to be later described therein and position them for movement only in a vertical plane. The lower ends of the jacks are shown supported by a stop 24 extending downwardly from the lower ends thereof. These stops 24 preferably comprise headed screw means or the like which adjustably engage each of the individual jacks and extend downwardly therefrom to engage a padded upper surface layer 25 on a stop block 26 which is secured to and extends upwardly from the lower guide 21. Hence, the downward movement or inoperative at rest position of each of the jacks 16 is limited or determined by the stop 24 engaging the upper portion or layer on the stop block or means 26. Each of the jacks 16 also has a downwardly extending pilot, or control rod or pin 27 that extends through a guide hole or aperture 28 in the lower guide 21 and terminates immediately above the posterior end section of one of the keys 12 and striking means, as hereinafter described, carried thereby.
It is a particular feature of one embodiment of the present invention that for each of the jacks 16 positioned in the harpsichord 10, a companion counterweight or associated member 30 is usually provided and special controls are provided for engaging the counterweights. Each of these counterweights corresponds in weight, and generally in size, to one of the jacks 16, but as shown in FIG. 6, the counterweights are shorter in vertical height than the associated jacks wtih one of the counterweights 30 being positioned immediately adjacent the side of and parallel to its corresponding jack. There is, however, a suitable small bearing such as a wire 20a which acts as an interseptum usually positioned between the jack and its companion counterweight by the upper guide bar 20 which facilitates said members in moving freely in a vertical plane. FIG. 6 shows a pair of jacks 16a and that form a portion of one register in the harpsichord and the remaining jacks in the register are omitted for clarity but are the same in design, function, and principles of operation as those illustrated. Each of the counterweights 30 likewise has an adjustable stop 31 secured to its lower end and protruding downwardly therefrom for normally seating on the stop block 26, while a pilot, control rod or pin 32 is also secured to the lower end of each of the counterweights and extends downwardly therefrom through a suitable aperture 33 in the lower guide 21 whereby the jacks and counterweights are similar in design and construction and are positioned in a similar manner, insofar as the lower ends of these members are concerned. The jacks and counterweights are smooth surfaced and are immediately adjacent but neither interferes with vertical movement of the other.
Yet a further important feature of the present invention resides in the actual control means used for operatively connecting one of the keys 12 to its associated jack and/or counterweight, depending upon whether a given register is to be in or out 'of operative position and whether or not counterweights are desired in the instrument. In this particular embodiment of the invention, the control means include a pair of upwardly extending striking means- 40 and 41 which may comprise headed members including an arm 42 which is pivotally secured in an aperture or slot 43 at the posterior end of a key 12, as by means of a support rod or pin 44. This rod 42 is continually urged forwardly of the key 12 by suitable spring means, such as a spring finger 45, or similar member, suitably associated with and carried by a key 12 and engaging an individual rod 42 to urge it to a forward position to aid in the control thereof. It is seen that a pair of these rods 42 and 42a are positioned immediately adjacent each other usually in individual receiving slots or apertures in a key and that these striking means 40 and 41 are adapted to be operably positioned immediately adjacent and below the lower ends of the control pins 27 and 32 associated with a jack 16, or counterweight 30, respectively. The movement provided for the rods 42 and 42a is such that when they are adjacent their forwardmost positions, then such particular striking means is adapted to engage one of the pilots or control pins but when the rod is moved to its rearmost or posterior position, it is inoperatively positioned and actuation of the key 12 to which it is secured does not cause such striking means to engage either of the control pins. However, alternately, the arms or rods 42 and 42a are positioned so that one is operable at all times by the control means present in the apparatus of the invention. FIG. 2 shows a plurality of these striking means 40 and 41 indicates how different sets of the striking means are provided in axially spaced relationship with relation to the length of the individual key 12 whereby individual striking means are provided for the different registers controlled by the individual keys 12.
