US3611860A - Mouthpiece for musical instruments - Google Patents

Mouthpiece for musical instruments Download PDF

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Publication number
US3611860A
US3611860A US848525A US3611860DA US3611860A US 3611860 A US3611860 A US 3611860A US 848525 A US848525 A US 848525A US 3611860D A US3611860D A US 3611860DA US 3611860 A US3611860 A US 3611860A
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mouthpiece
rim
lips
shank
cavity
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US848525A
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Lawrence B Tichenor
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Lawrence B Tichenor
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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
    • G10D9/00Details of, or accessories for, wind musical instruments
    • G10D9/02Mouthpieces; Reeds; Ligatures
    • G10D9/03Cupped mouthpieces

Abstract

A mouthpiece for brass musical instruments is disclosed wherein the open end of the mouthpiece is curved to conform with the shape of the user''s mouth. The open end of the mouthpiece is generally concave as viewed from the side, and is elliptical as viewed from the end. The shape of the mouthpiece cavity is generally ellipsoid.

Description

United States Patent inventor Lawrence 1!. Tiehenor 3505 Robert E. Lee Place, Apt. 204, Alexandria, Va. 2230 Appl. No. 848,525

Filed Aug. 8, 1969 Patented Oct. 12, 1971 MOUTHPIECE FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS 1 Claim, 4 Drawing Figs.

u.s.c| 84/398 1m.c| 601d 9/02 FieldofSearch "84/398,399

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1932 l-liner.. 84/399 FOREIGN PATENTS 843,051 7/1952 Germany 84/398 1,217,155 5/1960 France 84/399 Primary ExaminerRichard B. Wilkinson Assistant Examiner-Lawrence R. Franklin Attorney-Jones & Lockwood ABSTRACT: A mouthpiece for brass musical instruments is disclosed wherein the open end of the mouthpiece is curved to conform with the shape of the user's mouth. The open end of the mouthpiece is generally concave as viewed from the side. and is elliptical as viewed from the end. The shapeof the mouthpiece cavity is generally ellipsoid.

MOUTHPIECE FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates, in general, to an improved mouthpiece for a musical instrument and, in particular, to a mouthpiece for a brass wind musical instrument such as a trumpet, a coronet, a tuba, a trombone, or the like, where notes are produced by vibrations of the player's lips. The improved mouthpiece has a modified shape which provides greater comfort to. the player of the instrument and improves his performance.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART the instrument itself to produce notes of different frequencies.

It is very desirable for a performer to be able to produce clear sustained notes over a period of time, without excessive fatigue, and numerous efforts have been made to accomplish this objective through additions to and modifications of the conventional mouthpieces. For example, a mouthpiece having a concave supporting ring surrounding the conventional annular mouthpiece has been proposed with the idea of supporting the performers lips so as to avoid lip paralysis by distributing the pressure over a greater area. Mouthpieces with bowls or cavities of various shapes have been used in an attempt to improve the quality and the range of the notes produced. But none of these modifications have been entirely successful in providing both improved performance and increased comfort to the user.

In addition to the problems of range and quality of the notes and lip fatigue experienced by the accomplished musician, an additional problem confronts young players who are faced with the prospect of wearing braces on their teeth. Since the conventional mouthpiece is generally circular in shape, the pressure required to play an instrument is concentrated in a small area of the upper and lower lips. This pressure point generally lies in the area where the upper lip covers the braces, resulting in considerable injury to the lip if sustained playing is attempted. Thus, a requirement for braces virtually eliminates the playing of brass musical instruments.

A related problem is experienced by players who must use false teeth, for the pressure point of a conventional mouthpiece against the upper lip tends to dislodge the teeth. This makes it very difficult and uncomfortable for such persons to play these instruments.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The object of the present invention is to overcome the foregoing problems existing with conventional mouthpieces, byproviding a mouthpiece having a generally concave and elliptical head, or rim, and an ellipsoidal cavity. The concave head is curved in general conformance with the normal curvature of the upper jaw of a player, thereby to provide increased contact between the player's lips and the mouthpiece. This added contact distributes the pressure on the lips, which are clamped between the metal mouthpiece and the teeth, and provides improved support and comfort. In addition, the greater extent of the contact area permits a greater part of the player's lips to vibrate in producing the muscial sound, and thus reduces lip fatigue while permitting an increased volume of sound with a decreased expenditure of air.

The distribution of pressure is especially helpful to the young musicians who wear braces and to those musicians who use false teeth. It has been found that with the improved mouthpiece of this invention, these players are able to continue, where previously they would have been required to give up brassinstruments because of the discomfort.

