US3701834A - Kettledrum and tuning mechanism therefor - Google Patents

Kettledrum and tuning mechanism therefor Download PDF

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US3701834A
US3701834A US3701834DA US3701834A US 3701834 A US3701834 A US 3701834A US 3701834D A US3701834D A US 3701834DA US 3701834 A US3701834 A US 3701834A
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drumhead
master
pedal
pitch
spring
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Alfred M Rubio
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Fender Musical Instruments Corp
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CBS Broadcasting Inc
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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
    • G10D13/00Percussion musical instruments; Details or accessories therefor
    • G10D13/01General design of percussion musical instruments
    • G10D13/04Timpani

Abstract

A kettledrum or the like incorporating a tuning mechanism whereby the timpanist may change the pitch of the drumhead over a range of at least a full octave by merely moving a foot pedal and without making any other adjustments. A linkage and counterbalancing spring means are so related to each other that the torques in opposite directions about a pivot point remain generally balanced throughout the full octave range, in order that the timpanist may achieve any desired pitch in a simple and accurate manner and without the necessity for excessive foot pressure. Friction brake means are employed to insure that the pedal will remain in any position to which it is adjusted by the timpanist, but the indicated torques are such that the amount of drag required from the friction brake is not great. Two interconnected four-bar linkages connect the foot pedal with the drumhead. One of such linkages is associated with a fine-tuning means which is readily adjustable by the timpanist without leaning over the drumhead. Such fine-tuning means complements a quick-acting master-tuning element. The linkages and associated elements are such that there is no ''''hair trigger'''' action at any portion of the scale. Instead, a reasonable degree of foot pedal pivot is required to change from any desired pitch to the pitch next higher or next lower. Means are provided to lock the foot pedal, when the instrument is not in use, in order to achieve various benefits including ease of drumhead changing.

Description

United States Patent Rubio l KETTLEDRUM ANDITUNING MECHANISM THEREFOR 72] Inventor: AlfredM. Rubio, Chicago, n.

73 Assigneei Columbia Broadcasting System, 1116.,

New York, NY.

22 Filed: May 10,1971 21 Appl.No.: 142,018

2 Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation of Ser. No. 822,542, May 7,

1969, abandoned.

[52] U.S. Cl ..84/4l9 Leedy Catalog NO. 44, Elkhart, Ind, 1939, pp. 56 and 57 Oct. 31, 1972 Examiner Richard E, Wilkinson 2 Assistant Examiner-John F. Gonzales Attorney-w-Gausewitz Carr 57 ABS RACT A kettledrum or the like incorporating a tuning mechanism whereby the timpanist may change the pitch of the drumhead over a range of at least a full octave by merely moving a foot pedal and without making any other adjustments. A linkage and counterbalancing springmeans are so related to each other that the torques in opposite directions about a pivot point remain generally balanced'throughout the full octave range, in order that the timpanist may achieve any desired pitch in a simple and accurate manner and without the necessity for excessive foot pressure. Friction brake means are employed to insure that the pedal will remain in any position to which it is adjusted by the timpanist, but the indicated torques are such that the amount of drag required from the frictionbrake is not great. Two interconnected four-bar linkages connect the foot pedal with the drumhead. One of such linkages is associated with a fine-tuning means which is readily adjustable by the timpanist without leaning over the drumhead. Such fine-tuning means complements a quick-acting master-tuning element. The linkages and associated elements are such that there is no hair trigger action at any portion of the scale. Instead, a reasonable degree of foot pedal pivot is required to change from any desired pitch to th itch next hi er or next 1 wer. Means are rovide to lock the oot pedal, when the instrumerit is not in use, in order to achieve various benefits including ease of drumhead changing.

32 Ch e, 9 D s in: Figures P'A'TENTEDUMI ma 3.701.834

sum 1 0F 4] IINVENTOR.

PHENTEDBBI 31 I972 SHEET 2 OF 4 INVENTOR.

.. PRTENTEDUCUHBTZ" v 3 70148 I SHEET B [If 4 I KET'ILEDRUM AN TUNING MECHANISM I THEREFOR CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION I This application is a' continuation of patent-application Ser. No-822,542, filed'May 7, 1969, for Kertledrum and Tuning Mechanism Therefor. 1

BACKGROUND or THE INVENTION N l.,Field.of'the was...

" over a full octave rangeof drumhead pitches} generally in accordance with, but opposite'to, the

The invention relates to the field of percussive musin 7 SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention comprises linkage means adapted to be operated by a foot pedal in order to tune the drumhead to any desired pitch. The linkage means has associated therewith a counterbalancing spring means adapted to generate at'orquefwhich varies torque exerted on thelinkagemeans by the drumhead, whereby only relativelysmall forces are required to shift the pedal. Friction brake or drag means are provided to maintain the linkage means and pedal motionless at any desired set position over the full operating range of the instrument. ';A fine-tuning means is associated with the linkage meansin such manner that by adjustingonly a singleelement,-located above the pedal, the timpanist mayachieve fine'tuning as desired.

In addition, coarse-tuningmeans are provided to per- 2,276,846, 2,729 ,l33; and 3,163,075. ,The disadvantages of variousones of the mechanisms disclosed by these and other prior-art patents were very substantial, and included (among others) the following: 1

l.- Inability to change 'pitch over a full octave in response :6 mere pivoting of a quick-acting and easy- I -to-use foot pedal or the like, as distinguished from some slow-acting and/or cumbersome mechanism such as (for examplelthe hand wheel shown in U.S. Pat. No. 2,070,032. i

1 2. The difficulty or impracticality of maintaining the foot pedal in the desired position. I

3. Hair trigger" operation at oneen'd of the range of pitches, so thata slight movementof the pedal resulted in an excessive; pitch change, with consequent difficulty of achieving the proper pitch. 1

mit the timpanist to quickly set the range prior to the beginning of any performance. Means are provided to lock the pedal during shipment and during changing of the drumhead. I

Stated more specifically, the lin kage means comprises two interconnected fourrbar linkages. The linkages are interconnected at one common element and alsdthrough ground (for example, the frame of the 4. Requirement for excessive pressure on the pedal or' other operating mechanism, with accompanying fatigue on the part of the timpanist. I I

.. 5. Thenecessity for large numbers of bell cranks and other levers positioned at various pointsnear the drum- I head, and which required much adjustment.

6. The difficulty or impossibility of achieving fine tuning of the drumhead, at least without leaning far over the drumhead in an awkward manner, and thus changing the sounds being transmitted.

. 7. The .absence of a very fast-acting. and easily when the drumhead is tuned to a high-pitched co'n'div operated quick-tuning means to adjust the range of the I instrument. j

8. Theabsence of any means to lock the pedal during 9. The use. of balancing springs which are critical in operation and may require adjustment by the timpanist during a musical performance, which adjustment can not be effected without exertion of substantial effort and much inconvenience.

10. The lack of pedal feel which permits the timpanist to sense when-the approximate pitch has been achieved.

I shipment or storage, or during changing of a drumhead. n n

i the same when the drumhead is tuned to a high-pitched pedal mechanism). A pivot point of one of the linkages may be adjusted by the fine-tuning means. The indicated common element has connected thereto the counterbalancing spring means, and the' relationships are such that pivoting of the common element in one direction about its pivot point in response to the tension of the drumhead is substantially counterbalanced by the torque generated by the counterbalancing spring means and acting in the opposite direction. The friction brake means is associated with the foot pedal to insure that it will remain at any set ofposition. j

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS I FIG. is a perspective view ing the present invention;.

FIG. 2 is FlG.l;,v v I FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional. view. on line 3-3 of FIG. 2, and showing the pedal in an up" position C0l'-'.

responding toa relatively low-pitched tuning of the drumhead;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view corresponding to FIG. 3 but showing the pedal position, and related link positions,

tion; I

FIG. 5 is a horizontal sectional view showing thelinkageand foot pedal mechanism, and taken generally on line 5-5 of FIG. 3; 1

FIG. 6 is a vertical sectional view online 6-6 of FIG. 3; v V

' FIG. 7 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view on line 7--7 of FIG. 5; 1 In FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view on line 8-8 of FIG.7;and M FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic showing of the linkage means and associated elements incorporated in the preferred embodiment of the invention, and showing condition.

of a timpani incorporata horizontal sectional view on line 2 20f I a 7 DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRE EMBODIMENT A substantial number of struts l2are connected at their lower ends to ring 11 and extend upwardly therefrom to a bridgering 13 to support the same, the

bridge ring in turn supporting in dependent relationship the bowl 14 of the kettledrum. A drumhead 16 is stretched over bridge ring 13 and has seated on the pgripheral (flesh hoop) portions thereof a counterhoop l A plurality of-pull rods 18 extend downwardly from the counterhoop 17 to a connector or spider 19 which is movably mounted within the base ring 11. It follows that vertical movement of the spider 19 operates through pull rods 18 and counterhoop 17 to change the tension on drumhead 16 and thus tune the same so that'it will. produce differently-pitchedsounds when struck by conventional beaters or mallets.

For a detaileddescription of the bridge ring 13 and associated frame, pull rod and other elements, reference is made to co-pending patent application Ser.

.No. 823,539., now.-U.S. Pat. No. 3,608,418, for a Kettledrum, filed on even date herewith, such application being assigned'to the assignee of the present invention.

The foot pedal, linkage and spring portions of the kettledrum will be referred to as the tuning mechanism. Such mechanism is manufactured and assem bled independently of the above-specified elements of 'the kettledrum. It is thereafter connected .to spider 19 (as described below) and mounted to base ring 11.

generally within housing 10.

The tuning mechanism includes a frame'21 formed shaft-37 which is located onthe same'side of the ketby elongated parallel side plates disposed in vertical planes, and having at the outer ends thereof foot portions 22 adapted to be supported on the floor. Foot portions 22 cooperate with caster assemblies 23 (FIGS. 1 and 2) to provide support for the kettledrum. The mounting of the frame 21 to base ring 11 may be effectedby fasteners (not shown) extending through angle bars' 24 (FIGS. 5 and 6) which are suitably secured to the sides of the vertical frame elements. The caster assemblies 23 are connected to the base ring by fasteners (not shown).

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE TUNING MECHANISM A foot pedal 26 is pivotally mounted at the outer end of frame 21 for operation by the timpanist in order to change rapidly the tuning of drumhead 16. Such foot pedal is connected through linkage means 27 with a master pull bar 28 and thus with spider 19, the relationship being such that pivoting of foot pedal 26 effects the above-mentioned vertical actuation of the spider 19 in order to change the drumhead tension.

Throughout the very wide operating range of the linkage means 27, corresponding to at least a fulloctave range of drumhead pitches, the drumhead tension is substantially counterbalanced by spring means 29 associated with the linkage means 27. Friction brake or drag means 31 are associated with the linkage means in order to insure that inequalities between the torque ex nally threaded end of fine-tuning shaft 37. Shaft 37 exgrasp the ring 33 to turn nut 32 and thus shift spider 19 downwardly or upwardly relative to the master pull bar. This is the master or coarse? tuningadjustment of the kettledrum tuning mechanism, and is. normally not changed during any musical performance but, instead, only infrequently. The master tuning means determines the range of pitches achieved by the drumhead in response to pivoting of pedal 26.