So as to control the positioning of the striking means 40 and 41 and to have one of them operative at all times, a control member in this instance comprising a shaft 46 or 46:11 is suitably journalled by means 146 carried by the frame 11 whereby the shaft 46 or 46a is in this instance positioned immediately adjacent and forwardly of the sets of the individual rods 42. Thisshaft 46,, for example, carries a plurality of control members, usually T-shaped pins, screws 47, or the like, which adjustably engage the shaft 46 by threaded shank portions whereby the effective operating length of the screws 47 can be controlled. These T-shaped members provide a minimum of friction in engaging the rods 42 and42a. Sets of thev screws 47 are aligned axially on the shaft and are provided usually in 9,0 circumferentially spaced relationshipto each other on the shaft 46 whereby one set of screws 47 is provided for engaging the axially aligned rods 42 whereas a second set of screws 47a is provided for engaging the vaxially aligned rods 42a and thus control means are provided for each of these sets of rods 42 and 421;. The shaft 46 extends at least for the lengthof. any individual register and is positioned immediately adjacentthe rods 42 and 42a provided for such register forcontrol action of the corresponding jacks in .the harpsichord. -A. 90 arcuate movement of the shaft'46 is provided by a control operatively engaged therewith and in this instance, the shaft 46 has a substantially I l-shaped control rod 48 attached thereto andextendinggenerally axially therefrom. One
endof the control rod 48 may be journalled in a support 148 on the frame. The position of the shaft 46 hence can be controlled by the rod 48 and its position in turn is controlled by suitable means such as a rod or shaft 49 which is slidably positioned in members, such as uprights 50 and 51 on the frame to position the shaft for recipro' cation on its axis, The inner end of the shaft 49 is secured to an. offset 48a on the rod 48.by a connector link 52 which is suitably pivotally connected to the inner end of the shaft 49 and pivotally connects to the offset 48a in the rod 48 whereby by axial movement of the shaft 47, as by a control knob 53 secured to the exposed end thereof, will move the shaft 46 through a arc. The control knob 53 normally would be carried by a suitable member on the frame 11, and directly connects to the shaft 49 for only axial movement thereof. It should be noted, however, that an entire register can be controlled by a hand stop control knob 53 or by a stop pedal which is operated by the feet of the performer. Such a stop pedal (not shown) would transmit the motion to the shaft 49 in the same Way as described except that a few extra levers of conventional construction and relationship may necessarily also be employed. Either means of control may be used; however, in todays instruments the pedal is more common. The controlled limited axial movement provided for the shaft 49 is so arranged as to provide the limited, but positive 90 movement of the shaft 46. Hence, such movement directly and positively brings the set of rods 42, or the set of rods 42w, into operative positions against the actions of the biasing springs 45 and the register is either in on or off position. However, at all times, the touch, feel or action in playing the key 12 is the same because in each instance, the key plays either its associated jack and the musical string associated therewith, or else the key plays or lifts the associated counterweight.
It will be seen that the individual registers provided in association with the different keys 12 can thus have individual control means provided for bringing the register into or out of operative positions and that such action does not involve any movement of the various jacks 16 in the harpsichord. Only slight pivotal movement of the various rods 42 and 42a in the apparatus is required to move a register into and out of operation, This action provided by a stop pedal (not shown) or a hand stop 53 is such that it can occur at any time whether or not some of the keys on the manual (keyboard) are depressed, in motion or at rest. Such action is permissible because in every instance, even if one of the screws 47 or 4711 is in engagement with one of the pilots or control pins or rods 27 or 32 at that time, the individual action of the different rods 42 and 42a in engaging its associated member, is not disrupted and the rods 42 or 42a will just move to or from operative position when the actual key 12 associated therewith is released. In other words, the finalization of the action in turning a register on or off can await individual release of the various keys in such register.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that the individual jacks 16 in the harpsichord can be accurately positioned in the harpsichord for only upward vertical movement and that no movement of the jacks is required to bring a register into and out of playing condition. Any suitable stops or controls can be provided for regulating arcuate movement of the control rods or shaft 46 provided in the harpsichord, so that a foot operated stop or other means, as well as a hand actuated stop can be used for register contr-ol as long as such means engage a control rod 46 for controlled arcuate movement thereof. i
In some instances, it might bedesirable to position a counterweight in axial alignment with the jack 16in relation to its control key rather thanintermediate a pair of jacks. Then only one striking means is provided in association with a jack and its respective counterweight and with the pivotal movement provided for the individual striking means then moves it to engage. the control rod 27 or 32 at the extremes of position of the rod 42, Obviously, only one control screw 47 is likewise then' required for each of the jacks 16 as the one control rod 42 or equivalent is just to be moved forwardly and backwardly in order to have it engage with the control pin or rod of a jack or of a counterweight, as desired. Or, other control means could engage the rods 42 or the rods 42a by registers to move them to or from operative positions.