The combination of the curved headofthe mouthpiece of the present invention with a cavity or ,bowl of-ellipsoidalshape also affects the vibration, of the lipsand'of 1the' 'air column in such a way that notes of higher frequencieslare-more easily produced than was possible with conventionalirmouthpieces. Consequently, this invention achieves the objectives'of' permitting the production of clear sustained notes of higli pitch and increased volume with decreased effort and greater lip comfort than was deemed possible in the prior art.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The novel features of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims, but the invention will be-understood more clearly and fully from the detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the invention, as set forth in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a mouthpiece in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the mouthpiece viewed from the top;

FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view of the mouthpiece taken along line 33 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view of the mouthpiece taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the perspective view of FIG. I, the numeral 10 generally indicates a mouthpiece constructed in accordance with the present invention. As shown, the mouthpiece consists of two parts, a head portion 12 and a shank portion 16. The head portion I2 has a curved top 18 which, as viewed from the side in FIGS. I and 3, preferably is concave. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the mouthpiece 10 also is noncircular, when viewed from the open end, being generally oval in shape, and preferably elliptical, to further conform to the shape of a usersmouth and lips. The rim is of such a shape that its dimension along a first axis perpendicular to the shank is greater than its dimension along a second axis perpendicular to both the shank and the first axis. This oval-shaped rim defines a bowl 14 which is nonspherical and preferably ellipsoidal. The bowl or cavity I4 tapers into the shank portion 16 which is adapted to fit into a musical instrument.

The curvature of the top, or rim, 18 of the head portion 12 may be defined as being concave with respect to a plane perpendicular to the axis of the shank portion 16, and generally oval when projected onto that plane. The concavity and the oval shape cooperate to provide improved support to the back and front portions of a performers upper and lower lips, that is, the portions of the lips adjacent the teeth and adjacent the mouthpiece when the lips are compressed between the front teeth and the rim 18 of the mouthpiece, for the shape of the rim distributes the force over a greater area of the lips than is the case with the single pressure point in conventional mouthpieces. This provides greater comfort to the players lips and enables him to vibrate his lips uniformly.

Cavity or bowl I4 of the head portion 12 of the mouthpiece 10 is nonspherical, preferably ellipsoidal, in order to conform with the noncircular shape of the rim. By providing a smooth transition curvature from the rim to the shank, vibrations induced in the cavity are directed much more effectiveiy through the shank 16 into the air column of the brass wind musical instrument indicated at 22 in FIG. 1.

The construction of the bowl or cavity 14 is further illustrated in FIG. 2 which is the top view of the mouthpiece looking into the open end thereof. The lower end of the shank 16 is circular, as that portion is designed to fit snugly into a brass musical instrument, in the conventional manner, while the top of the shank is elliptical as it joins the bottom of the ellipsoidal bowl 14 in the area generally indicated at 24.

FIG. 3 and FIG. 4 illustrate the vertical sectional views of the mouthpiece taken along line 3-3 and 4-4 respectively of FIG. 2.

The FlGrS view ofthe mouthpiece illustrates more clearly the manner. in which the rim 18 is concave, with the lowest portion 26 of. the rim being adapted to receive the center part of the players lips. With the conventional mouthpiece, only a small area corresponding to this point would contact the lips; however, the curvature of the present mouthpiece from portion 26 up to the high end parts 28 and 30 together with the oval shape of the rim causes the mouthpiece to conform to the normal shape of the players mouth, and thus provides the desired results. The oval shape and the curvature is further illustrated in FIG. 4, where the raised end part 28 is seen in the cross-sectional view. In both FIGS. 3 and 4 the cavity 14 and the manner in which it tapers into shank 16 is generally illustrated, it being understood that the exact dimensions and configuration may vary from that illustrated. As shown in cross section in these figures, the bottom 24 of the ellipsoidal bowl or cavity 14 is cup-shaped, i.e., it is generally rounded in the form of a paraboloid or a spheroid. It will be further noted in these figures that the rim, or top 18 is smoothly rounded in cross section, in the conventional manner.

As has been described, the present invention permits the lips to be in contact with virtually the entire concave, elliptical top of the mouthpiece, providing improved support for them and making it easier for the performer to control the vibrations of the free portions of his lips. This feature makes it quite easy for a person with false teeth or a person wearing braces to play a brass musical instrument.

Having described fully as preferred embodiment of the present invention, it will be understood that many variations are possible to those skilled in the art, and the invention, in its broader aspect, is not limited to the particular embodiment shown and described. For example, the curvature of the top of the head portion may be more or less concave, as desired, to fit various players, and the size and shape of the bowl may vary depending, among other things upon the particular brass wind musical instrument to be used.