A fine tuning adjustment is a feature of the present tuning mechanism, and is indicated at 34 as comprising means for shifting one of the pivot points of the linkage means 27 in such manner as to achieve a. very sensitive tuning of the drumhead 1 6. The'fine-tuning means 34 is operated by turning a, wheel 36 (FIG. 1') to rotate a tledrum as is the pedal "26, so that itmay be. readily operated by the timpanist without moving and without leaning over the drumhead 16 and thus changing the sound transmitted therefrom.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE TUNING MECHANISM Parallel plates 39 are rigidly secured (as by welding) in depending relationship from the underside of foot pedal 26, and have extended therethrough and through the side plates of, frame 21 the horizontal pivot pin 40 about which the pedal pivots. Corresponding peripheral regions of plates 39 are connected by a pivot pin 41 with the outer end'of a long and generally horizontal link 42. The inner end of such link is con- .nected by a pivot pin 43 with a master link 44, the latter in turn being pivoted by a strong pin 46to the parallel sides of frame 21 as best shown in FIG. 6.

The master link 44, and certain other links in linkage means 27, may begenerally channel-sectioned, boxsectioned, etc. Suitable spacer means are provided to maintain the proper spacing between the links and the parallel sides of frame 21.

In addition to being connected by pin 43 to link 42, master link 44 is connected by a pivot pin 47 to a link 48 extending upwardly-to a generally horizontal link 49. More specifically, the upper end of link 48 is pivotally connected by a pin 51 with the inner end (remote from foot pedal 26) of link 49, whereas a midportion of such link 49 ispivotally connected by a pin 52 with a yoke 53 to which the master pull bar 28 is anchored (as by a threaded connection and set screw).

above-indicated fine-tuning means 34. Such lever is pivoted by a fulcrum pin 57 to the sides of frame 21.

The end of lever 56 toward foot pedal 26 has pivotally mounted therein an internally threaded element 58 which threadedly receives the lower and extertends upwardly through an opening in base ring 11 and is rotatably mountedby suitable means including collars the lower oneof which is indicated at 59. Such collars are fixed on shaft 37 and insure that it may not move axially relative to base ring 11, or-relative-to bridge ring 13 (to-which the upper end of shaft 37 is rotatably connected). It follows that turning of shaft 37 by wheel 36 will raise or lower the outer end of lever 56. This changesthe, verticalposition of pivot pin 54 and thus raises or lowers yoke 53 to effect vertical shift ing of master pull bar 28 for fine tuning of head 16.

Fulcrum pin 57 is locatedclose to pivot pin 54, and a long distance from element 58. Therefore, turning of fine-tuningwheel 36'effects only a gradual movement of pin 54'and thus of the master pull bar 28: An exceedingly precise tuning of .head 16 may thus be achieved by thetimpanist.

Proceeding next to-a description of the counter-- balancingspring means 29, this is illustrated to comprise a pair (FIG. of compression spring devices con- .26,.friction elements or shoes 71 are provided in bear- ;ingengagement with the outer surfaces of such plates.

' Thefacings on the friction elements 71 may be formed, .for example, of cork or the like.'Set screws 72 (FIG. 5)

are threaded through the opposed side'plate's offrame 21 and into engagement with intermediate portions of springs 69, beinga'djustable (by drum'keys) in-order to vary the degree of compression (and thus the amount of friction) at the'interfaces between the shoes 71 and high-pitch setting. The foot pressure required to achieve low-pitch drumhead settings is far less, such as 10 pounds. Suchminimumrequirements are due to the v generalcounterbalancing action of the spring means 29 nected between master link 44. and the vertical side 7 plates of frame '21. More, specifically, a pin 61 em-' ployed to pivotally connect'the corresponding ends of the two spring devices 29 to master link 44, whereas stub ;shafts 62 are employed to connect the opposite ends of spring devices29 to the side plates-of frame 21.

Referring particularly to.FIG."7, only one spring device will be describe'd'in detail, the other one being identical thereto. Each spring device comprises a generally helical compression spring 63 which is mounted around a rod 64 in a spring guide 65, being seated at one end on a nut 66 through which the inner end of rod 64 is threaded. The other end of the spring is seated onthe outer end of the spring guide 65. As shown in FIG. 8, nut 66 is square and is adapted to slide non-rotatably along opposed sides of spring guide 65, so that turning of the rod will effect adjustment of the nut along the rod and thus change the degree of compression'ofthe spring.

Each of the above-indicated stub shafts 62 has a bore therethrough to receive the rod. A combination stop and rod-actuating means 67 is fixedly secured to the inner rod end. Thus, turning of the actuating means 67 effects rotation of the rod to shift nut 66 and thus change the degree of spring compression. The actuating means 67 is so shaped that it may be operated by a drum key.

Each stub shaft 62 is conically-bored and/or is compressed to a considerable extent.

Continuing to a description of the friction brake or drag means 31, this is best illustrated atthe right ends of FIGS. 3-5, inclusive. Such means comprises a pair of elongated bent spring straps 69 the inner ends of which are secured by fasteners 70 to the opposed side plates of frame 21. At the outer ends of springs 69, adjacent the outersurfaces of the plates 39 which mount pedal throughout thev entire range of operation of .the'instrument, for example at leastya full octave, and as describedhereinafter.

Means are provided to lock the pedal 26 in the upper or'low-tension position .showniin FIG. 3. This insures against accidental operation of the pedal (to unnecessarily tension the drumhead) during shipment and storage of theinstrument, and greatly simplifies changing of the drumhead l6.-Such means may comprise a pivoted lock arm 74 having a notch 75 formed therein for reception of a pin 76. The pin is suitably mounted between the two plates 39. Pivoting of lock arm 74 is about a shaft 76a disposed above feet 22. The amount 7 of friction in shaft 76a is sufficient to maintain arm 74 in anyposition to which it is manually shifted. When the arm 74 is in the upwardly pivoted position .shown in phantom lines in FIG. 3, with the pin 76 received in notch 75, theplates 39 and thus the pedal 26 may not be rotated. The entire mechanism is thus locked as desired for changing of a drumhead, or for shipment and storage purposes. Unlocking of the instrument, prior to a performance,-is readily effected by merely pivoting arm 74 downwardly to the'illustrated solid-line position.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION AND THEORY RELATIVE TO THE LINKAGE MEANs'27, SPRING MEANS 29, ETc.

The connections of the various pivot pins to master link 44 are such that pin 47 is far below pin 46, particularly when the linkage means 27 is in the high-pitch position of FIG. 4, whereas pin 51 is above pin 46. Spring means 29 connect to-link 44 (at pin 61) adjacent the lower end thereof, preferably relatively near the pin 47. Suchspring means connect to the walls of frame 21 (at 62) in a region beneath the portion of base ring 11 which is adjacent foot pedal 26. The connection of link 42 (by pin 43) to the master link 44 is relatively high, being generally at an elevation intermediate the pins 46 and 47 when the linkage is in a high-pitch posi- '29 substantially counter-balance each other throughouta wide range of pitches. The range is at least on the order of one octave, and may be greater relative to at least some diameters of drumheads.

Referring first to FIG. 3, which shows the mechanism in its position causing relatively low-pitch tuning of the kettledrum, the clockwise force exerted by the drumhead 16 on master link 44 is directed along a line A which extends through pivot pins 47 and 51. The torque exerted by such forcealong line A has a torque armor moment arm whichis perpendicular .to line A and intersects pivot pin 46 of the master link. The

In the illustrated embodimen t,the torqueor moment arms indicated above are substantially equal whenthe mechanism is in the low-pitch position of FIG. 3. However, the springs 63 in the two spring devices 29 are then relativelycompressed so that the spring force is great. Such spring force is then somewhat greater than the drumhead force exerted along line A, causing master link 44 to tend topivot counterclockwise, However, the friction brake or drag means 31 are operative to prevent such counterclockwise pivoting movement, and instead maintain the foot pedal 26 in the adjusted position 'for the lowest-pitched note of the desired range.

Referring next to FIG. 4, thetuning mechanism is illustrated in its position adapted to cause creation of the highest-pitched note when the drumhead 16 is struck. The clockwise-force exerted as a result of the drums head tensionis then directed along a line Band has a relatively short moment or torque arm (perpendicular to line B and intersecting pin 46). The spring force is again directedalong the-springmeans 29'.through pivots Hand 62, and has a relatively long moment or torque arm (perpendicular to the spring means and intersecting pin 46). d I

Although the torque arms described relative to FIG. 3 are (in the illustrated linkage'means' 27) approximately equal, they are far from equal when the mechanism is in the position of FIG. 4. Instead, the torque armof the spring means29 is a substantial number of times the torque arm which extends from line B to pivot 46. Such substantial increase in the torque arm from spring means 29 to pivot pin 46 compensates for two factors, namely: (a) the fact that the springs 63 in spring means 29 are much less compressed in FIG. 4 than when they are in the condition of FIG. 3, and (b) the fact that (as described below) relatively great changes in the tension on drumhead 16 are required to produce the higher-pitched notes in the 8 a drumhead when the pedal isin the upwardly-pivoted position of FIG. 3. I I v The clockwise andcounterclockwise. torques about pivot pin 46 are caused to 'be'in substantiallyperfect balance or equilibrium .when pedal 26 is in an intermediate portion of its range of movement. No friction drag or brake means 31 are then required in order to maintain the pedal 26stationary.. In fact, it has been found that in many instances the friction of the system (in the absence of means3l) is sufficient to maintain pedal 26 stationary at any desired position over a relatively wide range which generates neither the highestpitched nor the lowest-pitched notes in the octave. When the pedal is pivoted downwardly to the position resulting in generation of a. high-pitched note, as in FIG. 4, the torque created by the-drumhead 16.is sufficiently great to overpower the torque of spring means 29, so that the friction drag means 31 are required to prevent movement of pedal 26-except when intentionally effected by the timpanist. Conversely, and as above stated, when the pedal 26 is in its upper position,

the spring torque overpowers the drumhead torque and makes necessary the drag means 31 in order to prevent downward pedal pivotingexcept when intentionally effected. lt will therefore be seen that the friction drag means 31 operates in opposite directions, namely, to prevent upward pivoting when pedal 26 is in its lower position, and downward pivoting when pedal 26 is in its upper position. Because of such use of the friction drag means in opposite directions, the drag exerted by the means 31 need not be great in order to cause'the desired fixing of pedal 26 in any position throughout at least an octave range. Accordingly,the foot-pressure requirements of the kettledrum are minimized.

. When the pedal 26' is in its upper position of FIG. 3 or the like, the timpanist need only exert a very low force (for'example, 10 pounds or less) thereon in order to effectshifting to higher-pitched notes in the musical scale. I It is only when the pedal 26 is pivoted downwardly toward the extreme end of the range of operation that the timpanist need exerthigher force in order to change from one note to the next. Such force is, however, less than 25 pounds in all instances. The

differences in the footpedal force permit the timpanist properposition for a particular pitch. In summary, the clockwise and counterclockwise torques about pivot 46 for master link 44 are generally. in balance throughout the entire octave range of the instrument. The word generally denotes that such opposed torques are sufficiently close to being fully balanced that the friction brake 31. (which doesnot produce a high degree of, drag) will maintain pedal 26 stationary at any set position over the entire octave range. Stated more definitely, the torques are sufficiently close to balance that the necessary foot pressure r on the pedal is less than 25 pounds throughout the full octave range. With the present invention, there is never a need to release any brake or lock in order to shift from one pitch to another, and never a need to set any brake or lock in order to remain at any pitch.

The springs 63 and drumhead l6 are both operated in their mid-ranges. Thus, when in the high-pitched position of FIG. 3, the springs 63 are not fully compressed, nor are such springs fully extended (relaxed or 9 free) when in the low-pitch positionof FIG. 4 (being instead prenloaded-as stated above). Similarly, the drumhead 16. is under substantial. tension when in the lowpitch condition of FIG. 3," and is not stretched to its elastic limit when in the high-pitch condition of FIG. 4.

