US3853030A - Modulation mechanism for harps - Google Patents

Modulation mechanism for harps Download PDF

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Publication number
US3853030A
US3853030A US00463839A US46383974A US3853030A US 3853030 A US3853030 A US 3853030A US 00463839 A US00463839 A US 00463839A US 46383974 A US46383974 A US 46383974A US 3853030 A US3853030 A US 3853030A
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Prior art keywords
string
angled
saddle
hooks
hook
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US00463839A
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K Petutschnigg
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K Petutschnigg
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10DSTRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; WIND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACCORDIONS OR CONCERTINAS; PERCUSSION MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; AEOLIAN HARPS; SINGING-FLAME MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G10D1/00General design of stringed musical instruments
    • G10D1/04Plucked or strummed string instruments, e.g. harps or lyres
    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10DSTRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; WIND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACCORDIONS OR CONCERTINAS; PERCUSSION MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; AEOLIAN HARPS; SINGING-FLAME MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G10D3/00Details of, or accessories for, stringed musical instruments, e.g. slide-bars
    • G10D3/14Tuning devices, e.g. pegs, pins, friction discs or worm gears

Abstract

An improved modulation mechanism disposed in the saddle of a harp and connected through angled hooks and sheet metal plates to lockable pedals, the operation of which so shortens the vibrating string length by contact of the angled hooks with the strings according to the laws of tempered tuning, that the tones of the tuned scale are raised by a semi-tone or a full tone, wherein each angled hook is pivoted into a position at which it bears on the string exactly opposite a pin defining the shortened string length.