1 claim:

1. A mouthpiece for brass wind musical instruments comprising a generally cup-shaped head portion and a shank portion, said head portion having a rim which is adapted to receive the lips of a player, said rim being generally concave with respect to a plane perpendicular to said shank, and the projection of said rim on said plane being substantially oval, whereby said rim conforms to the natural shape of the lips of a' player, said cup-shaped head including an ellipsoidal cavity, the upper edge of which is defined by said rim, the dimension of said cavity along a first axis perpendicular to the shank of the mouthpiece being of greater length than the dimension of said cavity along a second axis at right angles to both the said first axis and the shank, whereby said mouthpiece supports the players lips and permits improved range and volume to be obtained from said instrument with reduced effort.

Claims (1)

1. A mouthpiece for brass wind musical instruments comprising a generally cup-shaped head portion and a shank portion, said head portion having a rim which is adapted to receive the lips of a player, said rim being generally concave with respect to a plane perpendicular to said shank, and the projection of said rim on said plane being substantially oval, whereby said rim conforms to the natural shape of the lips of a player, said cup-shaped head including an ellipsoidal cavity, the upper edge of which is defined by said rim, the dimension of said cavity along a first axis perpendicular to the shank of the mouthpiece being of greater length than the dimension of said cavity along a second axis at right angles to both the said first axis and the shank, whereby said mouthpiece supports the player''s lips and permits improved range and volume to be obtained from said instrument with reduced effort.
US848525A 1969-08-08 1969-08-08 Mouthpiece for musical instruments Expired - Lifetime US3611860A (en)

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Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5353673A (en) * 1993-09-07 1994-10-11 Lynch John H Brass-wind musical instrument mouthpiece with radially asymmetric lip restrictor
FR2834815A1 (en) * 2002-01-14 2003-07-18 Laurent Ville Mouthpiece for musical instrument comprises spout connected at one end to tail having internal bore, and has elliptical interior and exterior contours
GB2388240A (en) * 2002-05-01 2003-11-05 Anthony George Barrett Mouthpiece with inclined rim
JP2010066355A (en) * 2008-09-09 2010-03-25 Akira Noguchi Mouthpiece for brass instrument
US20100147135A1 (en) * 2007-05-18 2010-06-17 Harrison David W Brass-Wind Mouthpiece
US20130104723A1 (en) * 2011-10-28 2013-05-02 David Bruce Griffin Mouthpiece for Brass-Wind Musical Instrument
DE102018001210A1 (en) * 2018-02-14 2019-08-14 Günther Kainz ergonomic mouthpiece for brass players
US10699680B2 (en) 2018-10-17 2020-06-30 Robert Trowers Elliptical high-mass mouthpiece for brass musical instruments

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1852749A (en) * 1929-11-18 1932-04-05 Hiner Edwin Morrison Mouthpiece for wind musical instruments
DE843051C (en) * 1950-08-31 1952-07-03 Walter Uhlemann Mouthpiece for Brass
FR1217155A (en) * 1958-12-02 1960-05-02 Improvements to wind musical instruments

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1852749A (en) * 1929-11-18 1932-04-05 Hiner Edwin Morrison Mouthpiece for wind musical instruments
DE843051C (en) * 1950-08-31 1952-07-03 Walter Uhlemann Mouthpiece for Brass
FR1217155A (en) * 1958-12-02 1960-05-02 Improvements to wind musical instruments

Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5353673A (en) * 1993-09-07 1994-10-11 Lynch John H Brass-wind musical instrument mouthpiece with radially asymmetric lip restrictor
FR2834815A1 (en) * 2002-01-14 2003-07-18 Laurent Ville Mouthpiece for musical instrument comprises spout connected at one end to tail having internal bore, and has elliptical interior and exterior contours
GB2388240A (en) * 2002-05-01 2003-11-05 Anthony George Barrett Mouthpiece with inclined rim
US20100147135A1 (en) * 2007-05-18 2010-06-17 Harrison David W Brass-Wind Mouthpiece
US7893333B2 (en) 2007-05-18 2011-02-22 Harrison Mouthpieces Inc. Brass-wind mouthpiece
JP2010066355A (en) * 2008-09-09 2010-03-25 Akira Noguchi Mouthpiece for brass instrument
US20130104723A1 (en) * 2011-10-28 2013-05-02 David Bruce Griffin Mouthpiece for Brass-Wind Musical Instrument
DE102018001210A1 (en) * 2018-02-14 2019-08-14 Günther Kainz ergonomic mouthpiece for brass players
US10699680B2 (en) 2018-10-17 2020-06-30 Robert Trowers Elliptical high-mass mouthpiece for brass musical instruments

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