The pedal 26' need only be pivoted downwardly to (or near) the extreme position of FIG. 4, in order to achieve at least a full octave of operation, for certain sizes and types of drumheads 16. For a number of types and sizes of drumheads, a full octave range is achieved by pivoting pedal 26 downwardly only a fraction of the distance from the FIG. 3 position to the FIG. 4 position. Thus, for example, when the diameter of the :drumhead 16 is approximately-2l inches, and the drumhead ,16 is formed of the TypeA,Mylar synthetic resin film. set forth below, the pitch maybe changed-from B (123.47 cycles per second) to B (246.94 cps) the next octave up by pivoting only about 28 or 30 downwardly from a position similar to that illustrated in FIG. 3. Thereafter, by pivoting downwardly anadditional l 19, approximately, the pitches C, C sharp, D

and D sharp may be generated octave range. r I n Thus, the highest-pitched note in the' range depends :upon variousfactors includingjthe drumhead diameter,

abovethe high B in thethickness, type, etc. Nevertheless, 'in various sizes of timpani, for example those with 20-inch, 23-inch, 26'- inch, and 29-inch bowl diameters, a full octave (or greater) rangemay be achieved by pivoting the pedal 26 downwardly from a position similar to that of FIG. 3 to a position similar to that of FIG. 4--(or a position thereabove f i In order to achieve the necessary general balancing of torques throughout a range of operation of at least a full octave, so that the pedal 26 will remain stationary at any point inthe range and without requiring any ad- To state more specifically the torque and torque-arm relationships present in the illustrated linkage means 27 and spring means 29, the drumhead-related torque arm (line A or B to the center of pin 46) becomes shorter, by a factor or ratio of about 3 to 1, during shifting from the-FIG. 3 position to the FIG. 4 position. During the same shifting from the FIG. 3 to the FIG. 4 position, the spring torque arm (the distance from a line between pins 61 and 62 to the center of pin 46) becomes longer, and by a factor or ratio of about I to 2.

As noted above, however, the necessary amount of shifting (in order to achieve a full octave range) for at least some types and sizes of drumheads is less than that represented by FIG. .4, the position for the highestpitched note in the octave range then being intermediate the FIG. 3 position and, the FIG. 4 position. To achieve such intermediate position after being in the FIG. 3 position, the above-indicated drumhead torque arm may become shorter by a factor or ratio of about 1.5 to 1. During the same shifting from the FIG. 3 position to the intermediate position, the above-indicated spring torque arm may become longer by a factor or whenthe mechanism is in any position producing the justments such as in spring pressure, the force line (a line through elements 61 and 62) of spring means 29 should not pass over or very near the pivot pin 46 of master link 44. Thus, even when the force line through pivots 61 and 62 is closest to pivot 46, in the FIG. 3. position, there is still a substantial torque-arm distance between such force line and pivot 46.,

If a condition were to occur when the spring force line passed over or very near the pivot pin 46, two undesirable conditions would result namely: (a) the relative changes of spring torque would be so excessive that it would not be possible or practical to achieve the full octave range or greater without actually adjusting (changing the setting of) spring pressure at some point or points in the range of operation, and.(b) there would be a danger that the spring would (as a result of wear) move over center and tend to create a clockwise torque as distinguished from a counterclockwise torque. Relative to factor (a), in the previous sentence, this would mean that a timpanist could not maintain himself erect and continue bearing on the head 16 throughout a full octave range of operation, but instead would have to stop and stoop over to adjust springs, withgreat difficulty. Relative to factor (b), the over-center operation may in some instances be dangerous, since the pedal 26 could then remain on an on-center position until accidentally touched when it could then (as when the head 16 is broken) snap dangerously to an extreme position.

highest-pitched note-in the octave range of operation. Stated more definitely, the spring torque arm is then greater than the drumhead torque arm by a factor of about 2 or more. i

It is pointed out that certain changes may alter some of the above-indicated ratios or factors, as distinguished from'the directions and manners in which such factors change. For example, each of the two present springs63 has a spring'rate of 44'poun'ds per inch of deflection. The use of springs having somewhat different rates requires correspondingly different torque arms tocreate the same torque as that produced by the present springs. Similarly, the use of different types of drumheads than are specified below may produce changes in the drumhead forces' with corresponding requirements for changes in the drumhead-related torque arm. Another factor relates to the direction of taken into account when determining the torque arm relationships to achieve generally balanced torques about pin 46. I

A major defect of some foot-pedal mechanisms for tuning the heads of timpani is that hair trigger action occurs at the lower end of the range although it is very hard (and requires much force) to achieve the notes at the high end of the range (which range is much more limited than that described herein). By hair trigger action it is meant that only a very slight movement of thepedal or other actuator is required to change from one pitch to the next, and such movement is so slight that, it is difficult for the timpanist to achieve the desired pitch. One reason for this hair trigger action is that only relatively small changes in drumhead tension are required at the low end of a range, such as 30 or 40 pounds pull on the master pull bar 28, in order to change from one low-pitched tone to the next adjacent tone. On the other hand, toward the upper end of the range the force differential which must be exerted on pull bar 28 may be very high, such as hundreds of pounds, in order to change from one tone to the next higher tone.

In order to aid in preventing hair trigger operation of the present linkage system 27, the long link 42 is connected (by pin 41) to plates 39in a very high mechanical-advantage position when the pedal 26 is in its upper position of FIG. 3. This is despite the fact that no high a mechanical advantage is then needed since, as above noted, only a very low force is required to pivot the pedal 26 at the low end of the range.

The radius line through pins 40 and 41 is generally horizontal when pedal 26 is in the upper position. Thus, downward movement of pedal 26 causes substantial downward movement of pin 41 but does not, initially, effect substantial movement of pin 41 (and thus of link 42) to the right. Therefore, at this low-pitch end of the range, substantial pedal travel is required in order to shift pull bar 28 and thus increase the drumhead tension. it follows that the notes ortones are spread out at the low-pitch end as is des'ired in order to permit the timpanist to readily attain the necessary tuned condition.

At the high-pitch end of the range, the radius line through pins 40 and 41 (FIG. 4) approaches the vertical, which meansthat the pedal only exerts a relatively low mechanical advantage relative to link 42. However, this low mechanical advantage is compensated for by the fact that link 48 is then in a very high mechanicaladvantage position relative to master link 44. It follows that, even though the pedal does not then exert a high mechanical advantage on link 42, the combined links 44 and 48 compensate for this and permit the highpitched notes to be achieved without requiring an excessively high foot pressure on the pedal.

In summary, factors including the mechanical-advantage relationship between link 42 and pedal plates 39 are such that the vertical travel of pull rod 28 is very small during pivotal movement of pedal 26 when such pedal is adjacent its position (as in FIG. 3) producing low-pitched tones. At other portions of the range, not at the low end, a smaller amount of pedal movement is required in order to achieve a given amount of vertical shifting of pull rod 28 and thus of the counterhoop 17. The over-all relationship between pedal 26 and pull bar 28 is generally linear except at the indicated lower regions of the range.

The result is that a reasonable amount of pedal movement is required in order to shift from any note in the musical scale to any adjacent note therein, so that the timpanist achieves full control at all times. There is no bunching of pitches, or hair trigger operation, at any region. Relatively even increments of pedal advance are required to change from one tone to the next.

To state the above in another manner, the linkage is so constructed and so related to the foot pedal that shifting of the foot pedal by a predetermined amount effects only a relatively small change in the tension on the drumhead when the foot pedal is in a position producing tuning of the. drumhead to a pitch near the the same predetermined amount effects a substantially larger change in the tension on the drumhead when the foot pedal is in a position producing a relatively highpitched condition in the drumhead, whereby to permit the timpanist to change to adjacent pitches throughout the entire range by shifting the foot pedal relatively equal amounts.

in numerous timpani widely marketed throughout the United States for many years, it wascustomary to require the use of bell cranks or other levers spaced about the periphery of the drumhead. These were employed in order to reduce loading and to achieve mechanical advantages. The present linkage means 27 is such that no such additional bell crank or other levers are required around the drumhead, there instead being straight pull rods 18 which, pass directly downwardly from counterhoop 17 to spider 19. H

Applicant achieves the necessary mechanical advantage, and also an extremely simple and effective finetuning function, through use of the link 49 and the associated link 48 which connects link 49 to master link 44. Referring again to FIGS. 3 and.4, it is pointed out that link 49 pivots above and below the horizontal during movement of the mechanism between low pitch and high-pitch conditions, which means that pivot point 52 moves almost in a straight vertical line as is desired in order to insure against shifting of spider 19 to an off-center position.

Since pivot pin 52 is very much closer to pivot 54 than is pin 51, a second-class lever relationship is created whereby there is a high mechanical advantage between the movement of link 48 and that of pull rod 28. Also, as noted above, there is a high mechanical advantage between the movement of master link 44 and that of link 48 as the mechanism approaches the higher-pitch condition (FIG. 4).

As described heretofore, the present linkage mechanism greatly simplifiesthe achievement of highly precise fine tuning, through operation of wheel 36, rod

37 and lever 56, by a timpanist who need not leave his position or lean over the. drumhead 16. Thus, and although the pedal 26 has been found to permit the timpanist to achieve rapidly any pitch he desired within the range of operation, the timpanist may if he wishes utilize the fine-tuning mechanism in order to adjust the pitch by very slight amounts.

The, linkage means 27 shown in the drawings constitutes two interconnected four-bar linkages. The first of such linkages includes a first link (portions of plates 39) extending from pin 40 to pin 41, a second link 42 leading to pin 43, a third link comprising the portion of master link 44 which extends between pin 43 and pivot pin 46, and a fourth link or ground which extends from pin 46 to pin 40 (through the frame of the apparatus). The link from pin 40 to pin 41 is the input link, and that from pin 43 to pin 46 is the output link.

The second of the two interconnected linkages comprises a portion of master link 44 (the first link) which extends from pivot 46 to pin 47, a second link 48 which extends from pivot 47 to pin 51, a third link 49 from pivot 51 to pivot 54, and a fourth link (ground") which extends through the frame of the apparatus from pin 54 to pin 46. The input link of such second linkage is the portion of link 44 between pivots 46 and 47, whereas the output is the link 49. i

The two linkage systems are interconnected in two ways, the first being that ,ground (the frame of the apparatus) rigidly connects pins 54, 46 and 40. Secondly, the output link of the first system is fixedly connected to the input link of the second system due to the fact that both form part of the same master link 44. The pivot pin 46 is common to both linkages.

The output link. of the second linkage connects to pin 54 which is stationary at all times except during fine tuning when rod 37 is rotated by wheel 36. The fulcrum 57, lever 56, etc., associate pin 54 with the frame of the apparatus which-then may serve as a ground interconnecting such pin 54 with pin 46 as indicated above.

For a detailedillustration showing the linkage means 27 in a position producing a high-pitched sound, reference is made to the diagrammatic FIG. 9. The'four links in each four-bar linkage are shown in solid lines. Certain associated elements are shown in phantom.

The ground links are represented at G. The portions of master link 44 are represented by 44a and 44b.

the timpanist pivots the pedal 26 upwardly to the FIG.