Description

United States Patent [191 Petutschnigg 1 1 MODULATION MECHANISM FOR HARPS Karl Petutschnigg, Messinggasse 14, A-9900 Lienz, Austria 22 Filed: Apr. 24, 1974 21 Appl. No.: 463,839
[76] Inventor:
[30] Foreign Application Priority Data May 11, 1973 Austria 4167/73 [52] US. Cl 84/266, 84/200, 84/316 [51] Int. Cl. G10d 1/04 [58] Field of Search 84/264-266, 84/200, 208, 312, 315-319 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 605,764 6/1898 Waseinski 84/316 X 1,134,207 4/1915 Kirk 84/266 1 Dec. 10, 1974 1,226,991 5/1917 Passarelli 1, 84/316 1,302,451 4/1919 Tanquary 84/317 1,692,123 11/1928 Hull 84/266 Primary ExaminerLawrence R. Franklin Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Wenderoth, Lind & Ponack [57] ABSTRACT An improved modulation mechanism disposed in the saddle of a harp and connected through angled hooks and sheet metal plates to lockable pedals, the operation of which so shortens the vibrating string length by contact of the angled hooks with the strings according to the laws of tempered tuning, that the tones of the tuned scale are raised by a semi-tone or a full tone, wherein each angled hook is pivoted into a position at which it bears on the string exactly opposite a pin defining the shortened string length.
2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEU HEB] 01974 Fig. 2
MODULATION MECHANISM FOR HARPS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to modulation mechanism disposed in the saddle of a harp and connected by angled hooks and sheet metal plates to lockable pedals, the operation of which so shortens the length of the vibrating strings by pressing the angled hook against the strings, according to the laws of tempered tuning, that the tones of the scales tuned are raised by a half or by a whole tone.
The harp, a very old stringed instrument, only gained importance for Western music when, in the eighteenth century, Hochbrucker introduced the pedal harp, which permitted the playing of the chromatic tone scale and the diatonic scale. The improved double pedal harp introduced early in the nineteenth century by Erard made it possible to raise the scale to which the instrument had been tuned by not only a semitone but also by a full tone. Now, with the seven double pedals provided, the entire chromatictone scale from counter G flat up to G flat in altissimo can be played, so that the instrument offers a range of tones corresponding approximately t the range of a piano.
The 40 strings of twisted gut, nylon or perlon are suspended in a strip on the resonance board of the body, so that the vibrations of the strings are transmitted directly to the resonance board and from this to the air and irradiated as sound.
The currently conventional instruments are tuned to C flat major. The variation in tone level is brought about by shortening the vibrating length of the strings by means of an eccentric mechanism housed in the socalled saddle and which is mechanically connected to the pedals through angled hooks and sheet metal plates. Likewise disposed in the saddle are the tuning keys onto which the ends of the strings are wound. The string tension and thus the tone level can be varied by turning the keys with a square-ended socket tool.
In the case of the known harps, the angled hooks are pressed on the strings and tightened at the fixed pin which shortens the length of the vibrating strings, in fact so that a gap is created between this pin and the point at which pressure is applied by the angled hook on the string. As a result, by reason of kinking or bending on the pin and on the angled hook, the string suffers a loading resulting in premature wear and breakage. Furthermore, the application of pressure by the angled hook causes a lengthening of the string, necessitating continual readjustment by the tuning keys in order to restore the correct tone level of the string which is detuned by the stretching, a fact which the player finds to be particularly burdensome.
Thus, the problem is posed of avoiding the aforedescribed disadvantages and thus providing a mechanism of the type mentioned at the outset, in which there is no damaging of the strings and no need to readjust the tuning keys in order to restore the desired tone level.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the invention, this problem is resolved in that upon engagement of the pedals, each angled hook is pivoted into a position according to which it bears on the string exactly opposite a pin which defines the shortened string length. As a result, the string undergoes no pull in its longitudinal direction, so that its tone level remains unaltered. Furthermore, the string is neither kinked nor constricted, so that it is not exposed to any mechanical damage, because the angled hook rests on it virtually without pressure.
An advantageous embodiment within the framework of the invention resides in that also the pin defining the shortened length of string is constructed as a pivotable angled hook and, when the pedal is engaged, bears on the string opposite the first angled hook, both angled hooks being mechanically coupled and being constructed so that they can be pivoted by a common pedal and, when the pedal is engaged, bearing on the string opposite each other. Thus, the string is engaged on both sides at the same height and is held as if by forceps, so that it suffers no pressure or traction of any kind.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention will be described in detail hereinafter with reference to the attached drawings, although it is not intended that the invention be restricted to these possibilities of its implementation.
FIGS. I and 2 show the conventional arrangement of a mechanism for raising the tone level, in fact FIG. 1 showing the non-pivoted and FIG. 2 the pivoted angled hook, FIGS. 3 and 4 showing a first embodiment of the invention, likewise in the starting and operative positions of the angled hook, and FIGS. 5 and 6 show a further embodiment of the invention in which also the pin defining the effective length of the string is constructed as a pivotable lever. All embodiments are illustrated diagrammatically.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION FIGS. 1 and 2 show a construction of known mechanism in which the angled hook I disposed to pivot in the saddle 4 of the harp (see arrow) is pressed against the string 3 at a distance from the pin 2 which defines the amount of shortening of the string. Thus, the straight run of the string undergoes a bending (FIG. 2) representing a tensile loading which in a relatively short time stretches the tautly stretched string, so that the player must continually check its tuning and re-tune the string by twising the tuning key. By reason of the taut string tension, the angled hook 1 must also be pressed quite strongly against the string, with the result that the string suffers a particularly heavy loading at the bending points.
In the case of the embodiment according to the invention, shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, these disadvantages are avoided in that the pivoted angled hook I rests on the string 3 directly opposite the pin 2. In consequence, only a slight pressure is exerted on the string 3 so that any longitudinal elongation or even bending of the string is avoided. Thus, the string undergoes no damage and, by virtue of actuation by the pedals, requires no readjustment. This very fact represents a desirable facility for the player, because each pedal raises the note to which the relevant mechanism relates, according to the full extent of the tone scale, in other words not purely individually and for itself. The F sharp pedal, for example, therefore raises not just one definite F but at the same time all the Fs over the entire range provided on the instrument. Thus, the player normally is compelled to re-tune all 40 strings of the harp at relatively short intervals, which is unnecessary in the case of an embodiment according to the proposal made by the invention.
FIGS. 5 and 6 show a further possible embodiment of the invention. Here, also the pin 2 is constructed as a pivotable angled hook. Advantageously, the two angled hooks l, 2 are connected to one pedal and are thus pivoted simultaneously against the string 3 so that they bear thereon opposite to each other. In the case of this embodiment, no pressure of any kind is exerted on the string 3 and the angled hooks 1, 2 bear on it in the manner of the jaws of pliers. The string 3 always remains in the same position and is neither bent nor kinked.
I claim:
I. In a modulation mechanism disposed in the saddle of a harp and connected through angled hooks and sheet metal plates to lockable pedals, the operation of which shortens the vibrating string length by contact of the angled hooks on the strings according to the laws of tempered tuning, so that the tones of the tuned scale are raised by a semitone or a full tone, the improvement comprising:
each angled hook is pivotally connected to said saddle at apposite with respect to the respective string, a pin fastened to said saddle and defining the shortened string length.
2. The improvement claimed in claim 1, wherein said pin comprises a pivotable angled hook pivotally connected to said saddle at a position oppsite the first angled hook, both angled hooks being mechanically coupled and pivotally by a common pedal is engaged, bearing on said string opposite each other.