Preferably the striking means and the rods 42, as shown,
are provided with enlarged heads 60 to provide a relatively large operative area on these rods for engaging the associated control pins. The heads 60 preferably have a suitable resilient layer or padding 61 provided on their upper surface to cushion impacts with the associated control pins.
In the harpsichord described hereinbefore, and the control means provided for the jacks therein, a counterweight has been shown in association with each of the jacks. However, in some instances, the counterweights shown can be eliminated, particularly, where only one register of a multiple register manual or keyboard is being controlled, the difference in touch provided may not be objectionable.
Reference now particularly is directed to FIG. 7 of the drawings, and in this instance, a portion of a harpsichord a is shown. This harpsichord includes an upper keyboard, or manual comprising a number of individual keys 70 that are positioned in the harpsichord in a conventional manner and which will have the posterior ends thereof resting against a stop or support bar 71 that normally has a padding 72 secured to its upper surface. The harpsichord 10a also includes a lower keyboard, or manual 73 which has a plurality of individual keys 173 provided therein and operatively positioned in a conventional manner and with the posterior ends thereof normally resting against a stop bar 74. The drawing shows that a number of sets of strings are provided at ditferent vertical elevations in this harpsichord 10a, and thus a set of strings 75 is provided which can be considered the 16 ft. set of strings in the harpsichord, while 76 indicates one set of 8 ft. strings and the number 77 indicates a second set of 8 ft. strings (in the same horizontal plane) in the harpsichord while the number 78 identifies a string of the 4 ft. set of strings or register provided in the harpsichord. The terminology of 16 ft. strings etc. refers to low Cs pitch lengt as in the pipe organ but does not refer to the actual physical length of the harpsichord string. The drawing also clearly shows that the individual keys are adapted to actuate or pluck wires in different registers of the harpsichord, if desired, in accordance with the novel means of the invention as hereinafter described.
In this embodiment of the invention, it should be noted that the key 70 is used to pluck or actuate one of the strings 78 in the 4 ft. register but it may actuate strings in other registers, if desired. To this end, a jack 83 is operatively positioned in the harpsichord for only vertical movement by engaging with a slot in a guide bar 84 carried by the frame of the harpsichord, which jack 83 is supported by a dampener pad 80 on the jack. Others of the keys 70 and the jacks actuated thereby are omitted for clarity. Striking means, equivalent to those described hereinbefore, are provided and thus a rod 86 is shown operatively and pivotally secured to the posterior end of each of the keys 70 and a similar striking rod 87 is provided in pivotal engagement with each of the keys 73. Such striking means may be of any desired shape, but usually they include the rods 86 and 87 as described and with each of these rods having a head 88 thereon and with a layer of a suitable padding 89 being carried by the upper surface of this head 88. Any suitable spring members 90 are afiixed to the keys 70 and 73 and, in the embodiment of the invention as shown, continually urge the rods 86 and 87 rearwardly of the keys 70 and 73 so as to position the rods 86 and 87 and members thereon in operative position. The striking means or rod 86 is shown pivotally secured to the key 70 by a U-shaped or channel bracket or section 96 that for example is secured to the upper surface of the key 70 by screws 97 and 98. The screw 98 may also engage the lower end of the spring 90 to position such spring. A pin or shaft 99 extends across and engages the bracket 96 to form a stop to limit movement of the rod 86. The rod is pivotally secured to the bracket 96 by a rod or shaft 102 engaging the bracket. A downwardly extending control rod or screw 92 is secured to the jack 83 and it may be adjustable in relation theretofif desired. The control rod 92 is in vertical alignment with the head 88 and is immediately thereadjacent whereby anyone striking or playing one of the keys 70 will cause the head 88 thereon to lift the jack 83 vertically and cause a plucking of the wire 78.