. 3 position and moves the arm 74 into lock position. He

The following table represents a typical set of tim I pani constructed in accordance with the present invention: I

DRUM LOADING vs. COUNTERHOOP TRAVEL Drum size 20 inch 23 inch 26 inch 29 inch (bowl (soprano) (alto) (tenor) (bass) diameter) Low note B A F D (123.47 (103.82 (87.30 (73.41. cps) cps) cps) cps) High note B A" F D (246.94 (207.65 (174.61 (146.83 cps) cps) cps) cps) Counterhoop 0.107 0.120 0.100 0.136 'travel inch inch inch inch Pounds pull at from 200 fromfrom 240 from 160 pull bar 28 to 1300 100 to l300" to 1640 to 1440 (range) Structure 0.077 0.071 0.077 0.107 ,loading inch inch 7 inch inch 1 The expressions low note and high note in the above table do not necessarily denote that this is a full range of operation, it being instead merely the desired range of operation. The structure loading represents 'the summation of the actual flexing of the base ring 11, bridge ring 13, etc., due to the extreme loads impressed thereon. The bridge ring 13 has an upwardly-extending smooth edge (as described in the cited patent application over which the drumhead 16 is stretched. Because of this structure loading, the pull bar 28 moves farther than does the counterhoop 17.

The table represents drumheads 0.0,075 inch in thickness and formed of a polyester synthetic resin film made from polyethylene terephthalate (the polymer formed by the condensation reaction of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid). More specifically, the drumheads represented by the above table were formed of Mylar" polyester resin manufactured by E. I. Du Pont de Nemours, Inc., and designated Type 'A." Other such Mylar" films may also be used, such as one made by Du Font and sold by Remo, Inc., North Hollywood, Calif, under the designation Code No. 6."

then grasps ring 33 and rotates nut 32 to its position at which it is farthest from yoke 53 (relatively loose). As described in the cited co-pending application, the head 16 is then mounted on the upper bearing edge of the resonator ring 13, and the counterhoop 17 is disposed over the flesh hoop which surrounds the head 16. The timpanist then inserts screws 77 (FIG. 1) through holes in counterhoop 17, and threads such screws v77 downwardly into internally-threaded bores in the upper ends of pull rods 18. The screws are turned to fully seated positions, so that the upper ends of the pull rods act as stops. I v

The timpanist then turns the coarse-tuning handle 33 to tighten the nut 32 and pull downwardly on spider l9 and thus rods 18 until the drumhead l6 isapproximately the lowest-pitched condition desired. Preferably, however, thefinal stages of such tuning to the lowpitched tone are not effected until after-the timpanist releases lock arm 74 andpivots pedal 26 downwardly a slight distance (such as 1 or 2.

When the head l6 is thus tuned to its 'lowes't pitched tone, the timpanist may turn one or more of the screws 77 backwardly a small amount in order to insure that the pull is the same around all portions of the counterhoop 17. g

It is then merely necessary for' the timpanist to employ his foot to depress pedal 26 and thus achieve any other desired tone in the full range of operation of the instrument. The pedal 26 remains in any desired position, without foot'pressure, and without the necessity of adjusting any springs or other devices. The amount of force required topivot the pedal downwardly from its low-pitch position is initially very small, and even at the maximum (when the highest-pitched notes are to be achieved) the force is less than 25 pounds.

After any desired pitch has been achieved, the timpanist may wish to make slightadjustments by turning the fine-tuning wheel 36andthus rod 37 in order to pivot lever 56 and change, the position of pull bar 28 by slight amounts as described above.

As indicated heretofore, one feature of the present apparatus is that the increase in foot pressure which occurs when the timpanist pivots from the low-pitch position of FIG. 3 toward the high-pitch position of FIG. 4 is that the timpanist may feel when he is approximately at a position achieving a desired pitch. The pivotal movement of the pedal is, however, simple and relatively free of requirements for exertion. Because the pedal will remain in any position to which the timpanist pivots it, throughout at least a full octave range of operation, and because the timpanist need only pivot Stated more definitely, the timpanist normally achieves a higher-pitched note by pressing downwardly, with his toe, on the portion of pedal 26 to the left (FIGS. 3 and 4) of pivot pin 40. Conversely, the timpanist normally achieves a lower-pitched note by pressing downwardly, with his heel, on the pedal portion to the right (FIGS. 3 and 4) of pin 40.

As indicated above, only a relatively small pedal pressure is required to move from any tone to the next tone in the octave range. Relatively even increments of pedal advance are required to change from one tone to the next, there being no hair trigger operation as stated above.

As stated above, an important disadvantage of various prior-art timpani is that the tuning mechanisms thereof were not very fast-acting. The present mechanism is extremely fast-acting, particularly since no brake or clutch need be released in order to permit pitch adjustment in either'direction from one tone to the next.

Suitable stop means may be provided for the pedal 26. Thus, in FIG. 4 the outer ends of the sides of frame 21 are shown as cut off at 45 angles in order to seat the underside of the pedal 26 when it is in its FIG. 3 position. The upper edges of such plates stop the pedal in its FIG. 4' position.

What is claimed is:

l. A tuning apparatus for the drumhead of a kettledrum, which comprises:

a foot pedal adapted to be engaged by the timpanist and operated thereby,

means to pivotally mount said foot pedal for pivotal movement about a predetermined horizontal axis, said pivotal mounting means being located sufficiently far from the vertical axis of the kettledrum .that one part of said foot pedal is between said horizontal axis and said vertical axis, another part of said foot pedal being located on the side of said horizontal axis remote from said vertical axis, whereby said one part of said foot pedal is disposed to be depressed by the toe portion of the foot of the timpanist in order to pivot said foot pedal in one direction about said horizontal axis, and whereby said other part of said foot pedal is disposed to be depressed by the heel portion of the foot of the timpanist in order to pivot said foot pedal in the opposite direction about said horizontal axis, connector means connected to the drumhead of the kettledrum and adapted when moved to change the tension of said drumhead and thus the tuning thereof, linkage meansto connect said connector means with said foot pedal for actuation thereby in order to change said tuning, said linkage means including pivotally-mounted master means connected to said connector means and also to said foot pedal, said master means being adapted to pivot sufficiently far that the pitch of said drumhead will change at least one full octave in response to a single pivotal movement of said foot pedal about said predetermined horizontal axis, means to increase the friction naturally present in the system, and

counterbalancing spring means connected to said master means and so related thereto and to said drumhead as to counterbalance generally the tension of said drumhead over a range of pitches of at least said one full octave, said spring means being adapted in combination with said friction-increasing means to effect said counterbalancing without any requirement for adjustment of the setting of said spring means over said entire range, said spring means counterbalancing the tension of said drumhead sufficiently closely, over said full octave range, that said foot pedal will remain stationary in any position due to only the friction naturally present in the system, combined with the friction created by said friction-increasing means, and in the absence of any brake devices which are released in order to permit shifting of said foot pedal in at least one direction from one position to another, said spring'means counterbalancing the tension of said drumhead sufficiently closely over said full octave range, andsaid friction-increasing means being sufficiently weak,-that a foot pressure on said foot pedal of less than 25 pounds will effect changing of the pitch of said drumhead from any pitch within said full octave to any-other pitch therein, said spring means being connected to said master means at such location that the force line of said spring means remains a substantial distance from the pivot axis of said master means at all times during operation of the tuning apparatus and during playing of the kettledrum.

2. The invention as claimed in claim 1, in which said friction-increasing means comprises friction ,drag means associated with said linkage means to increase the friction naturally present in the system and thereby frictionally maintain said foot pedal stationary at any set position within said octave range,said friction drag means maintaining a substantially constant friction drag at all times, both-during playing of the'kettledrum and during operation of said foot pedal to change the pitch of said drumhead, and in the absence of any releasing means which release the friction drag in order to permit shifting of said foot pedal in at least one direction from one position to another.

3. The invention as claimed in claim 1, in which said linkage means is so related to said counterbalancing spring means and to said drumhead that, in the absence of friction, said foot pedal tends to pivot from a position producing the lowest pitch in said octave to a position producing anintermediate pitch therein, and also tends to pivot from a position producing the highest pitch in said octave to a position producing an intermediate pitch therein.

4. A tuning apparatus for the drumhead of a kettledrum, which comprises:

a master element mounted for pivotal movement about a predetermined axis,

said master element being adapted to be manually operated by the timpanist in order to pivot said master element to different angular positions and thus effect tuning of the drumhead,

said manual operation of said master element being effected by direct engagement between the timpanist and an operating element which is connected to said master element, said master element being free to pivot sufficiently far about said predetermined axis that, when said master-element is connected to the drumhead, the pitch of said drumhead may be changed through a range of one full octave in response to a singlev pivoting of said master element, f drumhead-connector means to connect said master element to the drumhead of the kettledrum in such manner that said drumhead istuned to produce differently pitched'tones in response to pivoting of said master elementto said different angular positions, means to increase the fri system, and t counterbalancing spring means connected to said master element to counterbalance generally the force exerted thereon by said drumhead acting through said drumhead-connector means, saidspringlmeans and said drumhead-connector means being so related to each other and tosaid drumhead that the torque created about said axis by said spring means generally counterbalances the torque created about said axis by said drumhead-connector means over a range of tion naturally present in the pitches of said drumhead of at least said one full octave, t said spring means counterbalancing the tension of said drumhead sufficiently closely, over said full octave range, that said master element will remain stationary in any position due, to only the friction naturally present in the system, combined with the friction created by said frictionincreasing'means, and'in the absence of any brake devices which are released when it is desired to shift said master element from one position to another, 7 said spring means counterbalancing the tension of said drumhead sufficiently closely over said full octave range, and said friction-increasing means being sufficiently weak,that a pressureon said operating element of less than 25 pounds will effect changing of the pitch of said drumhead from any'pitch within said full octave to any other pitch therein, said spring means being connected to said master element at such location that the force line of said spring means remains a substantial distance from the pivot axis of said master element at all times during operation of the tuning apparatus and during playing of the kettledrum.

5. The invention as claimed in claim 4, in which said friction-increasing means comprises friction drag means to increasevthe friction naturally present in the system and thereby frictionally maintain said master element stationary at any angular position to which it is LL drag means being nonreleasable during playing and tuning-changing operation of the kettledrum.

6. The invention as claimed in claim 4, in which said spring means comprises helical compression spring means which is relatively relaxed when said master element is in a position achievingthe extreme upper pitch of said range, and relatively compressed when said master element is in a position achieving the extreme lower pitch of said range,

7. The invention as claimed in claim 4, in which the torque arm relative to said axis of the force exerted by said spring means on said master element is generally equal to the torque arm relative to said axis of the force exerted thereon by said drumhead-connector means whensaid master element is in a position producing the lowest-pitched sound in said octave range.

8. The invention as claimed in claim 4, in which the torque arm relative to said axis of the force-exerted by said spring means on said master element is much greater than is the torque arm relative to said axis of the force exerted thereon by said drumhead-connector means when said master element is in a position producing the highest-pitched sound in said octave range, and in which. the torque arm relative to said axis of the force exerted by said spring means on said master element is generally equal to the torque arm relative to said axis of the force exerted thereon by said drumhead-connector means when said master element is in a position producing the lowest-pitch'ed sound in said octave range. I 9. The invention as claimed in claim 8, in which said spring means comprises helical compression spring means which is relatively relaxed when said masterelement is in a position producing the highest-pitched sound in said range, and relatively compressed when said master element is in a position producing the lowest-pitched sound therein.