Claims (2)

1. In a modulation mechanism disposed in the saddle of a harp and connected through angled hooks and sheet metal plates to lockable pedals, the operation of which shortens the vibrating string length by contact of the angled hooks on the strings according to the laws of tempered tuning, so that the tones of the tuned scale are raised by a semitone or a full tone, the improvement comprising: each angled hook is pivotally connected to said saddle at apposite with respect to the respective string, a pin fastened to said saddle and defining the shortened string length.
2. The improvement claimed in claim 1, wherein said pin comprises a pivotable angled hook pivotally connected to said saddle at a position oppsite the first angled hook, both angled hooks being mechanically coupled and pivotally by a common pedal is engaged, bearing on said string opposite each other.
US00463839A 1973-05-11 1974-04-24 Modulation mechanism for harps Expired - Lifetime US3853030A (en)

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AT416773A AT324816B (en) 1973-05-11 1973-05-11 MODULATION MECHANICS FOR HARPS

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US3853030A true US3853030A (en) 1974-12-10

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US (1) US3853030A (en)
AT (1) AT324816B (en)
CH (1) CH567318A5 (en)
CS (1) CS169768B2 (en)
DD (1) DD111485A5 (en)
DE (1) DE7413929U (en)
FR (1) FR2229108A1 (en)
GB (1) GB1419913A (en)
IT (1) IT1017597B (en)

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4599931A (en) * 1982-08-09 1986-07-15 Joel Garnier Concert harps
US4936182A (en) * 1989-03-09 1990-06-26 Robert Bunker Sharping lever for a musical instrument
US6008439A (en) * 1997-07-03 1999-12-28 Kovac; John G. Pedal sharping apparatus for folk harps

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US605764A (en) * 1898-06-14 Alexander wascinski
US1134207A (en) * 1911-10-09 1915-04-06 Lyon & Healy Harp.
US1226991A (en) * 1915-08-04 1917-05-22 Dominick A Passarelli Chromatic-bass guitar.
US1302451A (en) * 1917-08-06 1919-04-29 Elmer S Tanquary Fretting device for musical instruments.
US1692123A (en) * 1927-05-18 1928-11-20 Hull Vade Harp

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US605764A (en) * 1898-06-14 Alexander wascinski
US1134207A (en) * 1911-10-09 1915-04-06 Lyon & Healy Harp.
US1226991A (en) * 1915-08-04 1917-05-22 Dominick A Passarelli Chromatic-bass guitar.
US1302451A (en) * 1917-08-06 1919-04-29 Elmer S Tanquary Fretting device for musical instruments.
US1692123A (en) * 1927-05-18 1928-11-20 Hull Vade Harp

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4599931A (en) * 1982-08-09 1986-07-15 Joel Garnier Concert harps
US4936182A (en) * 1989-03-09 1990-06-26 Robert Bunker Sharping lever for a musical instrument
US6008439A (en) * 1997-07-03 1999-12-28 Kovac; John G. Pedal sharping apparatus for folk harps

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Publication number Publication date
IT1017597B (en) 1977-08-10
CS169768B2 (en) 1976-07-29
DE2419312A1 (en) 1974-11-28
GB1419913A (en) 1975-12-31
AT324816B (en) 1975-09-25
DE7413929U (en) 1976-12-30
DD111485A5 (en) 1975-02-12
CH567318A5 (en) 1975-09-30
DE2419312B2 (en) 1975-10-23
FR2229108A1 (en) 1974-12-06

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