It will be seen that the jack 83 also has an adjustable elongate control rod 93 extending vertically downwardly from the lower end thereof and that such control rod terminates immediately above the head 88 on the control or striking rod 87. Thus, this same jack 83 can also be played by actuation of one of the keys 173 in the lower keyboard or register of the harpsichord.
It will be seen that the control rods or extension means 92 and 83 are secured to axially spaced portions of the jack 83 when considering the wider dimension of the jack to be on the longitudinal axes of one of the keys 70 and 173. Such keys are of such length as to have an operative portion of each of the striker means or rods directly below and adjacent the lower ends of the extension means 92 and 93.
While the prior embodiment of the invention shows a rotary type of a control member for turning the individual strings of a register from an off to an on position, and vice versa, in this instance, a guide or control bar 94 is operatively positioned and extends longitudinally of the register behind each of the rods 86 on the upper keyboard or register and with a similar control bar or rod being positioned behind each of the guide or striker rods or bars 87 in the lower keyboard or register of the harpsichord. While not shown in the drawings, any known members, such as the control rod or shaft 49 and a hand control lever or knob 53 may be connected to each of these control bars 94 and 95 to move one or both of them depthwise of the harpsichord and thus, in the structure shown in FIG. 7, to move such control bars forwardly so as to move one or both of the sets of the rods 86 and 87 forwardly to inoperative positions so that the headed members, or rods, or equivalent means, would not contact the jack 83 when either one of the keys 70 or of the keys 173 is played, depending upon the positions of the control bars for the striking means associated with each of these keys in the registers as shown. Or levers 100 and 101 may connect to the bars 94 and 95 and be moved by control means such as foot pedals operatively controlling movement of such levers.
By the construction of the present invention, the control means can be used, as desired, for alternately bringing the 4 ft. register into or out of operative position with either upper or lower keyboards or both of them.
It should be realized that the features of the present invention include the positioning of the individual jacks in the harpsichord for only vertical movement and that any set or register of keys on any keyboard in the harpsichord can be brought into and out of operative Position readily by providing means thereon like the individual striker means or rods 86 in the upper keyboard and with an individual control bar 94 being associated with each register of striker means on the keys 70. Counterweights may or may not be used in the harpsichord when practicing the features of the invention as desired.
The apparatus of the invention is relatively sturdy and has only a relatively few movable parts, none of which can easily go out of adjustment or become damaged or impaired under normal operating conditions. Particularly, the jacks 16 can be positioned accurately in fixed relationship to their associated strings by being snugly but not frictionally engaged with individual 10- cating apertures in the spaced parallel guide bars 20 and 21. The jacks are not moved in relationship to the guides except for controlled vertical actuating movement so that the jacks can be adjusted for exactly the type of striking action desired. The counterweights 30, when used, may be received in the same individual aperture 23 in the guide bar 20 as its associated jack but the individual apertures 28 and 33 for the control rods for the jacks and counterweights in the guide bar 21 aid in positioning such members accurately. The apparatus is not extremely complicated to build and the parts thereof, such as the jacks and counterweights usually are removably carried in their positioning means so that the individual members can be readily removed for inspection and/or repair when necessary. The jacks and 'counterweights are retained in vertical positions by their positioning means and any desired number of parallel guide bars may be used to provide for only vertical movement of the jacks and/ or counterweights.
From the foregoing, it is believed that a novel and improved harpsichord has been provided and that novel and improved but simplified types of jack positioning means are provided andjack actuating members so that the present invention has simplified and improved and made more dependable the construction of the harpsichord. A register may selectively be played by one or two keyboards, as desired and such keyboard may control other registers or not as desired. Obviously the novel means of the invention can be associated with all, one or more registers controlled by any selected keyboard.