10. The invention as claimed in claim 4, in which said master element is operated by a foot pedal, and in which said master element is part of a linkage means so constructed and so related to said foot pedal that shift-- ing of said foot pedal-by a predetermined'amount effects only a relatively small change in the tension on said drumhead when said master element is in a position producing tuning of said drumhead to a pitch near the lowest end of said range, and shifting of said foot pedal by said predetermined amount effects a substantially larger change in the tension on said drumhead when said master element is in a position producing a relatively high-pitched condition in said drumhead, whereby to permit the timpanist to change to adjacent pitches throughout the entire range by shifting said foot pedal substantially equal amounts.

11. A tuning apparatus for the drumhead of a kettledrum, which comprises:

a master element mounted for pivotal movement about a predetermined axis, said master element being adapted to be manually operated by the timpanist in order to pivot said master element to different angular positions and thus effect tuning of the drumhead, said manual operation of said master element being effected by direct engagement between the timpanist and an operating element which is connected to said master element,

drumhead-connector means to connect said master element to the drumhead of the kettledrum in such manner that said drumhead is tuned to produce differently pitched tones in response to pivoting of said master element to said different angular positions, I means to increase the friction naturally present in the system, and counterbalancing spring means connected to said master element to counterbalance generally the force exerted thereon by said drumhead acting through said drumhead-connector means, said spring means and said drumhead-connector means being so related to each other and to said drumhead that the torque created about said axis by said spring means generally counterbalances the torque created about said axis by said drumhead-connector means over a range of pitches of said drumhead of at least one full octave, said spring means counterbalancing the'tension of said drumhead sufficiently closely, over said full octave .range, that said master element will remain stationary in any position due to only the friction naturally present in the system, combined with the friction created by said frictionincreasing means, and in the absence of any brake devices which are released when it is desired to shift said master element from one position to another, said spring means counterbalancing the tension of said drumhead sufficiently closely over said full octave range, and said friction-increasing means being sufficiently weak, that a pressure on said operating element of less than 25 pounds will effect changing of the pitch of said drumhead from any pitch within said full octave to any other pitch therein, in which the torque arm relative to said axis of the force exerted on said master element by said drumhead-connector means changes by a substantial amount during pivoting of said master element to achieve the extreme upper and lower pitches of said range,

said torque arm decreasing in length as said master element pivots toward a position producing a relatively high-pitched sound, said substantial amount being a factor of at least 1.5. v 12. A tuning apparatus for the drumhead of a kettledrum, which comprises:

a master element mounted for pivotal movement about a predetermined axis, said master element being adapted to be manually operated by the timpanist in order to pivot said master element to different angular positions and thus effect tuning of the drumhead, said manual operation of said master element being effected by direct engagement between the timpanist and an operating element which is connected to said master element, drumhead-connector means to connect said master element to the drumhead of the kettledrum in such manner that said drumhead is tuned to produce differently pitched tones in response to pivoting of I 20 g 7 said master element to said different angular positions, 7 means to increase the friction naturally present in the system, and

counterbalancing spring means connected to said master element to counterbalance generally the force exerted thereon by said drumhead acting through said drumhead-connector means,

-. said spring means and said drumhead-connector means being so related to each other and to said drumhead that the torque created about said axis by said spring means generally counterbalances the-torque created about said axis by said drumhead-connector means over a range of pitches of said drumhead of at least one full octave, I

said spring means counterbalancing the tension of said drumhead sufficiently closely, over said full octave range, that said master element will remain stationary in any position due to only the friction naturally present in the system, combined with the friction created by said directionincreasing means, and in the absence of any brake devices which are released when it is desired to shift said master element from one position to another, said spring means counterbalancing the tension of said drumhead sufficiently closely over said full octave range, and said friction-increasing means being sufficiently weak, that a pressure on said operating element of less than 25 pounds will effect changing of the pitch of said drumhead from any pitch within said full octave to any other'pitch therein, in which the torque arm relative to said axis of the force exerted by said spring means on said master element is much greater than is the torque arm relative to said axis of the force exerted thereon by said drumhead-connector means when said master element is in a position producing thehighest-pitched sound in said octave range, a said first-mentioned torque arm being then greater than said second-mentioned torque arm by a factor of about 2 or more.

13. A kettledrum adapted to permit the timpanist to hold any desired tuned condition over a very wide range of pitches, and in the absence of any locking means, which comprises:

bowl means,

a drumhead mounted over said bowl means for striking by mallets in order to produce drum sounds, an actuating element adapted to be manually adjusted to different positions by the timpanist in order to change the tuning of said drumhead,

connector means to connect said actuating element to said drumhead to cause the tuning of said drumhead to change in response to the position of said actuating element,

counterbalancing means associated with said connector means to generally counterbalance the tension of said drumhead and thus permit the timpanist to achieve differently-tensioned conditions of said drumhead through exertion of only a small force on said actuating element, and

friction drag means to augment the friction naturally present in said connector means,-and beneath said drumhead,,sufficiently that saidactuating element will remain in any position to'which it is set by the timpanist over a Wide range of drumhead pitches, said friction drag means maintaining a substantially constant friction drag at all times during playingof the kettledrum and also prior to, during and after adjustment of said actuating ele ment to different positions to change the tuning of said drumhead, and operating in the absence of any means for diminishing the friction drag not only during such playing but also prior to, during and after adjustment of said actuating element to different positions to change the tuning of said drumhead, said friction drag means cooperating with said counterbalancing meansto bring all forces into full equilibrium over said range of pitches and thus prevent movements of saidactuating element other than those movements intentionally effected by the tirnpanist.

Q 14. The invention as claimed in claim 13, in which said range of pitches is one octave or greater.

15. The invention asclaimed in claim 13, in which said friction drag means includesa friction-generating shoe formed of relatively soft material, and means to force said shoe against a movable portion of said connector means to create a drag thereon, said means to force said shoe against a movable portion of said connector means operating at all times during playing of the kettledrum and also operating prior to, during and after adjustment of said actuating element to different positions to change the tuning of said drumhead.

16. The invention as claimed in claim 13, in which said actuating element is a foot pedal, in which means including a plate are provided to pivotally mount said foot pedal on a frame, and in which said friction drag means includes means mounted on said frame to force a friction drag shoe continuously against said plate.

17. The invention as claimed in claim 13, inwhich said counterbalancing means is a spring means the force of which is adapted to balance the tension of said drumhead over an intermediate range of drumhead pitches within said wide range thereof, said spring means being sufficiently strong to overcome said drumhead tension sufficiently to tend to raise the pitch of said drumhead from the lowest-pitchedpart of said wide range of drumhead pitches, said spring means being sufficiently weak that said drumhead will tend to lower in pitch from the highest-pitched part of said wide range of drumhead pitches, whereby said friction drag means creates a drag in one direction when said drumhead is in said highest-pitched part of said wide range, and in the opposite direction when said drumhead is in said lowest-pitched part of said wide range,

so that said drag means need not exert a great drag erted by said drag means being sufficiently small that a force of less than 25 pounds on said actuating element will change the tension on said drumhead to produce any desired pitch in said wide range of drumhead pitches. i

19. A kettledrum,which comprises:

a bowl,

a drumhead mounted over said bowl in tensioned condition,

a pedal pivotally mounted generally beneath said bowl and to one side thereof, connector means including a linkage'to connect said pedal to said drumhead to thus change the tuning of said drumhead in response to pivoting of said pedal, said linkage including a master link pivotally mounted for movement about a first predetermined axis, I said linkage further including an output link mounted for pivotal movement about a. second predetermined axis, said second axis being much closer to said pedal than is said firstaxis, saidlinkage further including an intermediate link one end of which is pivotally connected to said master link at a point below said first axis, the other end 'of said intermediate link being pivotally connected at a point above said first axis to an end of said output link which is much farther from said pedal than is said second axis, said connector means also including upwardly extending means the lower end of which is pivoted to said output link and the upper end of which is 6 connected to said drumhead, and elongated helical spring means one end of which is .pivotally connected to said master link and the other end of which is pivotally mounted for movement about a third predetermined axis, said spring means .being adapted to counteract generally the force exerted on said master link by said drumhead. 20. The invention'as claimed in claim 19,- in which a straight line through the pivot connections at the ends of said intermediate link is spaced a substantial distance from said first axis on the side thereof remote from said pedal throughout the range of movement of said linkage, in which said spring means is pivotally connected to said master link beneath said first axis, in which said third axis is located relatively adjacent said pedal, and in which" a straight line through the pivot connectors for said spring means is a substantial distance from said first axis throughout the range of movement of said linkage, and is on the side of said first axis opposing movement of said master link by said intermediate link.

21. The invention as claimed in claim 20, in which said spring means is a helical compression spring which is relatively compressed when said master link is in a position causing a low-pitched condition of said drumhead, and is in a relatively extended but preloaded condition when said master link is in a position causing a high-pitched condition of said drumhead.

22. The invention as claimed in claim 19, in which said second axis is formed at one part of a lever which is pivotally mounted for movement about a predetermined fulcrum, in which said lever extends toward said pedal from said second axis, and in which tine-tuning means are mounted above said pedal to pivot said lever and thus adjust the position of said second axis in order to achieve fine tuning of the drumhead.

23. The invention as claimed in claim 19, in which said connector means also includes a link connected between said master link and said pedal, the radius from the pedal-pivot connection for said link to the axis of rotation of said pedal being generally horizontal when said pedal is in an upwardly pivoted position producing a low-pitched condition in said drumhead, whereby to cause minimum operation of said linkage during initial downward pivoting of said 'pedal to thus spread the drumhead pitches at the lower end of the pitch range.

24. A tuning apparatus for the drumhead of a kettledrum, which comprises: I

a foot pedal adapted to be engaged by the timpanist and operated thereby,

means connected to the drumhead of the kettledrum and adapted when moved to change the tensionof said drumhead and thus the tuning thereof,

linkage means to connect said last-named means with said foot pedal for actuation thereby in order to change said tuning,

counterbalancing spring means connected to said linkage means and so related thereto and to said drumhead as to counterbalance generally the tension of said drumhead over a wide range of tuning,

said spring means being adapted to effect said counterbalancing without any requirement for adjustment of the setting of said spring means over said range,

said spring means counterbalancing the tension of said drumhead sufficiently closely, over said range, that said foot pedal will remain stationary in any position due to friction only and in the absence of any brake devices which are released in order to permit shifting of said foot pedal in at least one direction from one position to another, and t friction drag means associated with said linkage means to increase the friction naturally present in the system to thereby frictionally maintain said foot pedal stationary at any set position within said range,

said friction drag means maintaining a substantially constant friction drag at all times, both during playing of the-kettledrum and during intentional operation of said foot pedal by the timpanist to change the tuning of said drumhead, and in the absence of any releasing means which release the friction drag in order to permit shifting of said foot pedal in at least one direction from one position to another.

25. A foot-pedal tuned kettledrum adapted to be very rapidly tuned to any note within a wide pitch range, without the necessity of releasing any brake or clutch device in either direction of pitch changing, which kettledrum comprises:

a bowl having a head stretched thereover,

upwardly-extending means connected at the upper end thereof to said head,

a foot pedal,

means to pivotally mount said pedal for movement about a horizontal axis,

linkage means connecting said foot pedal to said upwardly-extending means, and I spring means associated with said linkage means to generally counterbalance thetension of said head throughout a wide range of pitches and operating in the absence of any devices which ever require releasing in order to permit movement of said pedal, 7

said spring means and linkage means being so related to each other and to said head and'said pedal that, when said head is tuned .to the highest pitch in said range said pedal will in the absence of friction pivot aboutsaid horizontal axis in a direction lowering the pitch of said head,

said spring means and linkage means also being so related to each other and to said head and said pedal that, when saidhead is tuned to the lowest pitch in said range said pedal will in the absence of friction pivot about said horizontal axis in a direction raising the pitch of said head. 26. .The invention as claimed in claim 25, in which drag means are provided to create sufficient friction in said kettledrum that said pedal will remain stationary in any position creating any pitch within said range despite the tendency of said pedal to pivot in a pitchlowering direction fromthe highest-pitched tuning, and in a pitch-raising direction from the lowest-pitched tunmg.