While several complete embodiments of the invention have been disclosed herein, it will be appreciated that modification of these particular embodiments of the invention may be resorted to without departing from the scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. In a musical instrument having a frame, a plurality of strings secured to the frame, a plurality of pivotally positioned keys, and a plurality of plucking means individually operably associated with the individual strings and controlled by the keys, each plucking means including a vertically movable jack, the jacks being aligned and defining a vertical plane, the improvement comprismg means positioning said jacks individually above individual keys of one register adjacent and above the posterior ends thereof for only vertical movement, an upwardly extending striking means pivotally carried by each of said keys as the posterior end thereof and being adapted to be individually positioned below a said jack for such said key, and
control means for said striking means to move same alternately to operative and inoperative positions in relation to a said jack for a said key.
2. A musical instrument as in claim 1 where an elongate counterweight is positioned adjacent each of said jacks and above a said key for only vertical upward movement, and
said control means position said striking means to engage a said counterweight or a said jack whereby the striking action for a said key is constant at all times.
3. In a musical instrument as in claim 1 where spring means urge said striking means axially of a key at all times,
said control means include a member positioned adjacent and extending along a series of said striking means for one register, and
means operatively engaging said member to move it for engaging said striking means to move them from one position to another against the action of said spring means upon movement of said member.
4. In a musical instrument as in claim 2 the improvement of said striking means comprising two upwardly extending arms one of which is engaged by said control means to be moved to inoperative position at all times, one of said arms being engageable only with a said jack and the other arm being engageable with a said counterweight.
5. In a musical instrument as in claim 4, ment comprising r a said control means including a rotatable shaft,
a pair of arm means carried by said shaft with the pair of arm means being circumferentially offset from each other and being adapted to engage an individual striking means, and
means engaging said shaft to move it through an arc to move one arm means into engagement with a striking means to move it to inoperative position.
6. In a musical instrument as in claim 2, the improvement comprising positioning means including an upper guide bar having apertures therein through which said jacks and counterweights extend for only reciprocating vertical movement,
stop means engaging said jacks and said counterweights to limit downward movement thereof,
a control rod carried byeach of said jacks and said counterweights and extending downwardly therefrom, and r a lower guide bar having apertures therein through which said control rods extend and terminate above and adjacent to individual ones of said striking means.
7. In a musical instrument having a frame, a plurality of strings secured to the frame to form a plurality of registers therein, a plurality of pivotally positioned keys positioned in different keyboards for the different registers, and a plurality of plucking means individually operably associated with the individual strings and controlled by the keys, each plucking means including a vertically movable jack, the jacks being aligned and defining a vertical plane, the improvement comprising means positioning said jacks operatively'Yabove individual keys adjacent and above the posterior ends thereof for vertical movement and where the jacks of at least one register can be actuated by the keys from two keyboards,
an upwardly extending striking means pivotally carried by each of said keys of said two keyboards at the posterior ends thereof and individually positioned below a said jack for such said keys,.each of said striking means being movable to an operative position for engaging its said jack and to an inoperative position, and
control means for said striking means of said two keyboards to move the said striking means for one keyboard to operative and to inoperative positions as desired whereby the same register can be selectively played by either or both of said keyboards.
8. In a musical instrument as in claim 7, where upper and lower keyboards are provided and where said jacks for said one register have a pair of extension means secured thereto and extending downwardly; therefrom at axially spaced portions thereof to terminate operatively above a posterior portion of a key from each of two said. keyboards to be engageable by a key from each of said keyboards.
the improve- References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS, 3,339,442 9/1967 Korbet.
RICHARD B. WILKINSON, Primary Examiner I. F. GONZALES, Assistant Examiner
US788979*A 1968-11-06 1968-11-06 Harpsichord with vertical engagement action for jacks Expired - Lifetime US3478630A (en)

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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3785237A (en) * 1971-04-15 1974-01-15 R Schutze Harpsichord mechanism
US4099440A (en) * 1976-12-06 1978-07-11 Ellis Barron Plectrum piano action

Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3339442A (en) * 1966-09-27 1967-09-05 Korbet Stephen Harpsichord plucking mechanism

Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3339442A (en) * 1966-09-27 1967-09-05 Korbet Stephen Harpsichord plucking mechanism

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3785237A (en) * 1971-04-15 1974-01-15 R Schutze Harpsichord mechanism
US4099440A (en) * 1976-12-06 1978-07-11 Ellis Barron Plectrum piano action

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