27. The invention as claimed in claim 26, in which said drag means comprises continuously-operating friction drag shoe means.

28. The invention as claimed in claim 27, in which said linkage means includes master means and further includes means to effect pivotal mounting of said master means for pivotal movement about a horizontal axis, and in which said spring means is connected to pivotal said master means at a position such that the line of force of said spring means is spaced at all times a substantial distance from said horizontal axis of said master means.

29 A foot pedal mechanism for tuning the drumhead of a kettledrum throughout a wide range of pitches, which comprises:

frame means mounted beneath the bowl of a kettledrum, a foot pedal pivotally mounted on said frame means to one side of said bowl for pivotal movement about a horizontal axis, vertical means adapted to be connected to the drumhead of said kettledrum, first and second interconnected four-bar linkages mounted in said frame means to connect said foot pedal to said vertical means and thus effect tuning of said drumhead to different pitches in response to pivoting of said pedal, said first four-bar linkage comprising a radius link extending to the pivot axis of said pedal, a master link pivotally connected to said frame means, a connector link extending between said radius link and said master link, and said frame means,

said second four-bar linkage comprising said master link, an output link pivotally connected fi spring-compensated linkage means to connect said foot pedal to said drumhead in such manner that pivoting of said pedal through relatively even increments effects changing of the pitch of said drumhead from one pitch to the next throughout a wide range of pitches,

said linkage means including a long and generally horizontal link which is connected through a second link to said horizontal axis, said second link being generally horizontal when to said frame means, an intermediate link pivoted between said master link and said output link, and said frame means, said output link being connected to said vertical means, 5 fine-tuning means provided to adjust the position of the pivot connection at which said output link is connected to said frame means, I

said fine-tuning means comprising a lever one end of which is pivotally connected to said output link, fulcrum means to pivot said lever to said frame means at a point adjacent the pivot connectionbetween said lever and said output link, and an elongated rod threaded to said lever at a said pedal is in a pivoted position producing a low-pitch condition ,of said drumhead, whereby there is a high mechanical advantage tending to spread out the positions at the low point thereon remote from said fulcrum means of the range, thereby preventif'lg p f" and on the opposite side of said fulcrum means "9 at the low end of the range m a hall" from said pivot connection between said lever mgger mallnel' such that a y 1 amollflt and id li of pedal pivoting changes the pitch of said said rod extending upwardly above said pedal drumhead n to the nextfor rotation by the timpanist, and A kettledl'um, Whlch comprlsesl bowl means, a drumhead mounted over said bowl means for striking by mallets in order to produce drum sounds, a foot pedal mounted generally beneath said bowl means for pivotal movement abouta substantially horizontal axis,

counterbalancing spring means connected to at least one of said linkages to balance generally the tension exerted thereon by said drumhead. 30. A foot-operated tuning mechanism for a kettledrum, whichcomprises:

a foot pedal adapted to pivot about a horizontal axis,

said foot pedal having a portion on one side of said axis adapted to be pressed downwardly by the said foot pedal having a portion adapted to be engaged by the toe portion of the foot of the timtoe portion of the foot of the timpanist when it is panist' and desired to raise the pitch of the drumhead, I linkage means to connect Sald foot pedal to d said'foot pedal having a portion on the other side P P i r of Said axis adapted to be pressed downwardly said linkage means being related to said drumhead by the heel portion of the timpanist when it is and to sand foot pedal Such manneir that desired to lower the pitch of the drumhead, and downwarfi movem em of pedal W efspring-compensated linkage means to connect said fects Increase m the sa1d dmm' foot pedal to said drumhead in such manner that head with consequent elevation m pltch 9 pivoting of said pedal vthrough relatively even the drum sounds produced upon striking of said crements effects changing of the pitch of said f drumhead from one pitch to the next thioughout a said linkage means being related to said drumhead wide range of pitches 40 and to said foot pedal in such manner that an exsaid linkage means including a long and generally Fremely high mecbamcal l f lelauonshlp horizontal link which is connected through a ls presemwhen 'd pedal porno 1S m us Second link to said horizontal axis most position corresponding to the lowest pitch said second link being generally horizontal when of sald Frumhead, 1

Said-pedal is in a pivoted position producing a said high mechanical advantage relationship low-pitch condition of said drumhead, being such that a substantial amount of whereby there is a high mechanical advantage dowflwaltd pwofal movement pedal tending to spread out the positions at the low porno reqmrFd to Sh'ft sald (Pinhead d o the g thereby preventing Opel? from the lowest pitch thereof to the pitch one tion at the low end of the range in a hair- R" trigger manner such that a very small amount whereby there i no relallonshlp of pedal pivoting changes the pitch of said b etween FP drumhead drumhead from one tone to the next pivoted position of said pedal when said pedal 31. A foot-operated tuning mechanism for a ketpos'tlons correspondmg to at least the tledrum which comprises: g two lowest-pitched tones generated by the Q a foot pedal adapted to pivot about a horizontal axis, kettledrum' and I Y a 12%? I V'EINETEEZ STATES'PAEENT @FFEQE v QER C W QQRREWWN PatentfNo. 3, 701 8.34 V Dated October 31, 1972 InvehtoflS) Alfred Rubic- If: is cel 'tified that erro'r 'appears in the above-identified paten and that said Letter s Patentr are hereby corrected as shown below:

Line 38 of claim cancl' "di e i and Substitute --frict i or 1 k I Signed and sealed; this 29th day of 1973 1 (SEAL) Attestz QEDWARD M'.PLETCHER',JRQ. y ROBERT GOTTSCHALK' I Attest ing Officer Commissionerv of Patents I T 1 QJEJRTEEFI EATEL @51 Patent No. 3, 701, 83 1 Dated October 31, 1972 Inventofls) Alfred M. Rubio It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown' below:

Line 38 of claim 12, cancel "direction" and substitute "friction Signed and sealed this 29th day of May 1973 (SEAL) Attesti I EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

Claims (32)

1. A tuning apparatus for the drumhead of a kettledrum, which comprises: a foot pedal adapted to be engaged by the timpanist and operated thereby, means to pivotally mount said foot pedal for pivotal movement about a predetermined horizontal axis, said pivotal mounting means being located sufficiently far from the vertical axis of the kettledrum that one part of said foot pedal is between said horizontal axis and said vertical axis, another part of said foot pedal being located on the side of said horizontal axis remote from said vertical axis, whereby said one part of said foot pedal is disposed to be depressed by the toe portion of the foot of the timpanist in order to pivot said foot pedal in one direction about said horizontal axis, and whereby said other part of said foot pedal is disposed to be depressed by the heel portion of the foot of the timpanist in order to pivot said foot pedal in the opposite direction about said horizontal axis, connector means connected to the drumhead of the kettledrum and adapted when moved to change the tension of said drumhead and thus the tuning thereof, linkage means to connect said connector means with said foot pedal for actuation thereby in order to change said tuning, said linkage means including pivotally-mounted master means connected to said connector means and also to said foot pedal, said master means being adapted to pivot sufficiently far that the pitch of said drumhead will change at least one full octave in response to a single pivotal movement of said foot pedal about said predetermined horizontal axis, means to increase the friction naturally present in the system, and counterbalancing spring means connected to said master means and so related thereto and to said drumhead as to counterbalance generally the tension of said drumhead over a range of pitches of at least said one full octave, said spring means being adapted in combination with said friction-increasing means to effect said counterbalancing without any requirement for adjustment of the setting of said spring means over said entire range, saiD spring means counterbalancing the tension of said drumhead sufficiently closely, over said full octave range, that said foot pedal will remain stationary in any position due to only the friction naturally present in the system, combined with the friction created by said friction-increasing means, and in the absence of any brake devices which are released in order to permit shifting of said foot pedal in at least one direction from one position to another, said spring means counterbalancing the tension of said drumhead sufficiently closely over said full octave range, and said friction-increasing means being sufficiently weak, that a foot pressure on said foot pedal of less than 25 pounds will effect changing of the pitch of said drumhead from any pitch within said full octave to any other pitch therein, said spring means being connected to said master means at such location that the force line of said spring means remains a substantial distance from the pivot axis of said master means at all times during operation of the tuning apparatus and during playing of the kettledrum.
2. The invention as claimed in claim 1, in which said friction-increasing means comprises friction drag means associated with said linkage means to increase the friction naturally present in the system and thereby frictionally maintain said foot pedal stationary at any set position within said octave range, said friction drag means maintaining a substantially constant friction drag at all times, both during playing of the kettledrum and during operation of said foot pedal to change the pitch of said drumhead, and in the absence of any releasing means which release the friction drag in order to permit shifting of said foot pedal in at least one direction from one position to another.
3. The invention as claimed in claim 1, in which said linkage means is so related to said counterbalancing spring means and to said drumhead that, in the absence of friction, said foot pedal tends to pivot from a position producing the lowest pitch in said octave to a position producing an intermediate pitch therein, and also tends to pivot from a position producing the highest pitch in said octave to a position producing an intermediate pitch therein.
4. A tuning apparatus for the drumhead of a kettledrum, which comprises: a master element mounted for pivotal movement about a predetermined axis, said master element being adapted to be manually operated by the timpanist in order to pivot said master element to different angular positions and thus effect tuning of the drumhead, said manual operation of said master element being effected by direct engagement between the timpanist and an operating element which is connected to said master element, said master element being free to pivot sufficiently far about said predetermined axis that, when said master element is connected to the drumhead, the pitch of said drumhead may be changed through a range of one full octave in response to a single pivoting of said master element, drumhead-connector means to connect said master element to the drumhead of the kettledrum in such manner that said drumhead is tuned to produce differently pitched tones in response to pivoting of said master element to said different angular positions, means to increase the friction naturally present in the system, and counterbalancing spring means connected to said master element to counterbalance generally the force exerted thereon by said drumhead acting through said drumhead-connector means, said spring means and said drumhead-connector means being so related to each other and to said drumhead that the torque created about said axis by said spring means generally counterbalances the torque created about said axis by said drumhead-connector means over a range of pitches of said drumhead of at least said one full octave, said spring means counterbalancing the tension of said drumhead sufficiently closely, over said full octave range, that said masteR element will remain stationary in any position due to only the friction naturally present in the system, combined with the friction created by said friction-increasing means, and in the absence of any brake devices which are released when it is desired to shift said master element from one position to another, said spring means counterbalancing the tension of said drumhead sufficiently closely over said full octave range, and said friction-increasing means being sufficiently weak, that a pressure on said operating element of less than 25 pounds will effect changing of the pitch of said drumhead from any pitch within said full octave to any other pitch therein, said spring means being connected to said master element at such location that the force line of said spring means remains a substantial distance from the pivot axis of said master element at all times during operation of the tuning apparatus and during playing of the kettledrum.
5. The invention as claimed in claim 4, in which said friction-increasing means comprises friction drag means to increase the friction naturally present in the system and thereby frictionally maintain said master element stationary at any angular position to which it is set by the timpanist within said octave range, said friction drag means maintaining a substantially constant friction drag at all times during playing of the kettledrum, and also during shifting of said master element to change the tuning of said drumhead, said friction drag means being nonreleasable during playing and tuning-changing operation of the kettledrum.
6. The invention as claimed in claim 4, in which said spring means comprises helical compression spring means which is relatively relaxed when said master element is in a position achieving the extreme upper pitch of said range, and relatively compressed when said master element is in a position achieving the extreme lower pitch of said range.
7. The invention as claimed in claim 4, in which the torque arm relative to said axis of the force exerted by said spring means on said master element is generally equal to the torque arm relative to said axis of the force exerted thereon by said drumhead-connector means when said master element is in a position producing the lowest-pitched sound in said octave range.
8. The invention as claimed in claim 4, in which the torque arm relative to said axis of the force exerted by said spring means on said master element is much greater than is the torque arm relative to said axis of the force exerted thereon by said drumhead-connector means when said master element is in a position producing the highest-pitched sound in said octave range, and in which the torque arm relative to said axis of the force exerted by said spring means on said master element is generally equal to the torque arm relative to said axis of the force exerted thereon by said drumhead-connector means when said master element is in a position producing the lowest-pitched sound in said octave range.
9. The invention as claimed in claim 8, in which said spring means comprises helical compression spring means which is relatively relaxed when said master element is in a position producing the highest-pitched sound in said range, and relatively compressed when said master element is in a position producing the lowest-pitched sound therein.
10. The invention as claimed in claim 4, in which said master element is operated by a foot pedal, and in which said master element is part of a linkage means so constructed and so related to said foot pedal that shifting of said foot pedal by a predetermined amount effects only a relatively small change in the tension on said drumhead when said master element is in a position producing tuning of said drumhead to a pitch near the lowest end of said range, and shifting of said foot pedal by said predetermined amount effects a substantially larger change in the tension on said drumhead when said master element is in a position producing a relatively high-pitChed condition in said drumhead, whereby to permit the timpanist to change to adjacent pitches throughout the entire range by shifting said foot pedal substantially equal amounts.
11. A tuning apparatus for the drumhead of a kettledrum, which comprises: a master element mounted for pivotal movement about a predetermined axis, said master element being adapted to be manually operated by the timpanist in order to pivot said master element to different angular positions and thus effect tuning of the drumhead, said manual operation of said master element being effected by direct engagement between the timpanist and an operating element which is connected to said master element, drumhead-connector means to connect said master element to the drumhead of the kettledrum in such manner that said drumhead is tuned to produce differently pitched tones in response to pivoting of said master element to said different angular positions, means to increase the friction naturally present in the system, and counterbalancing spring means connected to said master element to counterbalance generally the force exerted thereon by said drumhead acting through said drumhead-connector means, said spring means and said drumhead-connector means being so related to each other and to said drumhead that the torque created about said axis by said spring means generally counterbalances the torque created about said axis by said drumhead-connector means over a range of pitches of said drumhead of at least one full octave, said spring means counterbalancing the tension of said drumhead sufficiently closely, over said full octave range, that said master element will remain stationary in any position due to only the friction naturally present in the system, combined with the friction created by said friction-increasing means, and in the absence of any brake devices which are released when it is desired to shift said master element from one position to another, said spring means counterbalancing the tension of said drumhead sufficiently closely over said full octave range, and said friction-increasing means being sufficiently weak, that a pressure on said operating element of less than 25 pounds will effect changing of the pitch of said drumhead from any pitch within said full octave to any other pitch therein, in which the torque arm relative to said axis of the force exerted on said master element by said drumhead-connector means changes by a substantial amount during pivoting of said master element to achieve the extreme upper and lower pitches of said range, said torque arm decreasing in length as said master element pivots toward a position producing a relatively high-pitched sound, said substantial amount being a factor of at least 1.5.
12. A tuning apparatus for the drumhead of a kettledrum, which comprises: a master element mounted for pivotal movement about a predetermined axis, said master element being adapted to be manually operated by the timpanist in order to pivot said master element to different angular positions and thus effect tuning of the drumhead, said manual operation of said master element being effected by direct engagement between the timpanist and an operating element which is connected to said master element, drumhead-connector means to connect said master element to the drumhead of the kettledrum in such manner that said drumhead is tuned to produce differently pitched tones in response to pivoting of said master element to said different angular positions, means to increase the friction naturally present in the system, and counterbalancing spring means connected to said master element to counterbalance generally the force exerted thereon by said drumhead acting through said drumhead-connector means, said spring means and said drumhead-connector means being so related to each other and to said drumhead that the torque created about said axis by said spring means generally counterbalances thE torque created about said axis by said drumhead-connector means over a range of pitches of said drumhead of at least one full octave, said spring means counterbalancing the tension of said drumhead sufficiently closely, over said full octave range, that said master element will remain stationary in any position due to only the friction naturally present in the system, combined with the friction created by said friction-increasing means, and in the absence of any brake devices which are released when it is desired to shift said master element from one position to another, said spring means counterbalancing the tension of said drumhead sufficiently closely over said full octave range, and said friction-increasing means being sufficiently weak, that a pressure on said operating element of less than 25 pounds will effect changing of the pitch of said drumhead from any pitch within said full octave to any other pitch therein, in which the torque arm relative to said axis of the force exerted by said spring means on said master element is much greater than is the torque arm relative to said axis of the force exerted thereon by said drumhead-connector means when said master element is in a position producing the highest-pitched sound in said octave range, said first-mentioned torque arm being then greater than said second-mentioned torque arm by a factor of about 2 or more.
13. A kettledrum adapted to permit the timpanist to hold any desired tuned condition over a very wide range of pitches, and in the absence of any locking means, which comprises: bowl means, a drumhead mounted over said bowl means for striking by mallets in order to produce drum sounds, an actuating element adapted to be manually adjusted to different positions by the timpanist in order to change the tuning of said drumhead, connector means to connect said actuating element to said drumhead to cause the tuning of said drumhead to change in response to the position of said actuating element, counterbalancing means associated with said connector means to generally counterbalance the tension of said drumhead and thus permit the timpanist to achieve differently-tensioned conditions of said drumhead through exertion of only a small force on said actuating element, and friction drag means to augment the friction naturally present in said connector means, and beneath said drumhead, sufficiently that said actuating element will remain in any position to which it is set by the timpanist over a wide range of drumhead pitches, said friction drag means maintaining a substantially constant friction drag at all times during playing of the kettledrum and also prior to, during and after adjustment of said actuating element to different positions to change the tuning of said drumhead, and operating in the absence of any means for diminishing the friction drag not only during such playing but also prior to, during and after adjustment of said actuating element to different positions to change the tuning of said drumhead, said friction drag means cooperating with said counterbalancing means to bring all forces into full equilibrium over said range of pitches and thus prevent movements of said actuating element other than those movements intentionally effected by the timpanist.
14. The invention as claimed in claim 13, in which said range of pitches is one octave or greater.
15. The invention as claimed in claim 13, in which said friction drag means includes a friction-generating shoe formed of relatively soft material, and means to force said shoe against a movable portion of said connector means to create a drag thereon, said means to force said shoe against a movable portion of said connector means operating at all times during playing of the kettledrum and also operating prior to, during and after adjustment of said actuating element to different positions to change the tuning of said drumhead.
16. The invention as claimed in claim 13, in which said actuating element is a foot pedal, in which means including a plate are provided to pivotally mount said foot pedal on a frame, and in which said friction drag means includes means mounted on said frame to force a friction drag shoe continuously against said plate.
17. The invention as claimed in claim 13, in which said counterbalancing means is a spring means the force of which is adapted to balance the tension of said drumhead over an intermediate range of drumhead pitches within said wide range thereof, said spring means being sufficiently strong to overcome said drumhead tension sufficiently to tend to raise the pitch of said drumhead from the lowest-pitched part of said wide range of drumhead pitches, said spring means being sufficiently weak that said drumhead will tend to lower in pitch from the highest-pitched part of said wide range of drumhead pitches, whereby said friction drag means creates a drag in one direction when said drumhead is in said highest-pitched part of said wide range, and in the opposite direction when said drumhead is in said lowest-pitched part of said wide range, so that said drag means need not exert a great drag force in order to maintain said actuating element stationary in any position.
18. The invention as claimed in claim 17, in which said spring means counterbalances the drumhead tension sufficiently closely over said entire wide range of drumhead pitches that the force exerted by said drag means need not be great in order to maintain said actuating element stationary as desired, said force exerted by said drag means being sufficiently small that a force of less than 25 pounds on said actuating element will change the tension on said drumhead to produce any desired pitch in said wide range of drumhead pitches.
19. A kettledrum, which comprises: a bowl, a drumhead mounted over said bowl in tensioned condition, a pedal pivotally mounted generally beneath said bowl and to one side thereof, connector means including a linkage to connect said pedal to said drumhead to thus change the tuning of said drumhead in response to pivoting of said pedal, said linkage including a master link pivotally mounted for movement about a first predetermined axis, said linkage further including an output link mounted for pivotal movement about a second predetermined axis, said second axis being much closer to said pedal than is said first axis, said linkage further including an intermediate link one end of which is pivotally connected to said master link at a point below said first axis, the other end of said intermediate link being pivotally connected at a point above said first axis to an end of said output link which is much farther from said pedal than is said second axis, said connector means also including upwardly extending means the lower end of which is pivoted to said output link and the upper end of which is connected to said drumhead, and elongated helical spring means one end of which is pivotally connected to said master link and the other end of which is pivotally mounted for movement about a third predetermined axis, said spring means being adapted to counteract generally the force exerted on said master link by said drumhead.
20. The invention as claimed in claim 19, in which a straight line through the pivot connections at the ends of said intermediate link is spaced a substantial distance from said first axis on the side thereof remote from said pedal throughout the range of movement of said linkage, in which said spring means is pivotally connected to said master link beneath said first axis, in which said third axis is located relatively adjacent said pedal, and in which a straight line through the pivot connectors for said spring means is a substantial distance from said first axis throughout the range of movement of said linkage, and is on the side of said first axis opposing movement of said master link by said intermediate link.
21. The inventiOn as claimed in claim 20, in which said spring means is a helical compression spring which is relatively compressed when said master link is in a position causing a low-pitched condition of said drumhead, and is in a relatively extended but preloaded condition when said master link is in a position causing a high-pitched condition of said drumhead.
22. The invention as claimed in claim 19, in which said second axis is formed at one part of a lever which is pivotally mounted for movement about a predetermined fulcrum, in which said lever extends toward said pedal from said second axis, and in which fine-tuning means are mounted above said pedal to pivot said lever and thus adjust the position of said second axis in order to achieve fine tuning of the drumhead.
23. The invention as claimed in claim 19, in which said connector means also includes a link connected between said master link and said pedal, the radius from the pedal-pivot connection for said link to the axis of rotation of said pedal being generally horizontal when said pedal is in an upwardly pivoted position producing a low-pitched condition in said drumhead, whereby to cause minimum operation of said linkage during initial downward pivoting of said pedal to thus spread the drumhead pitches at the lower end of the pitch range.
24. A tuning apparatus for the drumhead of a kettledrum, which comprises: a foot pedal adapted to be engaged by the timpanist and operated thereby, means connected to the drumhead of the kettledrum and adapted when moved to change the tension of said drumhead and thus the tuning thereof, linkage means to connect said last-named means with said foot pedal for actuation thereby in order to change said tuning, counterbalancing spring means connected to said linkage means and so related thereto and to said drumhead as to counterbalance generally the tension of said drumhead over a wide range of tuning, said spring means being adapted to effect said counterbalancing without any requirement for adjustment of the setting of said spring means over said range, said spring means counterbalancing the tension of said drumhead sufficiently closely, over said range, that said foot pedal will remain stationary in any position due to friction only and in the absence of any brake devices which are released in order to permit shifting of said foot pedal in at least one direction from one position to another, and friction drag means associated with said linkage means to increase the friction naturally present in the system to thereby frictionally maintain said foot pedal stationary at any set position within said range, said friction drag means maintaining a substantially constant friction drag at all times, both during playing of the kettledrum and during intentional operation of said foot pedal by the timpanist to change the tuning of said drumhead, and in the absence of any releasing means which release the friction drag in order to permit shifting of said foot pedal in at least one direction from one position to another.
25. A foot-pedal tuned kettledrum adapted to be very rapidly tuned to any note within a wide pitch range, without the necessity of releasing any brake or clutch device in either direction of pitch changing, which kettledrum comprises: a bowl having a head stretched thereover, upwardly-extending means connected at the upper end thereof to said head, a foot pedal, means to pivotally mount said pedal for pivotal movement about a horizontal axis, linkage means connecting said foot pedal to said upwardly-extending means, and spring means associated with said linkage means to generally counterbalance the tension of said head throughout a wide range of pitches and operating in the absence of any devices which ever require releasing in order to permit movement of said pedal, said spring means and linkage means being so related to each other and to said head and said pedal that, when said head is tuned tO the highest pitch in said range said pedal will in the absence of friction pivot about said horizontal axis in a direction lowering the pitch of said head, said spring means and linkage means also being so related to each other and to said head and said pedal that, when said head is tuned to the lowest pitch in said range said pedal will in the absence of friction pivot about said horizontal axis in a direction raising the pitch of said head.
26. The invention as claimed in claim 25, in which drag means are provided to create sufficient friction in said kettledrum that said pedal will remain stationary in any position creating any pitch within said range despite the tendency of said pedal to pivot in a pitch-lowering direction from the highest-pitched tuning, and in a pitch-raising direction from the lowest-pitched tuning.
27. The invention as claimed in claim 26, in which said drag means comprises continuously-operating friction drag shoe means.
28. The invention as claimed in claim 27, in which said linkage means includes master means and further includes means to effect pivotal mounting of said master means for pivotal movement about a horizontal axis, and in which said spring means is connected to said master means at a position such that the line of force of said spring means is spaced at all times a substantial distance from said horizontal axis of said master means.
29. A foot pedal mechanism for tuning the drumhead of a kettledrum throughout a wide range of pitches, which comprises: frame means mounted beneath the bowl of a kettledrum, a foot pedal pivotally mounted on said frame means to one side of said bowl for pivotal movement about a horizontal axis, vertical means adapted to be connected to the drumhead of said kettledrum, first and second interconnected four-bar linkages mounted in said frame means to connect said foot pedal to said vertical means and thus effect tuning of said drumhead to different pitches in response to pivoting of said pedal, said first four-bar linkage comprising a radius link extending to the pivot axis of said pedal, a master link pivotally connected to said frame means, a connector link extending between said radius link and said master link, and said frame means, said second four-bar linkage comprising said master link, an output link pivotally connected to said frame means, an intermediate link pivoted between said master link and said output link, and said frame means, said output link being connected to said vertical means, fine-tuning means provided to adjust the position of the pivot connection at which said output link is connected to said frame means, said fine-tuning means comprising a lever one end of which is pivotally connected to said output link, fulcrum means to pivot said lever to said frame means at a point adjacent the pivot connection between said lever and said output link, and an elongated rod threaded to said lever at a point thereon remote from said fulcrum means and on the opposite side of said fulcrum means from said pivot connection between said lever and said output link, said rod extending upwardly above said pedal for rotation by the timpanist, and counterbalancing spring means connected to at least one of said linkages to balance generally the tension exerted thereon by said drumhead.
30. A foot-operated tuning mechanism for a kettledrum, which comprises: a foot pedal adapted to pivot about a horizontal axis, said foot pedal having a portion on one side of said axis adapted to be pressed downwardly by the toe portion of the foot of the timpanist when it is desired to raise the pitch of the drumhead, said foot pedal having a portion on the other side of said axis adapted to be pressed downwardly by the heel portion of the timpanist when it is desired to lower the pitch of the drumhead, and spring-compensated linkage means to connect said foot pedal to said drumhead in such manner that pivoting of said pedaL through relatively even increments effects changing of the pitch of said drumhead from one pitch to the next throughout a wide range of pitches, said linkage means including a long and generally horizontal link which is connected through a second link to said horizontal axis, said second link being generally horizontal when said pedal is in a pivoted position producing a low-pitch condition of said drumhead, whereby there is a high mechanical advantage tending to spread out the positions at the low end of the range, thereby preventing operation at the low end of the range in a hair-trigger manner such that a very small amount of pedal pivoting changes the pitch of said drumhead from one tone to the next.
31. A foot-operated tuning mechanism for a kettledrum, which comprises: a foot pedal adapted to pivot about a horizontal axis, and spring-compensated linkage means to connect said foot pedal to said drumhead in such manner that pivoting of said pedal through relatively even increments effects changing of the pitch of said drumhead from one pitch to the next throughout a wide range of pitches, said linkage means including a long and generally horizontal link which is connected through a second link to said horizontal axis, said second link being generally horizontal when said pedal is in a pivoted position producing a low-pitch condition of said drumhead, whereby there is a high mechanical advantage tending to spread out the positions at the low end of the range, thereby preventing operation at the low end of the range in a hair-trigger manner such that a very small amount of pedal pivoting changes the pitch of said drumhead from one tone to the next.
32. A kettledrum, which comprises: bowl means, a drumhead mounted over said bowl means for striking by mallets in order to produce drum sounds, a foot pedal mounted generally beneath said bowl means for pivotal movement about a substantially horizontal axis, said foot pedal having a portion adapted to be engaged by the toe portion of the foot of the timpanist, and linkage means to connect said foot pedal to said drumhead, said linkage means being related to said drumhead and to said foot pedal in such manner that downward movement of said pedal portion effects an increase in the tension of said drumhead, with consequent elevation in the pitch of the drum sounds produced upon striking of said drumhead, said linkage means being related to said drumhead and to said foot pedal in such manner that an extremely high mechanical advantage relationship is present when said pedal portion is in its uppermost position corresponding to the lowest pitch of said drumhead, said high mechanical advantage relationship being such that a substantial amount of downward pivotal movement of said pedal portion is required to shift said drumhead from the lowest pitch thereof to the pitch one tone above said lowest pitch, whereby there is no hair-trigger relationship between the pitch of said drumhead and the pivoted position of said pedal when said pedal is in positions corresponding to at least the two lowest-pitched tones generated by the kettledrum.
US3701834D 1971-05-10 1971-05-10 Kettledrum and tuning mechanism therefor Expired - Lifetime US3701834A (en)

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Cited By (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4278003A (en) * 1979-08-20 1981-07-14 Remo Inc. Pedal adjustable drum
US4312259A (en) * 1979-08-20 1982-01-26 Remo, Inc. Pedal adjustable drum
US4635524A (en) * 1984-06-06 1987-01-13 Allen Barbara A Kettledrum
US4674390A (en) * 1984-06-06 1987-06-23 Allen Barbara A Kettledrum
US4730531A (en) * 1984-11-01 1988-03-15 Allen Barbara A Kettledrum
US4831912A (en) * 1984-11-01 1989-05-23 Allen Barbara A Kettledrum
NL1007471C2 (en) * 1997-11-06 1999-05-07 Adams Paukenfabriek B V Sheet tension adjustment device, in particular of a musical instrument.
US6043421A (en) * 1997-11-06 2000-03-28 Adams Paukenfabriek B.V. Device, having a multi-part pivoting linkage, for setting the tension of a kettledrum skin
US6410833B1 (en) 2001-06-08 2002-06-25 Penny Poke Farms, Inc. Drumhead tensioning device and method
US6441286B1 (en) 2001-06-08 2002-08-27 Penny Poke Farms, Ltd. Drumhead tensioning device and method
US6667432B2 (en) 2001-06-08 2003-12-23 Penny Poke Farms, Ltd. Drumhead tensioning device and method
US6787688B2 (en) * 2001-07-06 2004-09-07 Harmos Music, Ltd. Musical instrument

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US1561789A (en) * 1923-09-13 1925-11-17 Ludwig & Ludwig Inc Tuning means for drums and the like
US1755569A (en) * 1929-04-04 1930-04-22 Leedy Mfg Company Tympano
US2074194A (en) * 1935-06-29 1937-03-16 Cecil H Strupe Timpano adjuster
US2276846A (en) * 1941-01-16 1942-03-17 Conn Ltd C G Percussion musical instrument
GB590803A (en) * 1945-02-05 1947-07-29 John E Dallas And Sons Ltd Improvements in or relating to percussion musical instruments such as drums and tympani
US2729133A (en) * 1954-09-09 1956-01-03 William F Ludwig Drum tuning mechanism
DE1024321B (en) * 1953-04-08 1958-02-13 Felix Roeber Kettledrum
US3021743A (en) * 1959-01-19 1962-02-20 William F Ludwig Tuning mechanism for drums

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US1561789A (en) * 1923-09-13 1925-11-17 Ludwig & Ludwig Inc Tuning means for drums and the like
US1755569A (en) * 1929-04-04 1930-04-22 Leedy Mfg Company Tympano
US2074194A (en) * 1935-06-29 1937-03-16 Cecil H Strupe Timpano adjuster
US2276846A (en) * 1941-01-16 1942-03-17 Conn Ltd C G Percussion musical instrument
GB590803A (en) * 1945-02-05 1947-07-29 John E Dallas And Sons Ltd Improvements in or relating to percussion musical instruments such as drums and tympani
DE1024321B (en) * 1953-04-08 1958-02-13 Felix Roeber Kettledrum
US2729133A (en) * 1954-09-09 1956-01-03 William F Ludwig Drum tuning mechanism
US3021743A (en) * 1959-01-19 1962-02-20 William F Ludwig Tuning mechanism for drums

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Cited By (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4278003A (en) * 1979-08-20 1981-07-14 Remo Inc. Pedal adjustable drum
US4312259A (en) * 1979-08-20 1982-01-26 Remo, Inc. Pedal adjustable drum
US4635524A (en) * 1984-06-06 1987-01-13 Allen Barbara A Kettledrum
US4674390A (en) * 1984-06-06 1987-06-23 Allen Barbara A Kettledrum
US4730531A (en) * 1984-11-01 1988-03-15 Allen Barbara A Kettledrum
US4831912A (en) * 1984-11-01 1989-05-23 Allen Barbara A Kettledrum
US6043421A (en) * 1997-11-06 2000-03-28 Adams Paukenfabriek B.V. Device, having a multi-part pivoting linkage, for setting the tension of a kettledrum skin
NL1007471C2 (en) * 1997-11-06 1999-05-07 Adams Paukenfabriek B V Sheet tension adjustment device, in particular of a musical instrument.
US6410833B1 (en) 2001-06-08 2002-06-25 Penny Poke Farms, Inc. Drumhead tensioning device and method
US6441286B1 (en) 2001-06-08 2002-08-27 Penny Poke Farms, Ltd. Drumhead tensioning device and method
US6667432B2 (en) 2001-06-08 2003-12-23 Penny Poke Farms, Ltd. Drumhead tensioning device and method
US6812392B2 (en) 2001-06-08 2004-11-02 Penny Poke Farms, Ltd. Drumhead tensioning device and method
US6787688B2 (en) * 2001-07-06 2004-09-07 Harmos Music, Ltd. Musical instrument

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